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Handcrafted CSS: More Bulletproof Web Design [Kindle Edition]

Dan Cederholm , Ethan Marcotte
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $44.99
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Book Description

There’s a real connection between craftsmanship and Web design. That’s the theme running through Handcrafted CSS: More Bulletproof Web Design, by bestselling author Dan Cederholm, with a chapter contributed by renowned Web designer and developer Ethan Marcotte. This book explores CSS3 that works in today’s browsers, and you’ll be convinced that now’s the time to start experimenting with it.

Whether you’re a Web designer, project manager, or a graphic designer wanting to learn more about the fluidity that’s required when designing for the Web, you’ll discover the tools to create the most flexible, reliable, and bulletproof Web designs. And you’ll finally be able to persuade your clients to adopt innovative and effective techniques that make everyone’s life easier while improving the end user’s experience. This book’s seven chapters deconstruct various aspects of a case-study Web site for the Tugboat Coffee Company, focusing on aspects that make it bulletproof and demonstrate progressive enrichment techniques over more traditional labor-intensive methods.

Subjects covered in this book include:
  • building for unanticipated future use
  • progressively enriching designs using CSS3 properties
  • using RGBA color for transparency with an alpha channel
  • modular float management
  • crafting flexible frameworks
  • fluid layouts using grid-based design principles
  • craftsmanship details on typography, jQuery, and shifting backgrounds


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dan Cederholm is a Web designer, author, husband and father living in Salem, Massachusetts. He's the founder of SimpleBits, a tiny design studio. A recognized expert in the field of standards-based Web design, Dan has worked with Google, MTV, Yahoo, ESPN, Fast Company, Blogger, Odeo, and others. He embraces flexible, adaptable design using Web standards through his design work, writing, and speaking. Dan is the author of two bestselling books: Bulletproof Web Design, Second Edition (New Riders) and Web Standards Solutions (Friends of ED). Dan runs the popular weblog SimpleBits, where he writes articles and commentary on the Web, technology, and life.

Product Details

  • File Size: 7308 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (April 9, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003EINO6C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,508 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent follow up to Bulletproof Web Design December 29, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The new release from Dan Cederholm is a great complement to his previous work in Bulletproof Web Design. For those who haven't read Bulletproof Web Design, it's premise was creating flexible websites and keeping a clear separation of your markup (HTML), styles (CSS), and behavior (JavaScript). It took examples of sites that weren't bulletproof, and showed the process to make them bulletproof. All great things. The landscape of browsers, CSS, and HTML has changed slightly since Dan wrote Bulletproof Web Design, and this book is focused on bringing those aspects to the forefront. This book assumes you have knowledge of developing with web standards, and therefore bypasses the why of adhering to web standards.

The entire book focuses on building a fictional site, the Tugboat Coffee Company. Each chapter builds a new layer into this site, with clear instruction of how each aspect progressively enhances the user experience, while not explicitly leaving other browsers in the dust. Here is a quick breakdown:

Introduction
This chapter is a quick example of why we need to be flexible with our designs and development. Using a list of menu items, Dan walks through how to best organize your markup and CSS. To me, this chapter was about first putting on your thinking cap and planning for how your sections should be organized within a site. Think about how the end user will experience and interact with your site. Even with a simple menu list, he shows how things change when text is re-sized, or simply making your clickable link area larger in a given area. While this chapter had a specific example, and code to work through--I really saw it as something to begin challenging you to think about your architecture.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I always love to read how a CSS master works and I found many of Dan's tools and tips extremely useful in furthering my already above average knowledge of CSS.

This is not a "step-by-step how to build a website using CSS" book, this is for folks who already understand CSS well. This book helped me reorganize my mind when it comes to CSS.

I'm a big fan of Dan Cederholm and will always buy his books because I like how he thinks. If I ever bump into Dan at SXSW I will buy him a beer.

The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because I found it a bit short. I'd always like to read more of what he has to say.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use the Best Possible Ampersand January 4, 2010
Format:Paperback
A fan of Bulletproof Web Design, I was looking forward to Handcrafted CSS and it did not disappoint. In addition to the code examples, I appreciated Cederholm's "progressive enrichment," "re-evaluation of past methods and best practices," "80 percenters," "fluid grids," and "craftsmanship."

"Progressive enrichment," for example, uses the border-radius property to achieve the visual reward of rounded corners on buttons in browsers that can handle them with CSS. The site displays attractively in all browsers with square corners on buttons in browsers not progressive enough to display the rounded corners. This example also illustrates "re-evaluation of past methods and best practices." Rounded corners on buttons can be achieved with graphics, but they lock in color which can only be changed be manipulating the images. With progressive enrichment, the button colors can be changed easily in the CSS.

Ethan Marcotte, in "The Fluid Grid" chapter, demonstrates that the key to non-fixed width layouts is font size. By setting all font sizes in context relative to a base font size of 100% and also setting percentage-based values for the columns of the grid, the proportions of the grid stay intact as it resizes.

My favorite detail in Cederholm's final chapter, "Craftsmanship Details," is his recommendation to "use the best possible ampersand" by building a font stack in the CSS based on order of "interestingness" of the ampersand. An interesting ampersand is well worth the trouble as I found out last year before I had read Handcrafted CSS. I had developed a header for a second website without the "interesting" ampersand which I had used in the original website, and the first thing that the client said upon seeing the second header was that he wanted the same "and sign" that the original header had. What fun for Cederholm's ampersand discussion to confirm my experience!
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of Date July 25, 2010
By Emile
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm familiar with most of CSS but was having some cross-browser compatibility issues...wanted to learn more about progressive design. This guy had lots of good reviews so I downloaded his book but unfortunately it's out of date.

He has a nice writing style and he's good at presenting information in a quick digestible way. That being said, his book is discussing the "future" of web development with progressive enhancement in CSS3. In order to cover that subject adequately you need to address IE8, which apparently wasn't developed when this book was written.

Also, his guest commentator refers to SIFr, a script that has been out of development for about 2 years now. He's also making recommendations for transition effects in webkit where the overwhelming consensus is the use of JavaScript frameworks (such as jQuery) for animation.

Another example is he devotes 20 or so pages to CSS float clearing employing a trick that involves ":after." This technique is vastly over complicated in comparison to the industry accepted use of putting "overflow: hidden" in your containing elements.

I'm only 60% of the way through the book, so maybe it will get better. I hate to give it such a negative review, since he seems like a good, amiable guy with a knack for technical writing. I think the fault should fall on the publisher for not putting out a revised updated edition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book for people already a bit familiar with web design
This book is excellent. Very useful information delivered in a concise, robust way. Easy to follow along with as you read.
Published 23 hours ago by Lindsey K Botts
5.0 out of 5 stars indispensable resource
No matter what your level of experience, everyone can take something, if not, many things away from this book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Daniel Stahl
4.0 out of 5 stars Get this one
I've just scanned through this book and it looks excellent.

There is a template to download and some illustrations for the visually inclined which this book is designed... Read more
Published on August 18, 2012 by Simcat
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Excellent read! While I mostly work on our app's backend, I have a lot of respect for the people who make it look pretty. Read more
Published on May 21, 2011 by Michael Kohl
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for my class
I teach a beginning CSS class at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. My students are mostly small business folk who don't intend to become full time geeks, although... Read more
Published on April 2, 2011 by Nora McDougall
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to follow along.
Dan knows his stuff. His writing is informative, the FINISHED site template is clean and well-thought out and there are numerous examples of best practices and favorite sites on... Read more
Published on March 5, 2011 by digiboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical advice for any web designer!
Handcrafted CSS is an excellent guide to the finer points of CSS. Dan Cederholm and Ethan Marcotte give concise principles and vivid examples to help you refine your web designs. Read more
Published on November 2, 2010 by Leroy C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book
very much enjoyed this book. was not dull and boring like many in its genre.
Published on October 12, 2010 by Dillon
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for CSS heads wanting to push forward
Handcrafted CSS: More Bulletproof Web Design is a book by and for web designers and developers with a solid understanding of HTML and CSS who want to push things further with... Read more
Published on August 11, 2010 by Morten Rand-Hendriksen
5.0 out of 5 stars A computer book I didn't want to put down.
An engaging and easy read for aspiring CSS masters. Like Bulletproof, I'm certain this book will continue to be a significant, used, and useful reference on my desk. Read more
Published on April 24, 2010 by L. L. Price
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More About the Author

Dan Cederholm is a Web designer and author living in Massachusetts. He's the founder of SimpleBits, a tiny design studio. A recognized expert in the field of standards-based Web design, Dan has worked with Google, MTV, ESPN, Fast Company, Blogger, Odeo, and others. He embraces flexible, adaptable design using Web standards through his design work, writing, and speaking. Dan is the author of two best-selling books: Bulletproof Web Design (New Riders) and Web Standards Solutions (Friends of ED). Dan also runs the popular weblog SimpleBits, where he writes articles and commentary on the Web, technology, and life. He also plays a mean ukulele and occasionally wears a baseball cap.

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