HTML5 For Web Designers – Book Review

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html5 for web designers

As the first of the HTML5 books to come out, and the first book to be released by A Book Apart, the eagerly awaited HTML5 For Web Designers by Jeremy Keith is a very easy read.

History and Principles

Starting off with a brief history of HTML5 and how it came about, the book then moves gently into explaining some of the design principles behind HTML5 and the results that came from them such as the simplified DOCTYPE, <script> and <style> elements, and changes to existing elements what every web designer will already know.

Media Content

The following chapter then focusses on some of the most talked about parts of the HTML5 specification, the addition of rich media. This chapter talks about the <canvas>, <audio> and <video> elements, and how they can be used to add media content to web pages.


Next up is an introduction to the new form elements that are part of HTML5 and how they might be used. Since contact forms are an integral part of most websites, this chapter is an important one and gives some good insights into how web forms will look and act in the near future.


The semantics of HTML5 are discussed in chapter 5. With the introduction of new semantic elements such as <header>, <footer>, <article>, <section>, and <aside>, this chapter helps the designer to understand when and where these new semantic elements should be used. This is particularly important with regards to the <article> and <section> elements which have already caused some confusion amongst web designers and developers.

The final chapter talks about using HTML5 today, the merits of doing so and helps with some strategies towards achieving this.


As someone who has been interested in HTML5 since the end of 2009, a lot of what is in this book was already known to me, but there is also plenty that wasn’t.

Aimed at web designers, and therefore at a slightly higher level than a developer might want, this book nevertheless is a must read for anyone new to HTML5 and wanting to get a taste of what it is, what it offers, and how it can be used.

Highly recommended.