Transcending CSS is quite the book! Andy Clarke did an amazing job with this book. It really doesn’t fall under the category of ‘traditional CSS book’, but rather a design book, which mentions CSS and markup. Never the less, it is my first 5 of 5 book, of 2007.
First off, is this book for you? This book is really for someone who already knows how to code in standard compliant markup, as well as CSS. This book concentrates on design aspects of the web, and for each design situation, it explains how things would work with CSS. So if you already know html, and know your way around CSS pretty well, this book is a must have. If not, then you might as well go learn how to do things first.
Transcending CSS is not strictly a CSS book, it takes elements of a design book, and throws in pieces of CSS knowledge, and goodies into the mix. As the author says, the principles of this book, are to “allow web designers to focus on their creative goals without being preoccupied with technical constraints” The title really explains the idea of the book.
The book has four chapters, all go over a different aspect, or idea of how to transcend CSS. The first chapter is titled ‘Discovery’, this chapter looks at the way most people work, and kind of gives an idea on how things should be, or the way things are best done. Chapter two is titled ‘Process’, and talks about how to apply things that you learned in the first chapter. Chapter three is called Inspiration, and it talks about searching for, finding, and applying inspiration. This is really my favorite portion of the book, it mentions a lot of things, that I wouldn’t have thought about inspiration which are extremely helpful. Then the final chapter is called ‘Transcendence’, and it talks about applying code to well thought out design.
I suggest, that anybody looking to get better at web design, should read this book. Just about everything about this book is great. The content is amazing, the design is excellent, but there is one downside. That downside is price. This book weighs in at a whopping $49.99 USD. This is a little pricey for a book, but it is really, well worth the price. If you’re looking to save money on it, check out Amazon.
My final thoughts on this book are very positive. I absolutely loved it, and I would have to rank it as my all time #1 favorite book. I give it a 5 of 5 rating, and suggest it to anyone and everyone, who knows basic xhtml/css.