21 Fresh, Usable and Elegant WordPress Themes

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Sometimes it’s just amazing to see, how developers use creative approaches to design amazing layouts, based upon a simple WordPress template. Every now and again we take a look around, and select WordPress themes, which offer thought-out design, flexible template structure and conform to the basic principles of usability. The choice is big enough, but the search is worth it. We invest our time, browsing through dozens of web-sites, news aggregators and design-communities and put enhanced solutions together, so you don’t have to.

Let’s take a look at 21 23 fresh, usable, simple and and elegant WordPress themes, which have been released over the last few months. Among other things, we’ve also selected some of the new minimalistic solutions – all of them make use of clear and precise typography. They’re definitely worth a look.

You can also take a look at

Elegant WordPress Themes

1. Copyblogger Theme

Impressive WordPress Themes - A Flexible WordPress Theme that You Can Customize — Copyblogger Theme

2. Dark_Black

Impressive WordPress Themes - Dark_Black Release at {one more revision}

3. HemingwayEx

Impressive WordPress Themes - NULL.in » HemingwayEx

4. Deep Blue

Impressive WordPress Themes - Deep Blue Website Template | CSS Design Templates

5. i3Theme brothers, Left and Right!

Impressive WordPress Themes - i3Theme brothers, Left and Right!

6. Bus Full of Hippies

Impressive WordPress Themes - archGFX | Bus Full of Hippies for WordPress

6.1. (Bonus, updated) Illacrimo

Impressive WordPress Themes - Illacrimo

7. PinkLove

Impressive WordPress Themes - 3-Column WordPress Theme - PinkLove

8. Swiss Cool WordPress Theme

Impressive WordPress Themes - Swiss Cool WordPress Theme : Desperate Curiosity

9. School’s in Session

Impressive WordPress Themes - Nuwen.Com » WordPress Themes

10. Xenoria

Impressive WordPress Themes - Nuwen.Com » WordPress Themes

11. Autumn Concept 1.0

Impressive WordPress Themes - Autumn Concept 1.0 Ed Merritt | creative web design from Bournemouth, UK.

12. Blue Idea

Impressive WordPress Themes - Lively Blog » WordPress Theme—Blue Idea

Simple and Clean WordPress Themes

13. Upstart Blogger Modicus

Impressive WordPress Themes - WordPress Theme: Upstart Blogger Modicus

14. Upstart Blogger Modio

Impressive WordPress Themes - WordPress Theme: Upstart Blogger Modio

15. Alexified

Impressive WordPress Themes - Alexify your WordPress Blog with Alexified™ - Alex Allied

16. Cutline Theme for WordPress

Impressive WordPress Themes - Cutline Theme for WordPress

17. Photopress

Impressive WordPress Themes - Announcing the Photopress WordPress Theme for Photoblogs : PhotoPress - Performancing WordPress Themes

18. aslampHC 1.0 / Osmium 1.0

Impressive WordPress Themes - aslamp » aslampHC 1.0 / Osmium 1.0
Impressive WordPress Themes - aslamp » aslampHC 1.0 / Osmium 1.0

19. Experimental

Impressive WordPress Themes - KOCHWERKSTATT » WordPress Theme Experimental

20. Simplicity

Impressive WordPress Themes - KOCHWERKSTATT » WordPress Theme Simplicity

21. Deliciously Blue

Impressive WordPress Themes - j david macor.com » Blog Archive » WordPress Theme: Deliciously Blue

Bonus (Updated)

22. Sharpfolio

Impressive WordPress Themes - Sharpfolio

23. Coldblue

Impressive WordPress Themes - Sharpfolio

Further References and Collections

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Co-Founder of Smashing Magazine. Former writer, web designer, freelancer and webworker. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories.

  1. 1

    really fast research for new wordpress theme
    thank you smashingmagazine!

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    • 2

      Thanks Smashing Magazine, was googling word press designs and came across your posts. We also provide word press themes at cherieyoung.com.

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    • 3

      Very Nice list of themes would love to try on my blog (www.regexhacks.com)… Someone like to recommend a nice me, for my blog?

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  2. 4

    They are all really beautiful – particularly the Bus full of Hippies. I found a great one a while ago which I am using on my blog: Simply Fine Things – there is a link at the bottom to the author – he has others on his site too. The amazing thing about his themes is that he really pays a great deal of attention to detail.

    I am also using number 5 on my personal blog: Blog.frater.com – it is a breeze to set up and works well on all browsers. I would definitely vouch for it.

    Thanks for yet another great post smashingmagazine. This is fast becoming my favourite blog :)

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  3. 5

    Don’t like them tbh, all these fresh themes look like the old “fresh” designs :-F

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  4. 6

    Thanks a bunch for the link

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  5. 7

    Another sparkling piece from Smashing Magazine. You guys rule!

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  6. 8

    the bus full of hippies theme is completely broken or very very ugly in IE6

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  7. 9

    Those wordpress themes are amazing,thanks for the post!

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  8. 10

    hey thanks for the link :) …. love your collection there are a few themes I seem to have missed out

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  9. 11

    Upstart Blogger

    June 26, 2007 10:31 pm

    Thanks for the links! To have two of my themes selected by Smashing Magazine, and to be in such good company… You’ve made my day!

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  10. 12

    Thanks for the list. always smashing.

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  11. 13

    Oooo super! Thanks for the list SM! The most beatiful collection of WordPress Themes.

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  12. 14

    thanks for collecting these good stuff

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  13. 15

    cool…

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  14. 16

    Bus Full of Hippies is a rip off of Calibri, a theme published for Blogger.
    Whoever did it also failed to remove the gridlines in the image, which I did when I was using it.
    Check it out here Michigan Memories Test Blog as a “fixed” image, as opposed to the blue gridlines in the other link above.
    This is just a blogger test blog, so no posts are there.
    It’s pretty, but kind of busy. And it doesn’t translate well to MSIE6 or less, due to the png transparency.
    However, if anyone wants to use it, please contact me for the revised image. I’ll be happy to email it to you. sbclark2002 at yahoo dot com

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  15. 17

    Man this is one of the best compilations.

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  16. 18

    @Sue

    You obviously didn’t follow the link on the “Bus full of hippies” template.

    Here is a quote from the page…

    “Credits:

    Original design by John Oxton
    Illustration by Denis Radenkovic
    Based on the Textpattern template reworked by Graham Bancroft.”

    At no point does the author insinuate they created the design.

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  17. 19

    Simplicity is amazing!!!

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  18. 20

    Another list of WP themes…. *yawn*

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  19. 21

    Uh, das freut mich, dass Euch meine Themes gefallen.

    Schaue hier immer gerne auf der Suche nach Inspiration vorbei.

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  20. 22

    Notables, muchas gracias por el listado. :D

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  21. 23

    These are nice, but some seem familiar.

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  22. 24

    Awesome! Thanks for having my theme on the list!

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  23. 25

    Some nice themes there cheers for the post will be trying a couple

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  24. 26

    You guys rock. I always use these posts as reference.

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  25. 27

    Can’t believe my i3Theme got feature here ;) Thanks

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  26. 28

    Nice list. There are some new themes I have not seen and some old favorites as well.

    I am going to have to start spending more time online and adding to my collection.

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  27. 29

    why didnt you include the grid focus public by derek punsalan?

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  28. 30

    great themes, great cms. well done.

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  29. 31

    Loved Illacrimo theme!! will try using it someday :)

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  30. 32

    Nice Info, Thanks For You …

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  31. 33

    The simple and clean ones like the Upstart Blogger Modicus one are pretty sweet.

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  32. 34

    Very good read, thank you!

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  33. 35

    Nice selection. i3Theme is awesome.
    I also recomend Web2Themes (www.web2themes.com). They have some pretty good themes that could have made the list.

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  34. 36

    Thanks for the links, one of them are interesting, very useful!, cheers!

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  35. 37

    Like usual nice compile of GREAT WORDPRESS Theme

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  36. 38

    Nice themes! Great resource.

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  37. 39

    nice!,so many good theme,thanks!

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  38. 40

    Great list… I think I need to just go ahead and download one, slightly tweak it, and finally launch a blog.

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  39. 41

    真是非常漂亮,统统收下,隔日换着用~~~thanks!

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  40. 42

    Wow so nice themes !

    Thanks for share many wordpress themes ;)

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  41. 43

    THanks alot..

    atomise.net is cool too !

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  42. 44

    Thanks for the recommendation! :D

    Now I’m using one of it. Thanks.

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  43. 45

    Cool themes … shame I don’t use wordpress ;-)

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  44. 46

    this site is great.it has got the most beautiful wp themes..

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  45. 47

    Astrid Paramita

    July 10, 2007 2:16 am

    Thanks for the wonderful list :)
    I changed my blog theme to Autumn Concept 1.0, almost perfect to what I need!

    Keep up the good work!

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  46. 48

    Great themes! I love your work. Hello from France. :)

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  47. 49

    Best Wordpress Themes

    July 16, 2007 8:21 pm

    Hi,

    Check out this new listing of the best WordPress themes from all over the web. There are some really interesting listings: http://www.bestwpthemes.com.

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  48. 50

    Cheers for the templates – I’m now setting up my new site and blog and have found these to be the best set of templates so far. Cheers for the help.

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  49. 51

    Thanks,sir
    continue your great work.

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  50. 52

    Nice themes! Check out my latest theme High Rise.

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  51. 53

    Great themes, I just love these lists with good looking and free themes! Keep the lists coming, you’re doing a terrific job!

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  52. 54

    Very good list of great themes I didn’t know of. Thanks!

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  53. 55
  54. 56

    Ensest Hikayeler

    January 1, 2008 7:57 pm

    theme thanks.

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  55. 57

    Really nice.Thank you.

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  56. 58

    Thanks.

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  57. 59

    thnks

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  58. 60
  59. 61

    great themes, as awlway…
    I’ve used the upstart blogger one for my blog.. check it out!
    http://www.thesparetimetyper.com

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  60. 62

    most of them are like the old templates that has been re edited.. nothing amazing.. they are all the same except that theres a minor changes thats it..

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  61. 63

    very very thanx…

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  62. 64

    very very cool…

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  63. 65
  64. 66

    I tried to widgetize the Simplicity Bright Theme, maybe it’s useful for some of you: Simplicity Bright Theme Plus

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  65. 67

    davetiye It is really great. I also used same technic in my web site and it works.

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  66. 68

    wery beauitiful templates. Thanx.

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  67. 69

    Wow… Wonder themes. I am used #5 i3Theme brothers, Left and Right! in Blog UnderMedia

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  68. 70

    I like Cutline for my private blog/journal. It’s definitely a great, clean design as you listed.

    But how usable are black background designs? Yes, they’re sleek and clean looking, but are they readable? Not for me. In design school that reading too much white on black creates a retinal problem — burnout. Some people find it really difficult (or impossible) to read white text on a black screen: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum116/48.htm. So you may actually be driving away users.

    Thoughts?

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  69. 71

    nice page to bookmark with amazing collection.
    but love ur new footer about picture most! :)

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  70. 72

    love the themes, thank you for the great list, cant wait to use one of them,
    please also visit my website for some free goodies, thanks guys
    wicked free photoshop tutorials

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  71. 73

    I’m all over that simplicity theme – clean design is underrated these days. Thanks for sharing.

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  72. 74

    Gracias por postearlo lo probare en mi blogg Guilletube.com

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  73. 75

    Event it a old post but still give the great wordpress theme collection. Thank you

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  74. 76

    thanks very much, i got one of ur themes which i want to use for my site

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  75. 77

    It’s funny how 3 years can make “fresh” designs look bad. Some still hold their ground but most are not very good.

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  76. 78

    nice collection thanks for sharing it.

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  77. 79

    what a list of awesome themes

    loves the ilacrimo

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  78. 80

    Nice theme I’m gonna use it on my next site. I loved the layout and design of the site. Share it to each other is my current website and I am constantly conscious of it’s design factor. Thanks.

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  79. 81

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

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  80. 82

    Thanks for the list of such great wordpress themes…

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  81. 83

    i like to see these all theme really its so beautiful.

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