I’ve been a big fan of CSS Zen Garden for a rather long time. I visit the site and browse the designs featured when I feel the need for some inspiration or when I’m stuck in a certain dull, boring design. The site forces me to think outside the box and think about what can be done, not what has been done.
I also like the site because you can download the sample .css and .html files of each design so you can find out exactly how a certain effect was achieved. I learn by seeing and doing, not by reading about how to do something, so this is the perfect site to teach me all about how to write a CSS sheet, and how to do some really cool things with a few lines of CSS code.
I want to highlight a really cool product that grew out of the CSS Zen Garden – The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web. Based on those who have purchased and read this book, it seems that this is a book all about the importance of CSS design, with many beautiful pictures of successful and attractive CSS Designs. This is definitely going on my Amazon Wish list. It seems like a great book for inspiration, because sometimes we all need a break from staring at the computer. This would be a great airplane or coffee table book to browse when you want to see CSS design in clean, crisp colors.
However, as pointed out by W. W. Van Broeck in a review on Amazon.com, “If you’re looking for inspiration on how to design your site, this book could help you. If you’re looking how to use CSS, buy another book. The book doesn’t clearly show you how to make the sites…” That said, I would encourage anybody interested in web design to check out this book and see what can be accomplished by using cascading style sheets (CSS).