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Impressive Tumblr Customizations


We all know how popular WordPress is. Hundreds of blogs that we visit daily use WordPress to publish their content. Over the past year, there have been a few different services that have popped up that allows you to post content online a lot faster than WordPress would. Two of the most popular ones are Tumblr1 and Posterous2.

While posting content through these services is incredibly easy, the hard part is choosing which one to use. They both have their pros and cons. I actually asked around Twitter for people’s opinion on which they liked best: Tumblr or Posterous?

Tumblr or Posterous? Link

Here are some of the responses:

  1. track023: Both are great – Tumblr for Pics/Art – Posterous as a Blog. But – i am Pro-Tumblr.
  2. dirka:4 Hands down Posterous.
  3. zulsdesign5: Tumblr6
  4. InspiringPixel7: Posterous can be used to post on Tumblr, but not vice versa. Speaks for itself. Both have diffeent uses.
  5. Phillysoul118: I haven’t done much with Posterous but I really like Tumblr.

Out of the people that responded, over 70% mentioned that they liked Tumblr better. Personally, I haven’t really used Tumblr but I have used Posterous before. One of the main reasons why people like Tumblr so much is because of the ease of theme customization. I actually asked David Perel from Obox9 (Premium Themes) about which service had a templating format that was easier to customize and here is his answer:

"Tumblr is quicker, Posterous is a bit of a mission."

So when I got his response, I decided to do some surfing and research to find the most creative and beautiful Tumblr designs. Here are thirty impressive tumblog designs that you can draw inspiration from. So if you are thinking that you can’t be very creative with Tumblr, just check out the following designs.

Doug Neiner10

Doug’s tumblog is beautifully done. The details are really what sets it apart. I like how he has that sidebar on the left side with his image, company information, along with the social media icons. What I really love about his design is if you look through the different posts, each type of post is cleverly designed a different way. If you don’t know what I mean, you definitely need to go and view his tumblog.

Doug Neiner11

Art in My Coffee12

This tumblog was designed by the popular Meagan Fisher13. This has a format that is a little different from most tumblogs. It’s actually a gallery of foam art in coffee. I love the subtle texture on the background. Also, the color scheme blends well and is very pleasing to the eye. This is definitely another site that you need to visit.

Art in My Coffee14

Mark Jardine15

Mark Jardine’s tumblog features a really clean and high-tech design. I absolutely adore that carbon fiber texture! Also, the icons that he uses for each post are very nice and I like the fact that the site is left-aligned.

Mark Jardine16

Gary’s Real Life17

This is a very simple tumblog that lets the illustrations stand out. The illustrated header adds a really nice touch to this tumblog.

Gary's Real Life18


MetaLabs designs definitely stand out due to the pixel perfect lines that is all over the design. The site uses lots of 1px highlights and shadows that is sure to make any design pop. The crew over at MetaLab has also designed Fluid20, which is one of the most popular free Tumblr themes.



Gondaba has a very simple layout and design but what makes this tumblog stand out is the fact that for each post, they use a different color. The tumblog also incorporates a color switcher where you can switch the colors of the site to a variety of different colors.


Danny Garcia24

This tumblog is very minimal and it looks very sophisticated. Danny Garcia manages to pull of the white text over black quite well. You also need to check out his regular Blog (Expression Engine)25 as well.

Danny Garcia26


Vintage is the word that I would use to describe this tumblog. I really love the watercolor-stained paper that is used in the design.


Name That Film29

This tumblog is a tumblog featuring one main image and a clue about that particular image. What you have to do is name the movie based on the clue. I think the design gets the job done because it doesn’t distract you from the image. The popcorn adds a nice touch to it as well and gives you that "movie" feel to it.

Name That Film30

Eat Sleep Draw31

This tumblog incorporates a very unique header as well as a nice and light colored lined paper in the background. The footer looks very nice as well and the use of the pencil as the background for pagination is a great idea.

Eat Sleep Draw32

Karen Abad33

This tumblog is very unique. The background illustration of the mountains is great, but what set this apart is the static footer at the bottom. If you look, the bottom area with the grass and the cat stays put when you scroll down.

Karen Abad34

Jeff Finley35

Jeff Finley’s tumblog is very minimal but it is definitely attractive. The contrast between the dark background and the light foreground really adds a lot to the design. I also like the use of the slab-serif on the logo.

Jeff Finley36

Extra Firm Hold37

This blog is another blog that is simple but just adds a nice and catchy header. For some reason, I feel like eating Chips Ahoy every time I see this design. :)

Extra Firm Hold38

Domo Nom Nom39

This is an excellent idea for a tumblog. The design is very fun and everytime you switch the page, the items that Domo Nom Nom is shoving in his mouth changes. Check it out to see what I mean.


Moose Garden41

A tumblog design full of textured goodness. The brown / yellow / gray combination works really well together. The dotted yellow lines are also a nice touch to this impressive eye-candy.

Moose Garden42


This design features a nice hand-drawn header and sidebar. The design is very simple but effective in my opinion.


It’s the Interweb45

This design is a collection of music and videos from the internet. Another simple design but the design fits perfectly because of what it’s used for.

It's the Interweb46

Paul Giacherio47

This is a very beautiful and dark tumblog. It also features a nice flexible grid as well. Definitely one that you must view.

Paul Giacherio48


Not much design on this tumblog but what I really like about it is the white logo sticking to the content area. I also like the brown background texture.



This is another dark website but just like the MetaLabs design, it really uses the 1px lines very well. I also like the accentuated use of green on the post type.


Matthew Buchanan53

This tumblog is very clean, and it really makes for some easy reading due to it’s minimalistic approach. The solid post-type icons are well done. The speech bubble on the header is also a nice touch to this design.

Matthew Buchanan54

Allison Weiss55

Great use of the hand-drawn style in the logo as well as with the menu items. This site’s design really fits this music artist well.

Allison Weiss56


The big, black, bold letters instantly capture your attention when looking at this design. To me, this design evokes the feeling of reading an old and vintage book.



This is another very nicely designed site that has the minimalistic feel to it. The use of pink is a nice touch as it really goes well with the light blue background.



This left-aligned tumblog has some great and beautiful details to it. If you click through, you will notice that the headlines have a nice yellow text-shadow effect all done with CSS3.


52 Weeks of UX63

I was actually already finished with the post when I saw this tumblog. The typography is excellent as well as the simple illustrations that are used in this site. But that’s not all, the best thing about this site is its excellent content. It’s definitely one that you need to visit and add to your favorites.

52 Weeks of UX64


A very minimalistic tumblog created by Kevin Holesh. The design is simple and really let’s the content be the primary focus. Also, if you like this Tumblr theme, Kevin has already made it available for your own tumblog. You can view the theme details here66.

Tracing by Kevin Holesh67

Heather Rivers68

This is the only tumblog that I’ve seen thus far that breaks the convention of center or left alignment and opts for a right-aligned layout. While I’m not a big fan of right-side layouts, this one seems to work for some reason.

Heather Rivers69

Roll Call70

This tumblog has a basic design. What’s cool about it is you can press your left or right arrows to navigate the site. It’s actually a unique way to view and discover different Tumblr users.

Roll Call71


Lastly, this tumblog is probably the most minimal that I’ve seen so far. The design is simple, and it makes for some easy reading. This is a theme that I would install on my tumblog (if I had one) and if it was available for download.

Correction: I made a mistake. This is actually a theme but either way, it’s still a beautiful site.


Beautiful Tumblr Themes Link

Here are a couple of good posts from AppStorm about Tumblr themes that you can use for your own tumblog. Enjoy!

So which one of these Tumblr customizations did you like and why? Are there any other impressive Tumblr site designs that I left out? Please share them with us. Leave your answers in the comments below. You must also follow Design Informer on Twitter76.

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Former editor in chief of Designinformer.

  1. 1

    Great list! I’m a big Tumblr fan and this gave me some nice ideas for my daily design project ;) Will there be a posterous article to follow? Great post, yet again. Keep it up.
    .-= Ogvidius´s latest Blog Entry – #10 – “Star Breather” – Space is awesome and… =-.

    • 2

      Thanks Ogvidius. Glad this post was an inspiration. By the way, you are doing an awesome job on your Daily 365 designs. I really liked that infographic that you made. Keep up the great work. ;)

  2. 3

    Thanks for putting this together, and I am really excited to be on the list! I love how there are so many different takes on utilizing Tumblr’s features. I really like “Gary’s Real Life” and Mark Jardine’s site a lot. Of course I love Meagan Fisher’s design as well… everything she puts out is first class.
    .-= Doug Neiner´s latest Blog Entry – Psystar is not Robin Hood =-.

  3. 5

    very nice article and seen some great designs , i dont know many thing about the tumblr . thanks for sharing ;)
    .-= sriganesh´s latest Blog Entry – Freebie | Vector Fish Tank =-.

  4. 7

    some gr8 designs

    .-= Ahmed´s latest Blog Entry – Matapat WordPress Theme =-.

  5. 9

    Great post man! I use Tumblr a lot with a few of my websites, so this was a pretty cool guide. Dugg!
    .-= Inside the Webb´s latest Blog Entry – New Digg-Themed Social News and Media Website Thuhm =-.

    • 10

      That’s cool, I know a lot of designers who are starting to use Tumblr simply because of it’s easy to use publishing system. The only gripe I have with them is they need a good comment system.

  6. 11

    Nice list, 52 Weeks of UX is has not only fantastic design but promising content as well.
    .-= Janko´s latest Blog Entry – Homo Universalis =-.

  7. 13

    Never tried both :D maybe i should with the daily 356 :D nice list and tips! thanks
    .-= designi1´s latest Blog Entry – Design for the smile – what the feelings can tell more about your design? =-.

    • 14

      Yes, actually most people are either using Tumblr or Posterous for their daily designs. I’m using Posterous simply because it has a better commenting system in place, but if it wasn’t for that, I’d be using Tumblr.

  8. 15

    My personal favorite is “Vertetbleu” which looks superb.

    Thanks for the great Post.

  9. 19

    I love tumblr. Really easy to use if you just want to have a blog to keep track of your thoughts/inspiration etc.

    I had a university assignment, and apart of it was to promote our online presence. A lot of my fellow students used tumblr to blog and network etc. I’ve found it to be a great platform for blogging, and the standard themes are very pleasing to the eye also.

    • 20

      I agree, Tumblr already has some nice themes that anybody can install, and these designers went even further and created their own Tumblr themes. :)

      I love the fact that Tumblr is so customizable.

  10. 21

    Really interesting post, some of those mentioned sample sites are really amazing… Appreciate your efforts in putting these together in such a fantastic manner. Bookmarked!


    • 22

      Thanks Deepu. It was actually a very long and laborious process. I have not seen a post yet similar to it, maybe I might have missed it, but it took me a long time to find all these designs. :)

      I’m glad you liked it. That makes it worth my time.

  11. 23

    I haven’t tried out Tumblr yet but am curious as to why you say it’s faster than WordPress? That part def. has me intrigued!

    The customization of these looks fantastic. Thanks for putting together this list, I imagine it took a good bit of time to do it.
    .-= Michael´s latest Blog Entry – ProjectCenter Does Testimonial For Aidan Taylor =-.

  12. 25

    I definitely believe Tumblr is the way to go vs. Posterous. That being based on what I’ve heard from friends on numerous accounts. I personally haven’t used either.

    Some amazing customizations here, thanks for sharing Jad!
    .-= Bluefaqs´s latest Blog Entry – 10 Details You Shouldn’t Neglect On Your Website =-.

    • 26

      You’re welcome Shawn. I also heard a lot about Tumblr over Posterous but I think in the end, it’s just a matter of one’s opinion. They are both great services.

  13. 27

    this is definitely the benefit of knowing coding…you can still create a fantastic design even on a free site..I’ve seen some interesting blogspot designs too..
    .-= Melody´s latest Blog Entry – TGISF!:Link Love for Jan 4-8th =-.

    • 28

      Yes, that’s why we should all strive to be better at coding. If you know your XHTML/CSS, then coding your own design into a Tumblr theme shouldn’t be too hard. Oh, and I have seen some nice BlogSpot designs as well, but they aren’t as customized as the Tumblr themes. :)

  14. 29

    Very impressive, Tumblr themes selections are not so common and this one will be hard to challenge!
    .-= Chob´s latest Blog Entry – Comparatif des services de bookmark et de partage : AddThis, AddToAny et ShareThis =-.

    • 30

      Yep! That was the hard part for me since they weren’t so common. There are a lot of them though, and I think that this year, we will definitely see some more amazing Tumblr designs. Thanks Chob!

  15. 31

    If y’all like my multi-colored tumblr theme, you can use it on your tumblr account by going to:
    .-= gondaba´s latest Blog Entry – If you ever get mauled by bears, I hope they stay away from your… =-.

  16. 33

    great list.
    i love my custom tumblr theme (, made for me by my good friend

  17. 35

    Great list, thanks for including me with such good company. Personally, I prefer Tumblr’s approach to customization but Posterous is downright easy.
    .-= paulgiacherio´s latest Blog Entry – Does anyone have a good alternative for the term "Lifestream"?… =-.

    • 36

      Really? I’ve never personally coded either one so I’m not too sure. But like you said, most people do prefer Tumblr’s approach to it.

      By the way, I just had to feature your tumblog. I really like your fluid-grid design. :)

      Oh, and your portfolio site looks really nice as well.

  18. 37

    A couple days ago, my friend ask me “do you know about tumblr?” I said “Yes, but I don’t know much about tumblr”. This is interesting, make me wanna know more about tumblr. Thanks for this beautiful list Jad!
    .-= andrewbenardski´s latest Blog Entry – 49 Fresh Websites For Website Design Inspiration =-.

  19. 39

    If your main purpose is spitting out inane trains of thought, both of those are great.

    I’m a fan of WordPress because of how open-source it is, because I can do whatever I want with it. Tumblr and Posterous are limited in a coder’s mind, sorry: neither wins over WP.

    • 40

      Tayana, thanks for your comment.

      I’m also a huge fan of WordPress. This blog runs on WordPress. But I think Tumblr is just fine for a small blog, not just for inane thoughts. I’ve seen plenty of great tumblogs with great content.

      You are right though, open-source is still the best way to go in my opinion. And that’s true, neither wins over WordPress but I think they are in a category of their own. :D

  20. 41

    Thanks for including Domo nom nom in this list :)
    .-= Miguel Ambrosio´s latest Blog Entry – Mail of the day. Design Informer featured my other tumblelog,… =-.

    • 42

      No problem! I just saw your other tumblogs as well and I should have featured them as well. They all look great. Keep up the great work! You have practically mastered the tumblog templating system. :D

  21. 43

    Nice list! I have not tried Tumblr yet, but I think should give it a shot. :)

  22. 45

    Tumblr seems like a nice stable platform for people who do not want a full-scale website. It is easy to use. Some of the templates featured are quite visually stunning. Great stuff!
    .-= Josh´s latest Blog Entry – Designing an Idea – How to Beautify your Inspiration =-.

    • 46

      Thanks for the comment Josh. That’s exactly what Tumblr is great for. Definitely a good blogging system for those who aren’t really web designers.

  23. 47

    What a great list! Thank you

  24. 49

    Beautiful themes! ispired me to start using my tumblr again

  25. 51

    Great list.. havent tried tumbler yet.. but will give it a try soon

  26. 53

    Nice list. I usually recommend tumblr to people who want to start a new blog. Simple set up, easy to customize, no headaches. I wish I had time to play with it more.

  27. 54

    I will start recommending Tumblr as well. Also, you work for Media Temple? That must be great. :D

  28. 55

    My only concern is who owns the content? say I turned out a hugely successful site on tumblr – can i take my site content onto my own server?

  29. 57

    Where is the blog, ???

  30. 59

    These examples show Tumblr at its best – simple and intuitive. It’s also easy for non-web and design colleagues to use. Do you have some good examples of Posterous?
    .-= min´s latest Blog Entry – Story of a website =-.

  31. 61

    I love tumblr. Haven’t tried Posterous, and looks like I wont.

    Want to theme my tumblr site. But works always holding me off :-( Those are great themes.
    .-= Kuswanto´s latest Blog Entry – Free Vector Character – RSS Orb Girl =-.

  32. 63

    Didn’t expect Tumblr designs would be so good.
    Thanks for the inspiration, it’s good to see designs from the different angle ;)
    .-= Iniwoo´s latest Blog Entry – Inspiration: Clever Logo Ideas, Implemented by Josiah Jost =-.

  33. 65

    Big fan of tumblr – once I worked out what I was going to use it for. I’m still playing around with my theme / layout.

    This post is great, always need more blogs to follow – here’s mine if anyone wants to see / follow.

  34. 67

    Amazing collection, thanks for sharing :)

    Here’s mine blog:

  35. 69

    Great post! I have been back and forth with the whole Tumblr vs. Posterous for weeks now. Still am as a matter of fact. Haha.

    Tumblr cons (to me) are: No export, comments, limited file types (i.e. MP3 only) and I can’t go to the directory without seeing “F**k Yeah Something.” Not that it’s terrible, but I hate recommending it to clients that may find it offensive.

    Posterous cons (to me) are: 1GB limit (they say it’s for spam, has anyone here went over that to get the cap lifted?) and the fact that its commercial use plans aren’t clearly stated. Would hate to get in a bind down the road if I set someone up using it.

    I wish WordPress’s admin area was like either Posterous or Tumblr’s.

    I think “what if” to much. Guess that’s why I can’t decide too.

    • 70

      Hello Andy, thanks for sharing the cons. You’re completely spot-on with those thoughts.

      About WordPress, I do agree that they should make posting easier, but I think that’s the beauty of WordPress. There’s so much you can do to it and you have so much control over the admin area with hacks, etc.

  36. 71

    Tumblr FTW!
    Posterous is good, but i like Tumblr’s navigation better!
    .-= Webtoolfeed´s latest Blog Entry – 42 Striking Examples Of Snowboard Designs =-.

  37. 73

    What do you think of mine?

    It’s a custom modification of the ‘Helvetica’ theme I have available in the Tumblr Theme Garden.

  38. 74

    …. why choose I joined them both…. I don’t really have a “real” blog…. yet, but most of my posts start at SU…. then they go out from there !!
    .-= Hermitbiker´s Latest Entry – =-.

  39. 75

    This is a blog idea that I created with my girlfriend, we’re trying to establish a design company that produces websites for clients as well as web design tutorials and other useful tips. We’d love it if you took the time to take a look!

  40. 76

    how do I install these themes? I’m really interested in the Karen Abad theme :)

  41. 77

    After study few of the blogposts on your site since yesterday, and I truly like your style of blogging. I tag it to my favorites site list and will be checking back soon.

  42. 78

    Would still prefer tumblr. easy customization and good community

  43. 79

    Nice post Gary. Coming from the Affiliate Program Manager side this was really helpful information to review. Some good tips and ideas on managing an effective Affiliate Program. Will definitely keep this ideas top of mind managing the Affiliate Program.


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