StudioPress has just published an attractive, new, minimal-ish, responsive WordPress theme, called Modern Studio Pro. While not minimalist, exactly, it’s lean and clean.
Here’s how the designer describes the new theme:
“Modern Studio draws eyes exactly where we want them — then doesn’t distract them.
“For designers, highlighting imagery is the most important function a website can perform. Modern Studio does this by cutting back on the clutter and color, so that it’s your shutter and colors doing all the work.”
Let’s walk through the theme quickly, starting at the top of the homepage.
Header and Navigation
The header area is a bit different from the norm in that it includes a round, 300×300 pixel area for the logo or other image. (See the image above.)
In the designer’s sample, it’s a simple black and white color scheme. Here’s what it looks like with a colorful variation of the WordPress Building Blocks logo.
Which brings us to the other header element, the menu.
Modern Studio Press theme allows for use of two custom menus in the header area, one to the left and one to the right of the logo. The demo site shows only three items in each menu, creating a single line of menu items straight across. When you have more menu items, it breaks into several lines. If you have an uneven number of menu items, it becomes unbalanced, like this.
This isn’t a huge problem as, with a little planning, you can move some menus to the sidebar or footer, but you should be aware of it before choosing the theme.
Use a sidebar on either the right or the left, or a full-width page. There’s also a static homepage option.
In addition to site layout and static front page, customization options include:
- Background and Accent Colors
- Header Image
- Background Image
- Navigation (two menus)
- Comments and Trackbacks
- Content Archives
The Accent Color refers to the color used for links and link borders. Links are underlined in the color you choose, and the entire link changes to that color on mouseover. Because the theme includes a true color customizer, you can choose any color you want, you’re not limited to a selection of preset color choices.
When you click on Appearance/Customize, the widget selection includes only Sticky Message, Welcome Message, and Footer. Additional widgets for the Primary Sidebar and After Entry are available in the Appearance/Widgets menu. The After Entry widget lets you place the same item(s) after each post when it’s viewed on a single page.
The Sticky Message appears at the top of every page. Here’s a suggestion: Use it for that full-size header image! It’s set up to have a parallax scrolling effect.
The Welcome Message shows above the posts on the homepage.
After Entry creates an item below each post when viewing it on its own page.
I really like this theme! Easy to set up, clean and inviting to view, I’m seriously considering switching this site to Modern Studio Pro. Currently it’s built on Prose, which I love, but I’ve been thinking about something more up-to-date.
While StudioPress is marketing it as a theme for designers, it’s a solid choice for anyone looking for a clean, uncluttered look and feel. And of course, the theme is mobile responsive and HTML5 markup, so Google won’t have any issues with it.