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The Smashing Book #5

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Free Minimal, Swiss Design WordPress Themes (4 Themes)


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.

Features Link

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 Link

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 Link


Studio Theme Link


Style Theme Link


Swiss Theme Link


Behind the Design Link

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 Link

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  1. 1

    I don’t think they work from SEO standpoint.

    • 2

      I think the same !

    • 3

      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.

      • 4

        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.

        • 5

          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.

    • 6

      Why do you say that? Can you explain please.

  2. 7

    Thank you guys! these are great!

    Less is so much more!

  3. 8

    Simply amazing. Thanks!

  4. 9

    Great Job, very nice template !

  5. 10

    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.

    • 11
    • 12

      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!

      • 13

        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.

    • 14

      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.

  6. 15

    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

  7. 16

    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).

  8. 17

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

  9. 18

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

  10. 19

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

  11. 20

    The download links do not work :(

  12. 22

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

  13. 23

    Broken links….. :(

  14. 24

    Download link is not working

  15. 25

    links broken :-((

  16. 26

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

  17. 27

    All the links lead to 404 pages.

  18. 28

    Nice clean design. I like it allot.

  19. 29

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

  20. 31

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

    nice :)

  21. 33

    How great! thanks for sharing :)

  22. 34

    amazing job. love them.

  23. 35

    Christopher Anderton

    January 27, 2011 9:05 am

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

  24. 36

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

  25. 38

    clean design, thanks Smashing

  26. 39

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

  27. 40

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

  28. 41 – 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.

    • 42

      Hello Artem, yes the proportions have to be preserved because the image is compress inside the window, I might due a update in version 1.5 where it takes a portion of the image instead of putting everything inside, will keep you update

    • 46

      Hello Artem, Update is available v1.5 and it fixes the problem, enjoy

  29. 48

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

  30. 49

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


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