16 Nov 2010 6 am eastern

A Book Apart No. 2: CSS3 For Web Designers, by Dan Cederholm

CSS3 For Web Designers by Dan Cederholm

DAN CEDERHOLM IS THE FIRST front-end developer I’ve ever worked with who got everything right. Typically when one person is designing in Photoshop and another is converting that design to code, the coder makes at least one or two decisions that the designer will feel moved to correct. For instance, the designer may have intended a margin of 26px, but the coder writes 25px. Or the designer establishes a certain distance between subhead and paragraph, then accidentally changes that distance in a single instance during a Photoshop copy-and-paste error, and the coder slavishly copies the mistake. No front-end developer, however good, reads minds, right?

Wrong. Dan Cederholm reads minds. When we have hired him to code other people’s visual designs, he gets everything right, including the parts the designer got wrong. Maybe that’s because Dan is not only a front-end developer, he is also an extremely gifted designer with a strong personal vision and style, which you can see by visiting work.simplebits.com. Not only that, Dan invariably translates a designer’s fixed Photoshop dimensions into code that is flexible, accessible, and bulletproof. That’s only to be expected, of course, as Dan is a leading and pioneering advocate of accessible, standards-based design and the author who coined the phrase “bulletproof web design.”

Designer, coder, pioneer. That would be plenty of achievement for anyone, but it happens that Dan is also a born teacher and a terrifically funny guy, whose deadpan delivery makes Steven Wright look giddy by comparison. Dan speaks all over America and the world, helping web designers improve their craft, and he not only educates, he kills.

And that, my friends, is why we’ve asked him to be our (and your) guide to CSS3. To be sure, there are (a few) other high-end CSS gurus who write beautifully and wittily, and whom we might have approached. But most are not designers. Dan is, to his core. He dreams design, bleeds design, and even gave the world a new way to share design.

You couldn’t ask for a smarter, more design-focused, more detail-obsessed guide to the smoking hot newness and conceptual and browser challenges of CSS3. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip:

Filed under: A Book Apart, CSS, CSS3, Publications, Publishing

20 Responses to “A Book Apart No. 2: CSS3 For Web Designers, by Dan Cederholm”

  1. Yoosuf said on


    jQuery for Web Designers….

    Keep up the stunning work…

  2. Dale Cruse said on

    eBook bought!

    That’s strange. I tried to make a two word comment & got an error that my comment was too short. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. And it’s the first time I’ve ever been told I didn’t talk enough!

  3. John Barnes said on

    Been looking forward to this for a while, always a fan of cederholms books!

  4. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Dale, your comment calls to mind the famous story about Calvin Coolidge:

    Both his dry Yankee wit and his frugality with words became legendary. His wife, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, recounted that a young woman sitting next to Coolidge at a dinner party confided to him she had bet she could get at least three words of conversation from him. Without looking at her he quietly retorted, “You lose.”

  5. Michael Prell said on

    I like the idea of a bundle, but what about a subscription model, too?

  6. Frederic Talis said on

    Awesome. Dan Cederholm is one of my web design heroes. Been waiting for this book to come out. Going to get it right now.

  7. simon said on

    “one person is designing in Photoshop and another is converting that design to code,” that is so true it hurts.

  8. Derek Beumer said on

    jQuery for Web Designers….

    I’ll take JavaScript for Web Designers first…

  9. Theo said on

    I`ve placed my order, can’t wait to get the paperback version ! I like @Michael Prell`s idea about a subscription model.

  10. Norman Wingrove said on

    Very interesting, but a radical re-think is essential on your online sales facility. I tried to purchase the book but because I live in Hong Kong, your shopping cart presumed I am Chinese and presented me with a page in Chinese only, with no option to select a language.

    There appears to be a widespread naive impression among US website designers in general that there is a relationship of one country = one language. So, unfortunately, owing to a user-hostile interface, a lost sale.

  11. Firewalkwizme said on

    Great !
    Do you know if a french translation is planned as Jeremy Keith’s book ?

  12. Jeffrey Zeldman said on


    We’d be glad to work with a good French publisher to create French translations of our books, but we’ve nothing to announce on that subject at this time.

  13. Jeffrey Zeldman said on


    Thank you for alerting us to this defect in our shopping experience. Appreciate it. And sorry for the hassle.

  14. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Hey, Michael! People often ask about a subscription model. We may consider it if and when we can produce a steady stream of books on a consistent schedule.

  15. Michaël said on

    Jeffrey : do you mean that the french version of “HTML5 For Webdesigners” published by Eyrolles was a kind of “one shot” operation and not the result of a long-term partnership between this publisher and A Book Apart?

  16. Norman Wingrove said on


    Jeffery, many thanks. Actually, I am now in contact with the people at A Book Apart, who are being very responsive. It seems we are both victims of a screw-up by Paypal; I did not realise originally that the online credit card payment pages were actually provided by the latter. Anyway, an object lesson in how not to deal with international transactions on their part. Maybe a topic for a future ALA article?

  17. Rich Senior said on

    I read this book in one sitting. I bought the bundle edition. Dan has done a great job, as you might expect, in distilling the essence of CSS3 into a readable, extremely useful and insightful guide to this new technology.
    The video’s on the epub addition are a fantastic idea. This and the inaugural book are redefining technical book publishing. I have creaking bookshelves with dusty, heavyweight, out of date tomes, which will, in time, be replaced with these super-fit and delightful new generation of techie books. Just what we need to keep up to speed with this exciting new chapter in the evolution of web technology. Highly recommended.

  18. Marc Drummond said on


    Just curious when the iBook edition might be available? I know I can buy the ebook and bring it into iBook, but I just bought html5 for designers through the iBook store for my iPad, so I had to ask! Can’t wait to read both!


  19. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Hey, Marc, thanks for the kind words. One never knows with the iTunes store exactly when a book or product will be made available—or even that it will be approved, until it’s actually available. We believe Apple will make Dan’s book available in the iTunes store really, really soon. Meantime, as you point out, you can also get it now and load it into iBooks as quick as a sync.

  20. Marc Drummond said on


    Just to clarify, is the ebook format the same as the format that will appear in the iTunes store? ePub, I think? If so, then obviously no need to wait!

    Really enjoying html5 for designers so far. Jeremy has such a nice, breezy style that gives a great overview of what html5 has to offer.

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving!


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