CSS3 for Web Designers Book Review and Giveaway

I’ve read a number of books by Dan Cederholm and it seems with each book, Dan becomes more of a hero to me. He’s been highly regarded as long as anybody still designing or writing code, and he’s one of the most active members in our community. He’s done so many positive things for our industry I couldn’t begin to list them and it’s an honor to read or hear pretty much anything he’s got to write or say.

Then there’s Dribbble. Seriously, if I don’t stop now I’ll never get to the book review. On top of the many reasons I respect Dan Cederholm professionally, he seems like a great person outside the modern Web. He’s a guy we can look up to in the most widespread of ways, and I’m appreciative that I’ve been following Dan for as long as I have.

CSS3 for Web Designers

I received my copy of CSS3 for Web Designers, the latest release from A Book Apart, just yesterday; it jumped the (ever growing) lineup of books I’d like to read and went straight to the top. I sat down with a cup of coffee near our freshly set up Christmas tree and got down to reading.

CSS3 for Web Designers book cover

If Dan has a writing style, I’d have to label it consistent. He has a way with words that truly educates as much as it entertains. It’s a really difficult balance to find, something I strive for in my own way. It’s particularly admirable to hit such a stride with technical books. Dan has done it again with CSS3 for Web Designers.

Before talking about the book itself, I’d just like to express how delightful it is to read a printed copy of a book that primarily (and, in this case, singularly) focuses on such modern Web technology. I read a lot online. I appreciate the speedy delivery of a PDF, but I also enjoy sitting down and reading printed copy. I’m happy to see the increase in traditional publications on up-to-date subjects.

On the subject of CSS3

I’ve written before about the real impact of using CSS3 on client work, and much of what I wrote still rings true for me. One of the initial themes I quickly related to in CSS3 for Web Designers was Dan reiterating that while CSS3 can (and should) be implemented today, it should be used with a purpose, and the author should recognize the impact of the decision to use CSS3. Dan is always sure to include the acceptable fallback approach, and he also covers the aspect of future-proofing your styles to ensure forward compatibility.

I’m happy to report that CSS3 for Web Designers covers the exact set of properties I’ve been playing with both on client projects as well as personal work. Properties such as border-radius, text-shadow, box-shadow, multiple background images, opacity, and RGBA are covered from purpose to implementation.

Dan took the time to design a pseudo-site to walk us through the enhancements made to various elements within the design, explaining why and how each property is applicable. I love this approach to education, and in Dan’s traditional style, it worked out well.

Quick look at the inside of CSS3 for Web Designers

In the newly defined A Book Apart style, CSS3 for Web Designers looks beautiful. The type is great, the quality of the book itself is awesome, and there is no shortage of code to check out. I can’t wait to see more of the A Book Apart collection in my library, CSS3 for Web Designers is an excellent addition that I’m sure will be reread at least a few times more if for nothing else than enjoying the quality.

My recommendation

I loved reading CSS3 for Web designers. If an up-and-coming designer asked me what they should know about CSS3, I can confidently say that I’d recommend CSS3 for Web Designers. It truly echos my sentiments regarding CSS3 at this point and with it being such a quick read, designers are sure to be brought up to date rapidly, with the only prerequisite being a basic working knowledge of HTML and CSS (2.1).

Seasoned designers and developers should give the book a read as well. It’s a great reminder that CSS3 should be used for good, not evil. Even professionals need to be reminded of the basics sometimes, and this book does a great job of that.

Giveaway details

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up CSS3 for Web Designers quite yet, I’d love to have the chance to send you one of my copies for free. To enter, just tweet the following:

Looking to win a free copy of CSS3 for Web Designers from @jchristopher /via /x/30

Entries are open for 7 days and will close at 11:59pm Eastern on December 5, 2010. The winner will be announced the following day. I’m sorry to say, but unless you’re willing to pay shipping, the contest is limited to those living the continental US. Each entry on Twitter will be counted once and only once. Good luck!