Review of CSS For Print Designers by JD Graffam
I met JD Graffam a few years back at Barcamp Memphis, though I doubt he remembers me. So I was fairly surprised to see his name when I picked up a copy of CSS for Print Designers. His book, targeted obviously to code newbies with a background of print design, was something I wouldn’t normally read, but since I never pass up a book to read, I thought I’d give it a chance.
CSS for Print Designers was a quick read, at only 167 pages long in full color and large type. It sticks to the fairly basics, assuming you’ve absolutely never seen CSS and HTML before. I like the fact that it touches on the basics of HTML and semantics before jumping over to CSS. I think a lot of non-coders, especially print-turned-web designers, are lacking in proper HTML skills, and this gives you a good foundation to start on.
While the book certainly won’t make you an expert by far, it gets you started and is a good primer to learning how to read the code. I think it’s a great read before you pick up a more comprehensive coding book, as it will help to assage the anxiety one gets while staring at a bunch of gooble-de-gook (which I think aptly describes our code, don’t you?).
While the book does have many pluses, it also came up short for me in a lot of ways. The fact that it is so short and broad is also a negative. JD mentions a lot of ideas and pieces of code in the book, but then tells you to just “google it” instead of explaining. I think he should’ve either briefly explained the item or skipped mentioning it at all.
I also disagreed with some of the coding techniques he used, but that was more personal and since we all eventually develop our own way of coding, I was able to overlook those.
I recommend the book only if you’re an absolute beginner in terms of coding to the web. If you know basic HTML and CSS already, skip this one. You can get it on Amazon for $19.49 if interested.