One of a breed wonderful new Blogger templates, Festzeit, is perfect for any venue hosting exhibitions of art and music, and offers a trim, streamlined design with a built-in event calendar. It also includes a commenting platform and Google-based contact and map functionality. Festzeit catches the eye with a large photo header designed to provide an instant glimpse into the exhibition. Blog posts, also with an emphasis on photo or video headers, line up immediately below, while an attractive sidebar advertises upcoming events or showtimes. Festzeit is perfect for museums, small galleries, music shops and restaurants that regularly host artists, artists’ collectives, private studios and more. Last and best, every element can be customized for size, making the balance of the page uniquely yours. This is the darkened gallery of layouts, smooth, sexy and full of the flavor of cultured nightlife and considered appreciation. It’s all about the art with Festzeit.
Retro and reminiscent of a fairy tale without a trace of kitsch, Lepores Fabulas is dominated by a bright, decorative sidebar with an etching of (at default) three regal rabbits. This touch of whimsy is countered with a distinctly modern, narrow skyscraper design with a propaganda twist. The sidebar, as narrow as the main column, offers room for showcases and galleries, with plenty of space for favorites, subgalleries and more. The striking home page is the centerpiece of this layout, and widgets are only available on inner pages. A built-in event calendar is available on one subpage, and one panel slides to reveal an elegant FAQ page. Classic German Märchen with east-of-the-Wall edge, Lepores Fabulas is perfect for bands, art galleries, venues, online philately, and more. It’s an atmospheric and unique layout, not so much an acquired taste as a surprising combination of aesthetics that works to draw the viewer in closer, or further down the rabbithole…
3. Sandal Jepit
With a minimalist facade resembling that of a trendy designer clothing store, the Sandal Jepit blogging template has a glowing photo display that brings Skymall chic to your oeuvre-on-display. It’s also fully integrated with Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, RSS and more, with custom icons that fit flawlessly into the larger monochrome aesthetic, which can be customized to any single shade. The plain white background can be easily replaced with a picture, while comments and widgets are fully integrated, though optional. Perfect as an artist’s portfolio, a classier-than-Etsy platform for selling crafts and tailoring, modeling homepage and more, Sandal Jepit’s minimalism covers a highly customizable, powerful and personal interface that adds instant appeal to almost any collection of photographs. Sandal Jepit is anything you want it to be, but its default state, clean, white and free of any element that might be busy or jarring, is perhaps the most attractive. Viewers will snap up content like online shoppers picking up a few elegant pieces for summer, all available in a venue cleaner and more relaxing than even the trendiest Scandinavian mall store.
Seriously elegant with a hi-res newspaper gloss, Point of View is a photographer’s dream. Dominated by nine snapshots in a classy telephone-keypad grid, Point of View offers the viewer an instant window into the world of the artist. Links to subpages are arranged in columns beside the title, evoking headlines in their neatly stacked appeal. The layout is built for high-resolution images, incorporating automatic zoom for every image, frontpage or not. As might be suggested by its keypad layout, Point of View does support Template Designer, making this easy-to-install layout a distributor’s dream as well as a photographer’s. Linear posts below the initial grid of photos are possible, with photo and video posts both an option. Point of View is the best of classic design, still shockingly tasteful, just updated for the world of the Internet. It’s hard to go wrong with Point of View, discreet and journalistic enough to bring content to the fore, yet streamlined enough to bring out the best in it.
5. Symple – Personal Blogger Theme
Dark and industrial, with orange or blue highlights and a gridded chalkboard background, Symple is a rugged personal blogging platform with an emphasis on readability and function. Its customizable SVG icons match the accents in a toned-down but appealing keypad layout, while the title font dominates in silver, with lesser headlines matching the accent color and blog text in subdued, but readable gunmetal gray. Headings are automatically formatted, and both jQuery and Raphael are supported. Symple’s back-to-basics approach to personal posting will appeal to cyclists, adventurers, engineers, backpackers, and anyone with an eye for detail but no need for frills. The hardware store of blog layouts, Symple delivers the nuts and bolts of blogging with a wealth of customization that will deliver the form and function you need every time.
Mono is a personal blogging platform with retro-futuristic style. Its main appeal is its extreme adaptation to width, supporting customizations up to 1500px across. With automatically formatted headings and complementary SVG icons, Mono includes tutorials and instructions to keep your blog looking its very best. Mono includes a single, matte sidebar including archives, contributors (if applicable), popular posts and tags, all over a textured metallic background and transparency-backed dark gray text. Mono is unisex, stripped-down and geared for functionality. Its minimalism also ensures that almost any photo or video will look great against its subdued metallic backing: car blogs might look especially nice over its 1950s chrome cool, but almost any personal blog will be stylish and readable with this charmingly minimalistic layout.
Ultra-customizable with a lovely East-West fusion calligraphy concept, Sinjai is built for photographers and artists. Its rice-paper white background is offset by a soft, clear header in dark gray; under it, subpage links form a minimalistic rank in the same color. Three medium-sized photographs form instant access to galleries, while smaller photographs below offer room for further information; underneath these, blog posts proper may be added, with photo and video support. The layout is ethereal but architectural, a crystal palace to support photography of all kinds. Artists may wish to offset the title with a pale, watercolor-reminiscent backing image, pastel on white like the image featured on the sample page. With unlimited background color and picture options, 80+ fonts and a custom Widget bar, Sinjai is a one-stop shop for a gallery of any persuasion.
Designed for layout distribution, gallery display and more, Milkyway offers an attractive, calendar-like approach to text posts, with a left-handed sidebar with quick links to contact information, Flickr, sponsors or other widgets. Picture thumbnails provide an attractive accent to each text post header, while the barely-there header bar can be integrated easily with Twitter, displaying the latest tweets in attractive, silvery quote format. The included gallery platform offers automatic thumbnail creation, a zoom ready layout, and advanced commenting. Milkyway is innovative and versatile: while it’s not necessarily picture-based enough to support advanced photography portfolios, it’s perfect for an art or animation studio, giving viewers an easy-to-navigate glimpse at company output over time. It’s the kind of unique, creative design that, while consuming little data, would only be possible with Web 2.0, a graphic gem in the rough, but versatile enough for use in almost any setting.
9. Masero – Elegant Blogger Theme
Professionally laid out and corporate-casual in its approach to attracting viewer attention, Masero initially catches the gaze with a page wide glossy quote and photograph combo, then holds it with an attractive thumbnail photo grid just below. Fully integrable with Twitter, Masero has full zoom support and an almost-unlimited approach to subpage customization. The two-column design starts below the initial header, with popular posts, portfolio links, and labels available at a glance. This site is perfect for a company blog, though the lack of transaction support means that products should be posted for display purposes only. The header is also great for testimonials, and, with some tweaking, the backing image could be replaced with an attractive Flash slideshow of merchandise and/or services. With a little customization, Masero would also be an excellent and edgy band site, as its premium sheen is not for the newbie blogger, or for the faint of heart.
10. Colorful Modern
With a charming psychedelic rainbow backing every post on the left, balanced by retro calibration marks on the right, the Colorful Modern theme has more professional gray area than its name might suggest. Its retro appeal is offset by daring, but subdued block design in the sidebars, giving the whole layout a classic-TV-production feel that would be perfect for any film or television blog, personal or production-based. The single sidebar is simple to use, with subpages taking largely the same form as the main page, making blog organization a piece of cake. The blog posts themselves default to a readable gray-on-gray, simultaneously harkening back to the days of VCR and Super 8 and ensuring that the retro aesthetic doesn’t become too overwhelming for the reader. For the flower child or retro buff in you, the Colorful Modern theme is a great take on the WordPress basic. Cheap, balanced and innovative, the design could lend itself as easily to video blogging as to text-based review of mid-century media, a dream for the Internet-savvy, design-aware modern culture critic.
And that concludes our review of some of the newest and best Blogger templates and premium themes available today.