Free Minimal, Swiss Design WordPress Themes (4 Themes)

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In this post we release yet another freebie: an original set of four exclusive minimal, clean WordPress themes designed by Marios Lublinski1 and released for web design community. As usual, the themes are free to use for private as well as commerical projects. The themes are beautifully built with minimal and clean designs. These themes will come handy for artists, graphic designers, illustrators and photographers who’d like to have a clean, minimal portfolio to showcase their work.

The themes are simple but powerful, with a touch of traditional Swiss design and layout techniques. The unique style and design is what separates these themes from others. You will also be able to withhold the focus on your work, since you are the artist and should be in control of what the observer sees when visiting your site. Each one comes with a full video overview and support of how to use and manage it.

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Features

A nice extra feature for this release is a detailed video overview for each theme. The video will walk you through thoroughly on how to install the theme and customize it:

  • Valid XHTML+CSS
  • WordPress 3+ Compatible
  • Support and Updates
  • Embraces Social Media
  • Firefox, IE7+8, Safari compatible

Download the Themes for Free

All themes are released under GPLv2 General Public License. You can use them for all your projects for free and without any restrictions. Please link to this article if you want to spread the word. You may modify the themes as you wish.

Minimal Theme

Screenshot3

Studio Theme

Screenshot9

Style Theme

Screenshot15

Swiss Theme

Screenshot21

Behind the Design

As always, here are some insights from the designer:

“As you know there are thousands of free and premium themes out there for you to use. So why design another WordPress theme? Unless you design something unique and remarkable. Since everybody is focus on the Framework, Post Formats, Parent/Child, Genesis. I decided to focus on you, the artist, since I will spend exactly 3.2 seconds on your new website, I want to see something unique, modern and innovative. I want to see your work, I want to focus only on your work, NOT on the theme itself. I know there are thousands of beautiful themes out there, but once you put your work inside those themes, your work will have disappeared and the theme will stand out than the rest. This is not what I wanted to create — I want your work to be the main focus, and the theme just to be a support.”

Thank you, Marios. We appreciate your work and your good intentions!

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.dessign.net
  2. 2 http://www.dessign.net/free-themes
  3. 3 http://www.dessign.net/minimaldessign/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/4-free-wordpress-themes/full_minimaltheme.jpg
  5. 5 http://www.dessign.net/minimaldessign/
  6. 6 http://vimeo.com/19055542
  7. 7 http://www.dessign.net/zipthemes/MinimalDessign.zip
  8. 8 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/MinimalDessign-Theme.zip
  9. 9 http://www.dessign.net/studiodessign/
  10. 10 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/4-free-wordpress-themes/full_studiotheme.jpg
  11. 11 http://www.dessign.net/studiodessign/
  12. 12 http://vimeo.com/19055825
  13. 13 http://www.dessign.net/zipthemes/StudioDessign.zip
  14. 14 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/StudioDessign-Theme.zip
  15. 15 http://www.dessign.net/styledessign/
  16. 16 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/4-free-wordpress-themes/full_styletheme.jpg
  17. 17 http://www.dessign.net/styledessign/
  18. 18 http://vimeo.com/19055167
  19. 19 http://www.dessign.net/zipthemes/StyleDessign.zip
  20. 20 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/StyleDessign-Theme.zip
  21. 21 http://www.dessign.net/swissdessign/
  22. 22 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/4-free-wordpress-themes/full_swisstheme.jpg
  23. 23 http://www.dessign.net/swissdessign/
  24. 24 http://vimeo.com/19055353
  25. 25 http://www.dessign.net/zipthemes/SwissDessign.zip
  26. 26 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/SwissDessign-Theme.zip

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  1. 1

    Gorgeous and thoughtful. I love it.

    0
  2. 52

    These themes are nice and clean. Thank you.

    0
  3. 103

    nice themes tanks a lot

    0
  4. 154

    wordpress content dosent work on these themes. its appear only static content. why.

    1
  5. 205

    UPDATE 1.5v available.
    Thank you everyone for comments and suggestions, One of the feature that everyone ask for is to fix the images being squish, or not showing up proportional. I listen to you and fix the problem to all the themes, using “Post Thumbnail Images” now you have no issues with images being disproportional.

    Also I updated all the videos to show you how to use “Post Thumbnail Images”

    Please update to v1.5 and watch the video to show you the overview.

    Thank you

    1
    • 256

      Thank you Marios for the updates!

      0
    • 307

      Do you have a link to that video?
      Because the Style Dessign video is the same as the old one. I watched it again and couldn’t find anything about the update.

      0
      • 358

        Cathrine, its updated watch it at 2:10sec It talks about “Featured Image” I re-did all the videos and uploaded them, enjoy

        0
  6. 511

    Nice and clean !

    0
  7. 562

    http://joomla-labs.com – StudioDessign converted to Joomla template.
    Thanks again Marios and Smashing!

    1
    • 613

      Hey Erwin, great job I like it, some cool featured you incorporated. I never used Joomla before, I will give it a try and see the CMS structure,

      0
  8. 664

    Loveeee these!

    0
  9. 715

    not being awkward or anything, but these really don’t translate well to the web…

    0
  10. 766

    This is the kind of post I’ve been waiting for. Thanks.

    0
  11. 817

    Marios: I greatly appreciate the effort you have put into these and your focus on the work rather than trendy visual cliches.

    But after looking through the live demos, I think perhaps, in your next effort, you might want to explore some ways to keep the clean look but enable users to be able to show several images for a project on an individual page, rather than simply repeating the home page “section” thumbs on every page. Typically these days that’s done through some type of content slider on a post page, where you can see a variety of related images of one project.

    By the time someone gets to a single page on a project, I think it’s better that all the images on that page relate to the project, and the “navigation” thumbs drop out, so you don’t have so many different visuals going on.

    For example, in swiss design, when you click on a Portfolio section, again, you see a single image on the right and a repeat of all the section thumbnails in the middle left column. How would your design handle a display of multiple items for a category or archive page?

    As one commenter noted, there are so MANY images just on the home page, that get repeated on a post page, that it actually starts to detract from the work. On the home page, it is hard to see what is an “iconic” image (a representation of a category) vs an image of new work. There could be a better visual hierarchy, rather than two different thumbnail sizes that are so close in size it’s hard to determine what function they serve or to distinguish what is being focused on. And this is likely a personal taste issue, but I find myself distracted by the dot patterns–I think they need to recede more in terms of value so they become a background.

    Again, I do appreciate the work and the idea of less being more. But in a way, you may have not pushed that idea enough. If I am perusing someone’s work in logo design, for example, I want to see lots of images of the logos on a page, and not a repeat of navigation thumbnails. I want to be able to see details of the logo design, perhaps some sketches or early concepts.

    I do not want to be seen as being critical but as furthering a good discussion of what makes a minimalist portfolio theme really shine.

    2
    • 868

      Hello Chris,
      Thank you for the comment, I do appreciate someone taking the time and writing useful comment. It give me inside information what my users want and need. Your suggestion is great and I will take it to consideration when designing and developing new themes,

      3
    • 919

      Chris

      I’ve customised the Swiss Design theme for a friend to display his wares (http://duncanmunge.co.uk). We’ve changed the middle column to display excerpts instead of images, which I think allows the right column to breathe a little more. I’ve also added in video and galleries (where applicable) for each project. In that way, the relevant content for each project is displayed, and the middle column – as it’s just text – doesn’t overwhelm anything else IMHO.

      In defence of the original theme, I think it’s nice to see a portfolio design that *doesn’t* use an image slider for a change :)

      Also, if you want the dots to recede, you could set up a custom background for the home page using the black dot pattern, and perhaps fade these to a grey dot pattern for interior pages. Just a thought.

      Cheers
      Matt

      0
      • 970

        Matt you did awesome job customizing the theme, as to the background its always a personal choice, if someones doesn’t like dots then just fill with color.

        0
  12. 1021

    These are great. They make me feel like I’m at IKEA.

    0
  13. 1072

    All the peoples in China can’t see the VIDEO on the site of VIMEO.
    Can provide some documents in TXT? We don’t know how to setup…

    0
    • 1123

      Hello White Yang,

      I am very sorry for all those you are unable to view the videos, I will include quick pdf documentation inside the zip file on how to setup all the WordPress themes.

      Thank you for letting me know,

      0
  14. 1174

    Very nice themes. Simple, clean design. I hack WordPress themes all of the time and yours, quite simply, is pretty much picture perfect. Thanks!

    0
  15. 1225

    Awesome themes! Thank you very much!

    0
  16. 1276

    Thanks these themes are great. I have used the style dessign one. I’m having trouble changing the logo? Are you supposed to use an ftp client to upload new logo image? I tried this but did not work.

    Thanks

    0
  17. 1429

    The layouts are pimp. Great way to showcase artwork

    0
  18. 1480

    I love these designs. Clean and professional. I wouldn’t recommend them for a blog, but for a website they are perfect.

    0
  19. 1531

    Hi Marios,

    Thank you so much for these themes! I am quite new to wordpress and can’t figure out how to get your theme onto wordpress after I have downloaded it. Can someone please help me? :(

    thank you! :)

    1
    • 1582

      Hey! Don’t know if you’re still looking for help, but once you have a domain name and web host (this theme only works on WordPress.org, not WordPress.com), you go to your dashboard, to appearance, then themes, then install themes. At the top by “search” there should be an “upload” as well. Upload the .zip format from the article and you should be good to go. One last tip – if you change to logo, I’d recommend unzipping the file, changing it, and then zipping the file back up before uploading the theme to WordPress. I was in your spot a couple weeks ago. So I hope this helps!

      1
  20. 1633

    These are sooo great! I’m in the process of setting up the Neue Grafiks theme and it’s really working out well. Very easy to use and so clean and modern.

    Thanks for being so attentive and helpful Marios!

    0
  21. 1684

    just what I am looking for… gallery and a blog rolled into one without doing any much effort because its all there.. I am no techy programmer so I could not do that myself.. these themes really are… seo I think is not an issue anymore for a theme for there are a lot of plugins that could help you do that.. unless they are not compatible with these theme.. we will see. thanks again.. woot woot

    0
  22. 1735

    Mr WordPres$uccess

    June 22, 2011 10:58 am

    The link for the Swiss theme’s video overview is the same as for the Studio theme’s video overview. For Swiss, it should be http://vimeo.com/19055353

    0
  23. 1837

    Great themes. But when I activate them, none of the content loads.

    I have other themes available that I can activate. When I do, all posts, pages, categories and widgets show up. But if I activate any of the Dessign themes, all content disappears. All I get is the shell of the theme.

    Nobody else seems to be having this problem so I suspect it’s something on my end but can’t figure out what it is. I’ve disabled all widgets and plugins, and still no content.

    0
  24. 1888

    Good,thanks for share.Thank you.

    0
  25. 1939

    very good !
    i like the Swiss Theme,but seems lack of plugins,which one?Pagenavi?any others?
    have a test in localhost,why have nothing under “Portfolio“?
    can you help me? thanks a lot !

    0
  26. 1990

    I downloaded the theme,it does not work,beyond the logo,all the places can not be displayed.

    0
  27. 2041

    I use Lubinki’s theme on my website, got very good comments from people and my portfolio is easy to visit. I was even able to personalize it a bit , I love his work! Great Work Mario!

    0
  28. 2092

    hi im new to wordpress, great theme thanks, but when i set it up, theres no featured image insert in the post or page setup please help

    0
  29. 2143

    peach - sooperthemes

    January 28, 2011 1:16 am

    Come on you can fix the SEO on a low-content design but its far more difficult to make an ugly design look good.

    I would recommend adding roll-over captions on the images with titles and descriptions. Something like this:

    http://blog.cooljaz124.com/labs/css3/slick-css3-animated-image-caption/

    This one actually works with CSS3 and without javascript but you might want to use jQuery intead for now.

    10
  30. 2194

    Why should you design for Google. Always put the user first. If you need to impress your visitor with imagery, you really shouldnt care if it doesn’t fit your SEO plan.

    I love the way these themes look, really nice and designy feel…
    Thanks a bunch. Any chance you’ll release the .HTML files without WordPress? Working with MODx.

    11
  31. 2245

    The web may be “a platform primarily for communicating information, and secondarily for selling stuff.” But my website doesn’t have to be, it CAN be a place for artistic expression.

    3
  32. 2296

    Getting your sites to appear in search engines is only the primary concern of sites that make all their money selling directly, or selling ad space. People do hideous things to websites in order to make them into little ATM machines that dispense cash. The type of site that would use these beautiful layouts would not be concerned with mass sales or ad revenue — people who go to Google to find a designer are generally looking for something cheap and packaged, and that market is mighty saturated already.

    It’s just extremely short-sighted to assume everyone shares your same goals with website design and presentation. A talented designer with a good portfolio doesn’t need to design for Google, they can get more work than they can personally handle just being good and getting referrals from satisfied clients.

    7
  33. 2347

    @peach – sooperthemes Thanks for mentioning my css3 experiment :)

    0
  34. 2398

    I agree that SEO is important, but you should never sacrifice presentation for SEO. External SEO work can make up for “said” poor SEO work on the site itself.

    0

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