We really only have one project goal this time around: to take a visual design and convert it to a CSS-driven layout. This simple goal contains a trio of more specific goals, however, especially since we're creating this design for the CSS Zen Garden.
Create the layout without changing a single character of the content and markup in the HTML document provided. Only the CSS is under our control.
Make sure the layout looks good in IE5.5+/Win, IE5/Mac, Safari, and the latest Gecko-based browsers (as of this writing, Mozilla 1.6 and Firefox 0.8).
Have the design tolerate changes in font size up to 150% of the size of the user's default text size.
What we'll be doing is combining two very common situations in the life of a Web designer. The first is an attempt to reproduce a layout that a visual artist has created; this often happens in large companies (or any other organization) where the look of a site is under the direction of artists, not programmers. The second situation is one in which you have unchangeable markup that you need to style. In this case, the markup is specifically set up to make CSS layout easier, which is a good thing.