As an illustrator, one of the reasons I started working with WordPress themes was the need for a portfolio website that reflected my style — whimsical, colorful, and a bit cute.

Themes in this genre were sparse at the time, so I learned how to build my own. When I felt confident enough in my skills, I started releasing my quirky, illustrated themes in the WordPress.org free themes repository. I received many comments from grateful users, happy that I’d captured just the right mood for their sites.

Sometimes we’re so focused on trying to build themes for everyone that we forget to consider the edge cases, and that’s where some of the most creative and fulfilling work happens.

Making a beautiful theme that works for hundreds of thousands of people is satisfying, but considering all the different possibilities presents a challenge and often leads to feature bloat in an effort to accommodate as many people as possible. Building for a niche market means focusing on one or two things and doing them very well, even if the end result appeals to a much smaller segment of customers.

With bright, bold colors and quirky accents, most of my illustrated themes look like they could have been torn from the pages of a children’s book. They’re not for everyone, but knowing I’ve been able to make a small subset of WordPress users feel “at home” on the web is incredibly satisfying.

What does an illustrated theme look like, you ask? Look no further:

Posted by Caroline Moore

I'm a designer, web developer, illustrator, photographer, wife to @tmoorewp, and proud mama to two amazing little girls. I make stuff for WordPress.com.

3 Comments

  1. Honestly, I kind of miss these kinds of illustrated themes. They brought so much personality to the web.

    1. We’re coming back around. Small Business includes a style pack that’s a throwback to Vintage Kitchen. 😀

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