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 Lublinski 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.

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

Screenshot

Studio Theme

Screenshot

Style Theme

Screenshot

Swiss Theme

Screenshot

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!

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

  1. 1

    Sexy, i love it! good job! follow me on twitter and I will put this to good use!!! @b18269

    -108
  2. 2

    Doesn’t have holes, it isn’t made form chocolate and it is free: It cannot be Swiss!
    Thanks anyway :-)

    25
  3. 3

    I don’t think they work from SEO standpoint.

    -13
    • 4

      Why do you say that? Can you explain please.

      -2
    • 5

      I think the same !

      -7
    • 6

      Just because the home page doesnt have content on it, doesnt make it not SEO friendly. I glanced at the code quickly, its coded nicely. The inner pages allow for more content. Its not ideal, but doesnt mean it doesnt work for SEO.

      5
      • 7

        Thank you Casey, Agree there is not a lot of text on the homepages, but I focus on visual elements, I know SEO is important, but you also need beautiful presentation.

        6
        • 8

          Nope. “Beautiful presentation” is subjective. Getting your sites to appear on search engines and gaining traffic isn’t. When will designers learn that the web isn’t primarily an artistic medium? The web is a platform primarily for communicating information, and secondarily for selling stuff. When you design sites that are invisible to search engines, thereby limiting the amount of traffic to the site, thereby limiting the opportunity for people to consume your information and buy stuff, you’ve failed, period. It’s like making a beautiful painting and then putting it in an art gallery….in Antarctica.

          I will say that I do like the designs. Well done….I just think there should be more focus on the SEO aspect.

          -29
  4. 9

    Thank you guys! these are great!

    Less is so much more!

    0
  5. 10

    The download links do not work :(

    0
  6. 12

    Great job! .. but the links for demos aren´t working

    0
  7. 13

    Simply amazing. Thanks!

    0
  8. 14

    Great Job, very nice template !

    0
  9. 15

    Broken links….. :(

    -4
  10. 16

    Download link is not working

    0
  11. 17

    links broken :-((

    2
  12. 18

    While I think these a beautiful I wouldn’t consider them minimal. Clean sure, minimal, not really. The term minimal is being way over used lately.

    from Wiki: Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features.

    These just don’t fit that description for me. They feel too cluttered and I’m sure elements could still be removed to get each down to it’s most fundamental features.

    21
    • 19
    • 20

      Disagree with this. Minimalism is not a strict definition, minimalism is about design where the aesthetics don’t identify the designer. If you compared this theme to other white minimalist themes, you’ll see that aesthetically there’s nothing really distinguishing about the design. They’re just, for all intents and purposes, white.

      What you describe is actually more along the lines of Ockhams Razor, which is not minimalism and the two should not be confused. Design does not have to be reduced to it’s simplest form to be minimalist.

      Just goes to show, wikipedia is not always a reliable source of information, especially definitions. In fact, had I quoted Wikipedia at University I’d have almost certainly been docked marks!

      2
      • 21

        While I agree Wiki isn’t a source I’d quote in a school setting, we are not in a school setting. The description is one that the community as a whole has settled on and is used to describe minimal design often. Just because a design is white, does not make it minimal. There have been many famous “minimal” designs and art pieces that used nothing but color. What I was referring to is the fact that each is cluttered and tight for me to consider them minimal.

        When I think of a minimal website it should deliver just what is needed and nothing more. In a portfolio/blog theme, this means a name or logo, a nav menu, a preview to your portfolio, a single blog post and maybe an updates section. That’s it. Just in the first one we have three different types of posts (all in list format), an about section and a contact section in addition to what is necessary, all in a tight space.

        Give it some room to breath, let it out. Why utilize a background pattern if you can’t even see it (which I personally find distracting but some might like it). Like I said, they are beautiful and clean, but have a long way to go before I’d consider them minimal.

        5
    • 22

      I so much agree to this one. Like I said anything in black and white doesn’t really mean it’s minimal. And this one’s way too confusing.

      2
  13. 23

    Would love to try them but… Links don’t work ;(

    0
  14. 24

    All the links lead to 404 pages.

    0
  15. 25

    Julien de Gasquet

    January 27, 2011 7:46 am

    Very good design! I’ll definitely use one of those on some project.

    The live demo links are not working tho

    1
  16. 26

    Vitaly Friedman (editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine)

    January 27, 2011 8:09 am

    Sorry for inconvenience, guys, the links are working (or the designer’s site doesn’t respond).

    1
  17. 27

    Swiss theme live demo link goes to Vimeo. Nice sites!

    0
  18. 28

    Nice clean design. I like it allot.

    0
  19. 29

    All should be working now I just upgraded the server with MediaTemple, sorry for the incontinence ,
    Thank you,

    0
  20. 31

    OMG
    i’ve just been working on my portfolio site, and NOW u come with this awesome themes!?

    nice :)

    0
  21. 33

    How great! thanks for sharing :)

    0
  22. 34

    amazing job. love them.

    1
  23. 35

    Christopher Anderton

    January 27, 2011 9:05 am

    Great work. It’s nice to see good looking free themes for WP.

    1
  24. 36

    Thanks, Smashing! Fantastic stuff … still, I wonder when we’ll get over Swiss design …

    0
  25. 38

    clean design, thanks Smashing

    0
  26. 39

    These are amazing and major kudos to Marios. I think he nailed the idea behind the themes.

    0
  27. 40

    i know it is just a wordplay… but “swiss design”.. come on

    0
  28. 41

    http://vadnak.com/ – used style theme
    and how to fix the preview to work properly on the main display? The proportions are not preserved, the image is compressed, stretched.
    This problem can be seen on the big picture on my site.

    1
  29. 48

    wow its amazing. i like it very much. holy yeah !

    0
  30. 49

    Great themes, though after firing up Firebug, I found they better fitted to minimal brief without the dotted background pattern.

    0
  31. 50

    great work marios. super clean and simple designs. well done!

    0
  32. 51

    Wow. These are really really great themes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such nice themes for free. Thanks a lot!

    0
  33. 52

    I had to stop myself from a tirade of “you get great designed WP templates for free and you’re bitching about them not being SEO optimized? How ’bout you go pay for something else that is and STFU”

    but I stopped right there… oh wait… SNAP.

    That you for the contribution, Marios. It’s dedicated folks like yourself that keep the spirit of WordPress and communities around it alive!

    6
    • 53

      Thank you Paul, I appreciate your positive comment, and people like you what motivates me to do those themes for free, you are awesome

      2
  34. 54

    they look amazing! i’ll go right ahead and see what i can use them for! thanks

    0
  35. 55

    As someone who has been looking EVERYWHERE for elegant, simple, and understated themes, I found these to be just beautiful! There are LOTS, HUNDREDS of themes out there but they are all super busy and cluttered with swirls, color, lots of stuff, just stuff. These themes do what they are supposed to, show your work of whatever it is that you want to show or blog about and the theme remains invisible. And they are FREE!!!!! :-) So, they might not be super SEO enhanced, but did he say these are FREE?? Yep he did! I will be trying them out. Thank you for the great work. :-)

    1
  36. 56

    Wow, these look smashing! For those worried about SEO, you can always go to editor and enter your keywords and marketing message. Haven’t tried the themes yet, juggling too much stuff at the moment. But I love the themes and appreciate your work.

    1
  37. 57

    Perfectly Nice, “Clear” design! It looks like a professional modern web of the big design firm. Thanks for sharing

    0
  38. 58

    I love minimalist designs, it’s simple and straightforward to show contents.

    Thanks for the share!

    0
  39. 59

    Whats up with the images being squished when loaded into the minimal theme…do you have any documentation such as a pdf?

    I will continue playing with it, love the look and feel great stuff! very fun.

    0
    • 60

      Hey klc, yes the images have to be proportional, it takes the images and put them in the boxes, there is overview video, I might do a update 1.5 so it only takes a portion of your image so its not squished,

      0
    • 61

      klc please update your them to version 1.5 and the images problem is fix,
      enjoy, thank you

      0
  40. 63

    Thank you Marios!

    0
  41. 64

    Wow. These are really really great themes

    0
  42. 65

    Marios, you rule buddy!

    0
  43. 66

    Marios, very impressive, thanks for the share! Contributors like you are the heart and soul of the internet!

    0
  44. 67

    Thank you for all the positive comments, Just to let you all know I will be releasing at least one FREE theme per month, so you will have many unique and modern themes to choose from, for your next project or personal portfolio.

    Once again thank you for your support

    0
  45. 68

    You know what trying to come out with something different doesn’t really mean that you scatter everything all over the place. The smashing magazine content is as always awesome but the theme yet again would be useless. No wonder I haven’t seen someone using an smashing magazine theme ever.

    And just because it’s black and white doesn’t mean it’s minimal.

    -6
  46. 69

    Amazing work and it’s free! Thank you so much for these refreshing themes.

    0
  47. 70

    Beautiful, but already known.
    What the hell are you calling “Deutsch”?
    There are thousand designers worldwide doing this style.

    -3
  48. 71

    I am from switzerland. And these Themes definetivley have nothing to do with “swiss-Design”– but anyway – thanks.

    -2
  49. 73

    Once again some ‘minimal’ themes for WP. As a custom Joomla template worker and minimalist lover, I really jealous that there’s so much free wp themes with this style. I definitely will convert one of this into a Joomla template and release it again for free.

    4
  50. 74

    Whats up with the images getting squished into the box? :S Doesn’t look good at all, the rest of it is beautiful though. Are you going to fix this in 1.5? And when will that be?

    http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/4901/wwwro.jpg

    Thanks in advance

    0
  51. 79

    Gorgeous and thoughtful. I love it.

    0
  52. 80

    These themes are nice and clean. Thank you.

    0
  53. 81

    nice themes tanks a lot

    0
  54. 82

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

    1
  55. 83

    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
  56. 89

    Nice and clean !

    0
  57. 90

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

    1
    • 91

      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
  58. 92

    Loveeee these!

    0
  59. 93

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

    0
  60. 94

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

    0
  61. 95

    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
    • 96

      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
    • 97

      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
      • 98

        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
  62. 99

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

    0
  63. 100

    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
    • 101

      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
  64. 102

    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
  65. 103

    Awesome themes! Thank you very much!

    0
  66. 104

    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
  67. 107

    The layouts are pimp. Great way to showcase artwork

    0
  68. 108

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

    0
  69. 109

    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
    • 110

      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
  70. 111

    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
  71. 112

    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
  72. 113

    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
  73. 115

    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
  74. 116

    Good,thanks for share.Thank you.

    0
  75. 117

    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
  76. 118

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

    0
  77. 119

    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
  78. 120

    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
  79. 121

    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
  80. 122

    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
  81. 123

    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
  82. 124

    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
  83. 125

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

    0
  84. 126

    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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