Real-world Design Elements in WordPress Themes

Paper, tape, leather, asphalt, stitching, wallpaper (real wallpaper), dirt, string, stamps and wood. Clever designers are incorporating these real-world elements into their WordPress themes.

I often come across X Retro WordPress Themes type blog posts and they are always interesting but usually there is a debate (see here) as to what exactly constitutes retro, vintage or classic style. Some authors highlight themes designed with old-style typography or period-specific colors (you know, psychedelic) and vintage photography. Other observers include themes incorporating traditional, tangible elements such as paper or wood. Lined notebook paper may be a dying breed but I don’t yet consider it a retro element.

I propose that this increasingly popular design style depicting tangible objects from offline life be called Real-world. We just added this new style to ThemeSorter and classified a few themes that fit the bill. Here’s a look at some of these themes with a zoomed-in view of their real-world design elements. I hope you find this compilation to be useful and inspiring.

Deviant from Elegant Themes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Paper, Tape, Hand Sketching

Deviant WordPress Theme

Postcard from WooThemes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Paper, Stamps, Postmarks

Postcard WordPress Theme

Wooden from Elegant Themes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Wood

Wooden WordPress Theme

eBusiness from Elegant Themes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Dirt, Stitching

eBusiness WordPress Theme

Influx from Elegant Themes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Asphalt

Influx WordPress Theme

PersonalPress from Elegant Themes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Paper, Nail, String, Hand Sketching

PersonalPress WordPress Theme

eGallery from Elegant Themes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Wood

eGallery WordPress Theme

Bee Crafty from StudioPress (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Stitching, Paper, Wood, Wallpaper

Bee Crafty WordPress Theme

OnTheGo from Elegant Themes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Paper, Hand Sketching

OnTheGo WordPress Theme

DailyNotes from Elegant Themes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Paper

Notes on Life WordPress Theme

Elefolio from WooThemes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Grid Paper

Elefolio WordPress Theme

Papercut from WooThemes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Watercolor Paper, Pencil Sketching

Papercut WordPress Theme

eGamer from Elegant Themes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Rough Leather

eGamer WordPress Theme

Glider from Elegant Themes (Live Demo)
Real-world Elements: Wood, Leather, Stitching

Glider WordPress Theme

About Steven Gliebe

Steven is the founder of churchthemes.com and ChurchPage. His latest project is HostingReviews.io. He's been building websites since the 90's. You can follow him at stevengliebe.com and on Twitter.
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2 Responses to Real-world Design Elements in WordPress Themes

  1. Robbie Jones says:

    I appreciate the conversation about this design style and even more, I appreciate the classification category on your website. This will be a great help.

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