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Archive: 8 May 2003

Zen and the Art of CSS

Want to see some wonderful, and strikingly different, designs for the same content?  Want to contribute your own themes?  Then get on over to the CSS Zen Garden.  I have two reactions: delight and jealousy.  As I’ve said before, I don’t have strong visual design skills.  I’ve been working on a new set of designs for meyerweb, and they’re almost ready to go live.  I was feeling rather proud of what I’d done.  Then these guys come along and show me just how fumbling and crayonesque my design efforts have been.

There are quite a few span elements littered throughout the Zen Garden’s source, but as I’ve been finding recently, this is almost necessary.  It’s troublesome to me that really interesting CSS-based visual design should require that we clutter the document structure with gratuitous elements, but there truly doesn’t seem to be a good way around this.  It may be that future CSS, or some other styling language, will allow the author to create multiple layout boxes (or other shapes) for a given element and style them independently.  The syntax would probably be weird compared to what we have now, but it would allow for a lot more design flexibility.

And speaking of design, don’t forget about the Web Design Meetup tonight!

May 2003
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