Project Hewlett Martin is my codename for the three sessions in which I try to teach two of our fabulous designers how to do CSS.
This has been a long time coming. We need to be more web designers (not just print designers) and as such, we need to be more web savvy. They've been interested in HTML5 and CSS3, so I'm trying to get them more involved. The hope is that the web developers will be able to build HTML templates that the designers can style with CSS. If they can't, no harm in trying. And even if they can't it will inform their designs, probably irreparably.
So today was our second day. I started by going over the box model with them. This is best done on a white board. It really helps if you can draw nice rectangles, which apparently I cannot do anymore. I listed a few "block level" elements and a few "inline" elements and explained the differences between them.
And then I made them write code.
I figure, you can watch all the tutorials you want. I can wave my hands at it for hours. You're never going to get it until you have to do it. So I had each of them tinker with a CSS file for twenty minutes. They accomplished a lot, really. They got the gist of background and foreground colors, margin and padding, and we went over how CSS treats italics completely different than bold. They even changed an unordered list into something that looked like a real menu.
It's been interesting. Code and design are really two completely different mindsets. I understand code, they understand design, so we're trying to fuse our ways of thinking and produce something new. It's also been interesting for me to see how things I take for granted are actually kind of stupidly confusing.