The Zen of CSS Design

A unique book that teaches design and web development principles, using the CSS Zen Garden as a case study.

Contribution: Author

The Story

In the first year after launching the CSS Zen Garden I was approached by a handful of publishers interested in whether I’d be willing to write a companion book.

Having struck a friendship with one of my earliest influences in web design, Molly Holzschlag, we talked about collaborating on a project at some point. Given that this was still quite early in my career, I was hesitant about tackling a full book single-handedly, so we decided to write it together.

Molly and I split the book roughly in half. Wach of us tackled a single submission from the site, using it to illustrate a design principle that we’d explain in detail. Calling in Shaun Inman as our technical editor, we spent the better part of seven months writing, editing, and proofing.

The final book was delivered in the spring of 2005, and went on to sell almost 70,000 copies worldwide, was translated into over a dozen languages, and served a long life as a text for many web design courses during the time period it remained technically relevant.