September 30, 2013

Flat is the new black when it comes to user interface design. Gone are the days of extensive drop shadows and lavish textures. In their place we find simple, bold color palettes, an absence of depth, and ample white space.

The trend is heavily influenced by the design aesthetic behind Microsoft’s Modern UI, and is being continued by the changes recently announced by Apple to the iOS user interface, which, come September, will show a welcome lack of green felt and stitching. WordPress users who want to take advantage of the trend towards flat design have a large number of flat design WordPress themes to choose from. As usual these are of varied quality, so we’re going to give you a hand filtering out the dross from the worthwhile.

Coffee & Cream Curiously lacking any resemblance to coffee and cream in its color palette, this is an elegant one-page HTML5 theme idea for businesses, especially creative agencies.

Shift Clearly influenced by the Window’s Modern UI, this tumblog-style theme makes a great platform for sharing images, snippets of text, and links.

Alfie Alfie is Bootstrap-based responsive WordPress theme that packs a lot of features into its elegant interface. The design is somewhat reminiscent of the new Google+ and Google Now, with most of interface elements taking the form of cards.

Showy Showy is a responsive portfolio theme that puts your work front and center with an animated grid display.

Designy Designy is one of the rare themes that lacks a slider, which is a positive in my opinion. Where you’d normally find the slider, Designy has a large hero unit with space for a featured image carrying a strap line. The homepage has a neat parallax effect when you scroll down.

Business Essentials Business Essentials is another elegant, flat theme focused on businesses, but this one is suitable for companies that offer services like consulting rather than being designed with creatives in mind.

Vetro Vetro is a responsive theme with a subdued color palette that puts the visitor’s focus on the site’s text.

Argo Argo is a one-pager that includes some innovative animation effects.

Artisan Artisan is one of the more sober themes we’ve looked at here, with a monochromatic color scheme punctuated by red highlights.

Sensitive We’ll finish up with a freebie from the WordPress theme repository. It’s far from the prettiest of the themes we’ve seen, and somewhat betrays the flat aesthetic with a textured background that looks very similar to Apple’s linen, but if you’re looking for a decent free theme with pretensions to flattery, you could do worse.

Whether you love or loathe the flat design aesthetic there’s no denying it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future, so if you’re in the market for a new look for your site, you should definitely consider a flat design WordPress theme.


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