I Wrote a Book: Practical SVG

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Big news! The book I’ve been working on for a long time has been published and is now available to buy. It’s called Practical SVG.

What’s in the book?

The book is a journey through things that I’ve learned about SVG through years of using it on all my production sites. Things I’ve researched. Things I’ve learned from other people. Battles fought, lost, fought again, won. Besides a lovely forward by Val Head, introduction and conclusion and such, this is the structure:

  • Chapter 1: The Basics of Using SVG
  • Chapter 2: Software
  • Chapter 3: Building an Icon System
  • Chapter 4: Build Tools
  • Chapter 5: Optimizing SVG
  • Chapter 6: Sizing and Scaling SVG
  • Chapter 7: Animating SVG
  • Chapter 8: Some Design Features
  • Chapter 9: Fallbacks

And in just 150 pages! It’s meant to digest quickly.

Who is it for?

This book is for front end web designers and developers. Probably like… most of the people who read this site. “Practical” in the title means “Day to day useful stuff for front end folk”.

It’s not really for super experts. I’m not a super expert, so I can’t write that book. I wrote about what it took for me to start taking advantage of SVG and reap what it has to offer. It also certainly doesn’t cover every nook and cranny of SVG. SVG is a huge world onto itself. I’d bet there is more to know about SVG then there is about HTML and CSS combined. But the basics will take you far.

Nor is the book for super beginners. If you’ve never built a website ever before or messed around with HTML/CSS/JavaScript, there are probably too many foreign concepts in here. If you’re looking for a beginner HTML and CSS book, perhaps check out the first two A Book Apart books: HTML5 for Web Designers and CSS3 for Web Designers. Then come back!

What’s the story behind it?

It all started with my interest being peaked in SVG years ago. Peaked for rather obvious reasons: it’s a fascinating technology. Vector graphics on the web! It just makes sense! As I learned about it, as I do, I started writing articles here on CSS-Tricks about it. More and more and more.

Then I started doing conference talks about it. Throughout 2014 and 2015 I did a dozen or so talks like “SVG is for Everybody” and “The Wonderful World of SVG”, including at conferences like An Event Apart. With all that research and writing in hand, it felt like a natural extension to convert it into a book.

It certainly wasn’t easy though. The book format demands more out of you. A clear structure. Intense accuracy. Words that guide you.

Fortunately I had excellent help, like Katel LeDu guiding me through the entire process. Caren Litherland as an editor, keeping my foot out of my mouth and, most valuably, making sure everything read well and were comprehensible. Lisa Maria Martin cleaning house. Jason Santa Maria’s lovely design along with Rob Weychert’s perfect book composition. Chris Lilley’s technical edit. That’s one heck of a superteam if you ask me.

Time to feed your brain?

→→→ Go get it. ←←←