Last month, WordPress design contributors proposed creating a new default theme type that would bring together a curated set of style variations, instead of creating a new theme from scratch. This idea resonated with chat participants and plans are now underway to use a simplified version of Twenty Twenty-Two as the basis for the new theme.
Automattic’s design director, Channing Ritter, has posted a preview of what the base theme might look like with sample variations applied, along with the Figma design mockups.
The predecessor of Twenty Twenty-Three has a very opinionated design. The upcoming default theme is more like a blank canvas with a focus on style variations. Titles aren’t as prominent, typography has been replaced with system fonts, and no images are included. The theme will use the fluid typography feature released in Gutenberg 13.8 and has spacing presets in place.
“An important note is that we are limited in the number of fonts we can include with the theme and should aim to use 3-4 different fonts across all variations (in addition to system fonts),” Ritter said. The initial list includes the following fonts, but may evolve based on contributor feedback:
- Sans serif system font
- IBM Plex Mono
- DM without
- Source Serif Pro
One of the most exciting things about this project is that the WordPress design contributors have invited the community to try and submit their own style variations for consideration. Selected variants will ship as part of the upcoming default theme.
While many default themes in the past have come from a single designer or an existing theme, Twenty Twenty-Three (TT3) will offer a kaleidoscope of style variations from different community contributors.
The current theme is available on GitHub and anyone can try their hand at creating a style variation. There are three different ways to do this. The easiest for some will be to create another theme.json file and edit the code directly.
Those who prefer to design their own variation visually in the editor can make changes in the Global Styles panel and then save them as a new style variation using the Create Block Theme plugin. This opens the door for anyone with design skills to contribute, even if they don’t feel comfortable editing the theme.json file. Alternatively, contributors can design static mockups in Figma or another program.
More detailed instructions for submitting a style variation are available in the post and those interested in contributing can join the new Slack channel #core-themes-projects to ask questions and connect with others working on the same project . The first variant submission to the TT3 repository comes from new contributor Colin Chadwick, who created an aubergine color scheme complemented by the DM Sans font.
The WordPress community is full of talented designers and this call for style variations is an amazing opportunity to contribute without having to touch any code.
Submissions of style variations for this project will close on August 31. The final curated set will be announced on September 7. The new TT3 default theme will ship with WordPress 6.1, which is expected on October 25, 2022.