CSS for print designers

A Cascading Style Sheet is essentially a control mechanism. Anything that you write in CSS code – within proper guidelines – can be used to control the presentation of elements on an individual page or an entire website.

I graduated with a degree in print design and worked as a media director and layout editor before I became a web designer. The Eureka moment for me, which I had early on, was finding the similarities between CSS and setting page parameters, character styles and paragraph styles in InDesign.

HTML controls the structure of the document, while CSS is used to control the presentation of elements within the document. The word ‘cascading’ simply refers to the way in which the CSS rules are applied to HTML pages, while ‘style sheet’ is just that:a list of rules for the way a designer wants elements on a page to be styled, including font colour, font size, font height, padding, margins, text decoration and so on. Anything that is used as a CSS rule will need to be referenced within the area in which the designer wants it to be applied. For example, if we create a rule for maroon text that’s going to appear over an entire section on multiple pages of a website, the first step will be to write the rule itself:

.huzzah {color:#5E2525}

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