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Showing 1-10 of 35 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 70 reviews
on August 21, 2015
Although it is a little bit light-weight for an HTML programmer, this text is graphically beautiful through and through. I learned a lot about fonts and layout, even though I thought I knew quite a bit going in. I was more "enriched" by this book than "educated," but that's okay, too. A nice break from the usual coding text.
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on June 14, 2007
Andy Clarke has written a gem amongst well-structured, but often dry and monotonous CSS manuals. This book particularly benefits the fine artist, who follows a more conceptual and visual approach to design, by connecting the dots between CSS implementation and the resulting visual presentation.

I will admit that 'transcending CSS' was read in conjunction with two other CSS books: 'Beginning CSS' by Simon Collison and 'CSS Mastery' by Andy Budd. However, it was 'transcending CSS' that sealed the gap and created a bridge with the first two books. It was almost as if each author had unwittingly wrote their book with the others in mind; they make a great series in CSS instruction. I strongly recommend that if you are completely new to CSS, you try reading Collison first or something comparable to basic CSS.

This book has amazing visuals that help motivate both designers and developers to use CSS as a creative tool. The technical content is properly structured and explained with 'everyday' dialog. It's also a great resource for browser tips, designer sites, and various tutorial links.

If you are more of a visual person, you may find some sections on inspirational techniques a bit redundant, especially after your brain has switched into tech-mode by practicing the CSS exercises. However, I considered this good training. It's overwhelming being bogged down with too much tech in the beginning.

All in all, I found this book well worth the time and money.
It remains one of the few technical books I have read from cover to cover, without skipping around to garner specific bits of information.
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on January 5, 2007
If you were to randomly grab a book out of the web technology section of any book store odds are you'd get a book on cascading style sheets (CSS). They're everywhere. With a flood of CSS books on the market, it's not a problem finding out how to write CSS, make it valid, standards compliant and accessible.

Being a creative person from the print world who made the transition to the web, I've had a hard time finding any sort of resource on the creative process of Web design -- which I find sort of strange. Any book on print design focuses on the creative process and spends very little time talking about applications or operating systems. Yet when it comes to Web design, it's all code and browser compatibility.

I suppose there is a reason for this. Print design has its roots in the fine arts and tends to be very visual while Web design emerged from programming and tends to be highly technical. It's basically the old "right brain" vs. "left brain" fight. So, how do we meet in the middle?

I thought I had found my answer in The Zen of CSS Design, but it fell short of my expectations. While it was good for creative inspiration, it ended up being a gallery of advanced CSS techniques without much explanation behind either the creative or technical process.

Now, with the release of the follow-up to The Zen of CSS Design, I've got my answer: Transcending CSS, The Fine Art of Web Design by Andy Clarke. This beautifully designed book is about design and not markup, and assumes that you already know about XHTML, CSS and Web standards. It goes over designing from the content out, finding inspiration, establishing a workflow, creating wireframes and prototypes, and working with grids and the box model -- allowing both sides of your brain to work together in harmony. It's about time!
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on May 7, 2007
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: Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS and Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook (Pioneering Series) and Eric Meyer's Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition.
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on May 20, 2007
Every Web Designer MUST read this book.

If you are new to CSS? Start here: Stylin' with CSS: A Designer's Guide (VOICES).
After you have read that book, read this one.

If you have used CSS for a while start here.

This is not a step-by-step book for the novice. It is a way of looking past CSS, HTML and Web Design.
It teaches to you view the web in ways you never imagined.

Andy Clarke visually helps you grasp concepts that I know I would have never learned elsewhere.
This book changed my life and the way I view web design. Most people code HTML & CSS without truly grasping the technology.
The knowledge exposited in this book made me a professional and took my skills to the next level.

Sure there are other books that can teach you step-by-step CSS, but unless you truly get it, you'll only be parroting the author of the book.

If you truly want to understand Web Design, XHTML & CSS, produce quality code and websites, read this book.

Have a CSS question or need help? Drop me a line.
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on October 29, 2012
I mistakenly bought this book in fall 2012 for some insight into how other designers approach their projects. It seems that it was ahead of it's time back in 2007, but web design is a rapidly changing industry and most of the book is totally irrelevant now. More specifically:

* Responsive design isn't mentioned in the book. The mobile industry is huge now, you should definitely be focused on mobile device displays.

* Google Chrome didn't even exist when the book was written, to give you an idea of how old the paradigms and technology are. Your sites will be below-average at best if you follow this book.

* @font-face didn't exist when the book was written - it is a cornerstone of modern website design.

* IMO, graphic design is now a much more important part of web design. Frameworks and templates that are effective have been established (ie Bootstrap by Twitter), meaning most of the web designer's work is in the realm of making unique content, primarily through graphic design.

Kudos to the individuals who put the book together years ago, but I can't recommend it for anyone in 2012.
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on April 18, 2017
No good, would not recommend.
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on June 8, 2009
After reading many reviews I could not wait to get my hands on THIS BOOK...many people said many different things. But here is what I feel.

I beg to differ with many people who say that this is not a beginners book, well, after reading most parts of the book I can safely say that this would appeal to a beginner, Intermediate and Advanced CSS designers. Infact, I feel many books that "Teach" CSS don't often cover topics about Wireframing and Prototyping, workflow tips etc but Transcending CSS does just that along with other cool and interesting stuff which is always expected by Andy. I love the Screenshots and the stock-images which are spread all over the book.

All in All I feel that I am going to take my Web-design career to the Next Level after buying & reading this book.

Ps: Amazon is awesome. I got the book one day earlier before the estimated date.
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on August 17, 2011
WAY too wordy. The good stuff in here could be presented in 1/2 or 1/3 as much space. Rather dated. Book discusses using grids for web layout - no kidding. Suggests using dynamic pages for the comps you show to a client - duh. I did really like the authors "content out" and "logical hierarchy" approach to hand coding your markup. A little bit different way of thinking about the markup. The semantic markup is something I continually try every which way to cram into my student's heads. It was nice to have this author as backup to what I keep telling them. Overall not a bad book, just WAY too much pointless chatter.
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on January 24, 2012
Book content is informational and well written. It's hard to figure out sometimes when he starts talking code or why he is even starting to talk about it. Usually he rambles on about why its transcendental CSS and then he goes over code. As you go more into the book it gets better but the first few chapters go slow. I guess that is expected to cover some ground for those that are not as experienced with CSS. This is in no way a beginners book, and need to have some knowledge of CSS before diving into this book. Especially some CSS programming experience.
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