I’ve begun a search for unique, creative and dark WP themes (as well as website layouts in general) for inspiration, practice at “theming” and for possible use. I’ve been gravely disappointed (pardon the pun) by the lack of good dark themes, unique themes and creative themes.
WordPress has really revolutionized the use of columns (sometimes known as sidebars) and while I recognize their usefulness, I hate them in the aesthetic sense. I can hear your confused response now
“But, Cole, you use columns in your current layout”.
Yes, yes I do. And I hate them. You see, I understand that they’re useful. Especially useful if you only have a blog to display archives, recent comments, blogrolls, minor updates, categories and other miscellaneous information.
While all this new, extra (and generally unnecessary) information finds a new home, it seems that navigation as an element has lost its place and becomes lost in all the bustle. Amidst countless blocks of other text in a sidebar, navigation doesn’t stand out as I believe it should.
What used to be an art is now an afterthought which is one of the issues I have, myself, with designing layouts. Themes take hours to roll out, like some sort of modern day internet assembly line – change a few colours, a width here, a margin there and slap on a now header – voila! A new theme. (Not. It’s exactly the same, really). Layouts used to take so much longer to make and implement because they were more complicated, unique and creative (and, also, in part because people weren’t using includes but ignore that for now).
I miss that. I was almost completely disappointed by the selection of WP themes I found. Almost none of them worked without columns. Few of them had impressive graphics which were also aesthetically appealing and even less had layouts where graphics played a more important role than header images.
And creative navigation? Ha! Forget that.
However, I was impressed by 4 sites. That’s right, only 4 sites on the internet with themes don’t suck. (Hey, I like that. I smell a title coming on.) So, without further ado, here they are.
Neither of these are specifically for WP or free and maybe good layouts just don’t come free these days. I’ve seriously considered making a purchase but I’m not quite sold by the idea of a layout not made personally for me. Still, worth a look.