In our first installment in the Tumblr series, we took a look at what Tumblr actually is, and what it does. The article finished off by showing 4 fantastic custom themes that have been created by some awesome designers for use on their Tumblr blogs. In this instalment, I want to show you 20 fantastic free Tumblr themes that will get you started on your Tumblr blog. Then I’m going to show you 20 fantastic premium Tumblr themes, for those of you that want that quality feel to your Tumblr blog, but with little effort from yourself! Here goes…
From the beginning, Tumblr has had a fantastic library of free themes; it’s site says there are over 400 indexed. Here are 10 that stand out to me as being fantastic quality for free themes.
A typographic beautiful mix of grey, red and white.
A pastel colored sexy left aligned theme.
Beautiful imagery taking the persona of letter postage!
A twitter inspired theme that’s up there in the clouds.
Fantastic css3 typography coupled with stunning icons.
Perfect for scribbling down notes here and there.
Show of your latest work with this screenshot gallery theme.
Bring the readers to your desk with this theme.
Content is displayed on cards, with beautiful enhancements such as flipping for details!
Keep it cool with this panda theme!
11. Nine of Mine
Sheer simplicity. Let your content shine.
12. 1000 Suns
A single column with simple styles.
13. Paper Walls
Let this paper styled theme make your blog look the professional deal.
Classy, colourful and bright. Attract attention to your blog!
A proper Tumblr favourite. You’ll see this beauty a lot which says a lot about its quality.
Nothing classy, just a fantastic, fluid layout.
With a fantastic paper border, this theme offers brilliant typography.
Designed to give one post your attention at a time. A great concept.
Likely the most original Tumblr theme ever. You’ve seen nothing until you’ve tried it.
Fantastic use of greys with subtle tints, and eye pleasing combinations.
A few months ago, Tumblr introduces something that web designers had started doing external to the Tumblr themes library; premium themes. Here are 10 from around the internet that caught my eye.
1. Photofolio - $49
Keep it sexy with this shimmering folio theme that just shouts out to you.
2. Sonic – $49
Give your band a fantastic blog with this theme.
Playing on the postcard persona again, but this time, much more classy.
Here’s a clean, sleek blog theme from Woothemes.
A fresh, contemporary theme from OboxDesign.
IvorPadilla makes grey cool with this fantastic theme.
This theme is for people that love Helvetica!
Vintage Scrapbook is a whimsical, highly detailed theme inspired by the colours, styles, and textures found in old documents
9. Rank & File – $49
Three columns of simple beauty.
10. Well Liked – $9
Sleek and classy, this’ll kickstart your Tumblr experience.
11. Scribble – $9
Show of your site with this sketch style theme.
Fantastic implementation of ribbons. With different color schemes, this feels premium!
13. Splatter – $19
A single column, subtle grunge layout that mixes aqua and pink splendidly.
The demo starts with a fantastic image slider, and the beauty doesn’t stop there.
A colourful and vibrant theme for you to make an impact on your readers.
A theme aimed more at providing news than small time blogging.
17. Nuance – $14
Nuance provides an original grid view to different Tumblr posts.
18. Crisps – $12
Yet another single column layout, but this time, with an added slide out sidebar!
19. Simplefolio – $49
Simplefolio shows what can really be achieved with Tumblr, turning it from a Tumbleblog into a full portfolio complete with pages!
20. Solaris – $9
Taking minimalism to a whole new level of beauty.
So now we’ve learnt what Tumblr does, in terms of micro blogging, and how it works, and we’ve seen what can be achieved through its theme system. The next installment in the series will teach you how to code your own psd to a fully fledged Tumblr theme! Keep your eyes out for it, and apologies for the wait.
If you have seen any fantastic free and premium Tumblr themes that you think are worth a mention, hit them up in the comments. We love to hear what you think, and like =)
Matt is an 18 year old web designer from Scotland, UK. He loves creating beautiful websites across different platforms. High on his things to learn fully are Jquery and php. He is extremely excited by css3 and html5 and can't wait to see them rolled out fully. To learn more about Matt, follow him @QwibbleDesigns, or check out his portfolio.