Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design


As the Web evolves to incorporate new standards and the latest browsers offer new possibilities for creative design, the art of creating Web sites is also changing. Few Web designers are experiences programmers, and as a result, working with semantic markup and CSS can create roadblocks to achieving truly beautiful designs using all the resources available. Add to this the pressures of presenting exceptional design to clients and employers, without compromising efficient workflow, and the challenge deepens for ...

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As the Web evolves to incorporate new standards and the latest browsers offer new possibilities for creative design, the art of creating Web sites is also changing. Few Web designers are experiences programmers, and as a result, working with semantic markup and CSS can create roadblocks to achieving truly beautiful designs using all the resources available. Add to this the pressures of presenting exceptional design to clients and employers, without compromising efficient workflow, and the challenge deepens for those working in a fast-paced environment. As someone who understands these complexities firsthand, author and designer Andy Clarke offers visual designers a progressive approach to creating artistic, usable, and accessible sites using transcendent CSS.

In this groundbreaking book, you’ll discover how to implement highly original designs through visual demonstrations of the creative possibilities using markup and CSS. You’ll learn to use a new design workflow, build prototypes that work well for designers and all team members, use grids effectively, visualize markup, and discover every phase of the transcendent design process, from working with the latest browsers to incorporating CSS3 to collaborating with team members effectively.

Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design:

Uses a visual approach to help you learn coding techniques

Includes numerous examples of world-class Web sites, photography, and other inspirations that give designers ideas for visualizing their code

Offers early previews of technical advances in new Web browsers and of the emerging CSS3 specification

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
CSS permits web designers to gain near-total visual control over their sites. But it doesn't guarantee that you will. Most web designers aren't born coders, and in any case, code isn't enough. Transcending CSS takes you the rest of the way.

With guidance from the legendary Molly Holzschlag, Andy Clarke shows how to make sure CSS details never compromise your artistic vision. A wonderful chapter on "visualizing code" deepens your understanding of the relationship between great designs and their underlying CSS markup. You'll learn how to create visual sitemaps using the authors' innovative "markup guides"; build wireframes; and streamline site design workflow, from start to finish.

In a final chapter, Clarke and Holzschlag point you toward entirely new ways to express your personal inspiration as a web designer -- transcending not just CSS but HTML, XHTML, weird browsers, and even the cramped vision of your clients. Bill Camarda, from the December 2006 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321410979
  • Publisher: New Riders
  • Publication date: 11/29/2006
  • Series: Voices That Matter Series
  • Pages: 371
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Andy Clarke is an internationally known speaker, designer, and consultant focusing on creative, accessible Web development. Andy is passionate about design and passionate about Web standards, bridging the gap between design and code. He regularly trains designers and developers in the creative applications of Web standards. Andy has written articles for A List Apart Magazine and contributed to the CSS Zen Garden. Outside of his studio, Andy is a member of the Web Standards Project.

Author, instructor, and Web designer Molly E. Holzschlag has written over 30 books on Web design and development. She’s been coined "one of the greatest digerati" and deemed one of the Top 25 Most Influential Women on the Web. Molly is also Group Lead of Web Standards Project and frequent lecturer on Web design and development around the world.

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Table of Contents

Chapter One: Designing on a Moving Surface
In this chapter, the focus is on expressing current challenges faced by visual designers and the contemporary solutions they can rely on to:

• Better understand the designer's role within the Web team

• Find inspiration outside of contemporary software and technology approaches

• Reinvigorate passion for design by understanding that the Web medium is different than print

Chapter Two: Visualizing Code
Here, the designer won't learn to write code, rather experience through existing visual designs how code can be represented. This is done using 3d emulations of code structures, and using markup guides to create structural models.

• Visualizing general structures in contemporary Web design

• Working with navigation design

• Creating common interface elements

• Designing visual tables

• Artful forms

Chapter Three: Design Workflow
Building on the more elemental techniques described in Chapter Two, the designer will learn how to create visual maps of a site using markup guides, building wireframes, creating sprites and maximizing the workflow process with a balance of both traditional and progressive techniques. Readers will learn:

• How to create markup guides

• Why and how to build effective wireframes

• Creating and using sprites to increase workflow productivity

Chapter Four: Progressive Enhancement
Now that the designer is thinking about Web design in a visual manner, he or she is ready to progress beyond the conventional needs of an agency or company. This chapter provides inspiration for going beyond the limitations of contemporary Web browsers and the desktop, and encourages designers to constantly seek new ways of expressing design without the constraints of technology.

Appendix I: Recommended resources for continued success
While many books have a resource guide, most of them list resources by technical topic. This appendix will include hand-picked, annotated resources of specific interest to the visual designer.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2007

    Real web design, real fun

    Andy Clarke's 'Transcending CSS' is the first book on CSS that successfully marries the artistic and technical skills that are the heart of modern web design. The book should appeal to those who are primarily trained in the design disciplines--the author includes a thorough treatment of grid-based design and the use of mood boards, scrapbooks, and other creative tools. 'Transcending CSS' will also be of great benefit to the seasoned CSS hand, as he challenges us to reexamine old habits and workflows, to embrace change, and to plan for advanced web standards. Apart from a core group of 'standardistas', the field of web design is still a divided camp--graphic designers who cling to WYSIWYG editors and claim they 'can't do HTML', and coders who (though technically adept with markup and programming languages) lack the most basic knowledge of the principles of visual design, color, typography, and the like. Andy's book goes a long way towards fostering the development of a truly professional discipline of web design, one wherein its practioners are well versed in aesthetic theory, confident in their creativity, and technically capable of creating functional, accessible, and durable web content. This book is also an engaging read, as Andy's wit and energy shines through his writing. (Andy's presentations are immensely popular on the design conference circuit.) 'Transcending CSS' is a must-have for your web design bookshelf, as indispensable as Dan Cederholm's 'Bulletproof Web Design' and 'Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook' and Eric Meyer's 'Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2010

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