If you have been following Smashing Magazine for a while you know that we love high-quality freebies. Over the last years we’ve featured a number of designers and developers who released their work for free — among other things we presented high-quality free fonts, free WordPress themes, free wallpapers and, of course, free icons. You can find many of them in our section Freebies.
Every release helps to make the Web a nicer place which is why we support designers and challenge them to release something for free in order to be featured on Smashing Magazine. And the results are quite often pretty impressive.
Today we are glad to release a wordpress.fun — a free professional WordPress-theme. The theme has 2 columns, thumbnails integration, a “featured” post section as well as a nice grungy design. The theme was designed by Maleika Attawel from Germany, purchased by Smashing Magazine and is now released as a gift for our readers.
Download the theme for free!
You can use the theme for all your projects for free and without any restrictions. However, it’s forbidden to sell or redistribute the theme without both designer’s and Smashing Magazine’s permission — please link to this article if you would like to spread the word. You may modify the theme as you wish, but if you are planning to release your modification, please ask our permission first.
The main illustration (Teen Blogger (Punk Boy)) was created by ChinHang Chung and purchased by Smashing Magazine from iStockPhoto with the extended license “Electronic Items for Resale (unlimited run)”. Therefore the illustration is redistrubited legally.
- Preview (0.56 Mb)
- Download the theme (.zip-package, 2.2 Mb)
- Download PSD and EPS (.zip-package, 5.1 Mb)
Motivation behind the design: the idea
What do you generally do when you want to create a WordPress theme without having an actual client? The initial reaction would be; you despair. All the things we have learned as good web designers such as evaluating a client’s specific needs, doing proper field research, wireframing, finding the proper grid concept for content placement, selecting a colour scheme and visual elements to support content, choosing good type, tailored to … oh wait … this is just a theme.
A theme, by definition, is a subject of discourse. In the case of a WordPress theme, it can be anything. And in the delicate case of my humble theme, the subject is fun. Plain and simple. The idea was to create a theme that is fun and usable, heavy and light, eye-catching and robust, specific and yet generic enough to be used in a variety of ways. The theme is not designed to replace true and proper web design, ergo it is not tailored to suit a specifc niche, nor complement distinctive content. However, depending on your explicit or non-explicit purposes, the design might find a good home.
Like all creative processes, it started with an idea. While I am a great fan of minimalistic designs, I also admire complex and graphically intense web compositions. The only prerequisite was that it doesn’t take ages to load and that the total size of the graphics doesn’t add up to an enormous sum that would only enable those with mighty speedy internet connections to work. That was the only aspect I had to keep in mind to get started.
The design process
I had decided on going with a simple two column layout. No fancy modular or column grid, but a simple hierarchical grid like the majority of blogs use. As a page’s length is variable, it was clear that only the content that is extra but not mandantory could reside at the bottom of the page. So all navigational aids (such as categories or friends’ links) as well as a “most discussed” feature would take their position at the very end of the page.
Because I wanted to keep it as elementary as possible and void content clutter, it was clear to me to do away with too many features that would blur instead of sharpen the reader’s perception when visiting the site. Hence, I kept it rather simple and thus set aside the left column for featured content and the right column to display the newest blog entries.
The theme is built with WordPress 2.5.1 and is only partially backwards compatible. The theme also works with WordPress 2.6. As this theme uses a few .png files, it is recommended that you make sure that the image paths to these are correct (for IE6). You find the two CSS rules in the ie.css file inside your theme folder. The theme can be used with or without widgets (below the fold).
Last but not least…
We are regularly looking for creative designers and artists. You may not know it yet, but we might feature you in one of our upcoming posts.
If you would like to release a high-quality free font, a WordPress-theme, some wallpapers or an icon-set please contact us — we would like to support you (both financially and with the broad coverage on Smashing Magazine).