Notepad Chaos: A Free WordPress Theme

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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 Freebies1.

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.

Notepad Chaos: A Free WordPress Theme2

Today we are glad to release Notepad Chaos — a free professional WordPress-theme. The theme has 2 columns, a quite vibrant design including “personal” design elements such as handwritten headings, stick-it-notes, clips and pins. The theme was designed by Evan Eckard3 especially for Smashing Magazine and its 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.

4

The theme has been updated to version 1.5. It’s now up-to-date with cleaner code and includes a lot more functionality (gravatars, dynamic sidebars, etc.). You can find the files and demo here9.

Motivation behind the design

Here are some insights about the design process and development from the designer himself.

“I had recently stumbled upon many websites with gorgeous, gigantic, illustrated backgrounds and wanted to try my hand at creating a site that shared that similar element. This theme was an experiment into layering multiple images and having everything line up and flow with the site’s content.

Notebook Chaos10
Among other things, the Notepad Chaos theme has handwritten search box and navigation at the top of the layout.

It was quite a challenge to develop the design after creating it, but in the end it helped me gain more experience in CSS and what we designers can do to try and create sites with plenty of visual depth. On the technical side of things, the theme doesn’t use any plugins or extras, and focuses simply on the design.

Sidebar11
Sidebar in the Notepad Chaos is designed as a post-it-note and clipped at the top.

The themes uses a custom field called “thumbnail” where the user can add an image to their post. The instructions are within the readme file along with how to set up the menu links.”

Thank you, Evan. We appreciate your work and your good intentions.

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 us12 — we would like to support you (both financially and with the broad coverage on Smashing Magazine).

You may be interested in the following free WordPress-themes as well:

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/category/freebies/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/notepad-wordpress-theme/chaos.jpg
  3. 3 http://www.evaneckard.com/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/notepad-wordpress-theme/chaos.jpg
  5. 5 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/notepad-wordpress-theme/chaos.jpg
  6. 6 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/notepad-wordpress-theme/wp-theme-notepad-chaos.zip
  7. 7 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/notepad-wordpress-theme/notepad-chaos-psd.zip
  8. 8 http://www.notepadchaos.com/2009/11/04/notepad-chaos-version-2-0/
  9. 9 http://www.notepadchaos.com/?p=5
  10. 10 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/notepad-wordpress-theme/chaos.jpg
  11. 11 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/notepad-wordpress-theme/chaos.jpg
  12. 12 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/contact/index.php/form
  13. 13 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/08/infinity-a-free-wordpress-theme/
  14. 14 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/07/16/wordpress-fun-a-free-wordpress-theme/
  15. 15 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/05/fervens-a-free-wordpress-theme/
  16. 16 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/12/21/dilectio-a-smashing-wordpress-theme/
  17. 17 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/09/07/smashing-freefont-and-wordpress-theme/

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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

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  1. 1
  2. 152

    The font used for this awesome theme It’s called “Jerry’s Handwriting Font”. You can find it here:
    http://www.dafont.com/jerrys-handwriting.font

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  3. 303

    Oh, sorry for my previous comment, but I have been verifying the font used in the template and incledibly “it is really hand made“. Why do I know?? Ok! check the images in the template folder and compare the “E” used in all the images that contains it, and you will see that every “E” is different. So, now you know, type the letters with your own hand, scan it and insert it in the template PSD file.

    Good Luck.

    0
  4. 454

    I saw this theme and try to see if it is a custom theme. Luckily you did put smashing icon on the footer and that is how I know where to find this theme.
    Thanks a lot!

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  5. 605

    thank for your kindness
    this theme makes me inspiration

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  6. 756

    nice one. really really like it. keep up the good work

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  7. 907

    HEy!
    Great work, Congratulations, now you theme arrive to latin America.

    0
  8. 1058

    Looking for a widget version….

    And for some reason my Archive does not work…just says “No input file specified”

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  9. 1209

    Hands down this is a very creative template. My only problem is that there is no way to add pages. Can anyone help me to find a workaround to add pages (doesn’t have to be added to the top navigation). Someone above suggest wp_list_pages() but this only display’s pages does not allow you to create further pages.

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  10. 1360

    u know what… this is the greatest theme i ever seen in my life. i love it so much!!! TQ… i’ll use it for my blog soon. i’m still building it rite now. will use it tomorrow. insya-allah :)

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  11. 1511

    My mistake. You can ad pages via the Write> Page in the CP of your WP. Also drop the wp_list_pages template code into your sidebar.php file so you can access these pages.

    Once again great template!!!

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  12. 1662

    Hi, can anyone tell me if this theme will be updated to support widgets??

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  13. 1813

    nice theme…im still newbie here..can i ask a question..
    what is PSD sources is all about?? is it the plugin for wp?

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  14. 1964

    All i can say is……..AWESOME!

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  15. 2115

    This is a fabulous theme. The only thing I can’t figure out is how to add pages to the sidebar.

    tlukem wrote: “ad pages via the Write> Page in the CP of your WP. Also drop the wp_list_pages template code into your sidebar.php file so you can access these pages.”

    Can you, or someone explain this more fully?

    I love this theme!

    0
  16. 2266

    How someone could help me, I want to edit something specific. I would like to know where publishers to remove the contour of the links and change the colors of the link.

    0
  17. 2417

    Hello there. I use this wonderful theme in my personal blog but I can’t make work pages and archives. Anyone can help me please? romeosantos612[yahoo.com] Btw congratulations for this awesome skin. Saludos from Chile!

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  18. 2568

    good colors

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  19. 2719

    Wow, what an incredible theme! Really took the cake for me here.

    A question: How do I get the posts to show the poster’s name?

    0
  20. 2870

    Very beautiful. I like it. Thanks.
    It’s simple and suitable for diary contents.

    0
  21. 3021

    good
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  22. 3172

    Truly gorgeous theme. Congratulations Evan, you’re a gifted designer!

    0
  23. 3323

    nice i will check

    0
  24. 3474

    This is a beautiful design, color scheme and concept. Thank you for releasing the .psd. It has inspired me to teach myself how to design and code themes for WP for my own websites.

    To everyone who compares this to WDW – newsflash… WHO CARES? Just because this theme has artwork coming out of the header as an illustrative design, that somehow devalues the coding, the design and color scheme itself and the art? Not at all.

    There are many ways to tell the artist’s story. This is one of them. You can’t please everyone… so if you don’t like it… don’t use it.

    Again, thank you for the time and effort in your creation of this theme.

    0
  25. 3625

    Awesome template!! Congratulations!!

    0
  26. 3776

    Just wanted to say this is an awesome looking theme. Nicely done!

    0
  27. 3927

    Gracias Evan, un saludo desde Chile
    Te pasaste, una plantilla hermosa, Felicitaciones

    Very beautiful theme. Congratulations Evan!!

    Thanks.

    0
  28. 4078

    It’s not that hard to make this theme – or any them – widget ready. You just need to modify the sidebar.php code to make it dynamic. Just do a quick search on wordpress.org and you’ll find everything that you need.

    0
  29. 4229

    Smashing… was looking for a new theme after ages and was absolutely thrilled to see this one thanks a ton!

    0
  30. 4380

    Bahut hi achha Design hai. I like very much.
    And thanks for developing this themes…

    0
  31. 4531

    I know this is an older article, but has anyone tried this in FireFox? I loaded the theme and the sidebar is all jacky on the home page. Individual posts look fine, but the home page has the sidebar info under all the front posts. (and therefor the posts are without the post style applied ) I’m going to try and look and see if I can find the problem, but this is my weak area (coding).. Any ideas out there?

    On another note, thank you Evan—> this is an awesome theme .. and inspiring.

    0
  32. 4682

    Hey- for anyone reading this.. my last post was my error. The theme looks purdy! in FireFox. I had coded a post incorrectly that thru all themes off. Disregard my FF post above.

    and thanks again Evan

    0
  33. 4833

    eye-candy layout, nice! can i use this one? i’ll still figure out how to customized though, but thanks! :)

    0
  34. 4984

    This is my all time favorite theme. I’m using it now. Thanks for such a great gift. I’ll be checking back often.

    0
  35. 5135

    Thanks for offering this awesome theme! I’ve modified it for my needs and design for my website: http://www.beeclectic.net.

    This theme has inspired me to work on designing my own themes from scratch in WordPress.

    BIG thanks!

    0
  36. 5286

    fantastica!

    0
  37. 5437

    hi,
    anybody can help me?
    try to use it, but
    “notepad-chaos/header.php on line 2″
    this line contain <html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml” >
    Thanks, Kir

    0
  38. 5588

    and php with language_attributes()

    0
  39. 5739

    i love this theme, so beautiful….great work!!

    0
  40. 5890

    thanks yo……….

    0
  41. 6041

    hmm, i’m sorry, but it doesn’t work for me …
    after i did install the theme, idid get this alert:
    “Fatal error: Call to undefined function language_attributes() in …/wordpress/wp-content/themes/notepad-chaos/header.php on line 2″
    Does anyone know, what’s to change? i do use WP 2.0
    Cheers,
    zulaut

    0
  42. 6192

    the same problem.( can’t understand.

    0
  43. 6343

    @ Kir :
    change line 2 within the „header.php“ it with:
    //html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="de" xml:lang="de"//
    ( // means ) and choose your language-attribute like „en“

    But – if this problem is gone afterwords … possibly the real problem should not!
    for me the theme will not work, just a disfunctionally „picture“ will appear … without any links, stuff etc. i think, i have to upgrade my WP first ;-(

    0
  44. 6494

    Hey, i’m a 15-year-old free-time designer from Germany… :)
    Am I allowed to use parts of the .psd file for my personal, non-wordpress blob & portfolio?

    0
  45. 6645

    ps: i did it! Upgrade to WP 2.3.6! Now it works fine! ;-)

    0
  46. 6796

    ähm: i meant upgrade to WP 2.6.3! ;-)

    and THANKS a lot for this exciting work!

    0
  47. 6947

    Such a beautiful theme !!!!

    I like it ! I want it ! I download it ! I got it !

    0
  48. 7098

    A very beautiful notepad theme! I absolutely love the colors and the pattern.

    0
  49. 7249

    It’s a great job ! I use it to an adaptation for Dotclear (www.dotclear.net) … [pub] Dotclear possesses a rich functionality that makes it a high quality publishing tool, equaling and even outperforming other similar tools in some aspects. Beyond the core functionality, Dotclear is designed to provide the user with the most comfortable experience. [/pub] Thanks a lot for this theme !

    0
  50. 7400

    The menu-holder where the home, about ,achive buttons don’t work properly it just links back to home page!
    How can I change this?

    Good theme

    0

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