Early Theme Adopters: Libre

Clean and elegant Libre joined the Theme Showcase at the end of June — and thousands of bloggers have already put their own stamp on it.

Out-of-the-box, Libre is an understated, reader-friendly theme that’s already become a WordPress.com favorite. As movie review blog Empty Screens demonstrates, it’s both crisp and classic:

empty screens.png

Head to the Customizer, though, and you can build on Libre‘s strong foundation to create a site that reflects your unique POV.

Change up the fonts

Libre-Fonts

Fonts can be fun or serious, refined or homey — they add instant personality. Now that free Google fonts are available to any WordPress.com blogger, tailoring a theme with fonts is easier than ever.

Novel Pitch opts for Oswald — whose simple lines keep things bold — and Merriweather, introducing serifs for a writerly touch. Jordan Quinn chose two serif fonts for her home page, The Quinntessential; a delicate font makes for an elegant title, and a more substantial one ensures that reading regular text is comfortable. Beauty and travel blog process. goes for a typewriter-reminiscent serif for headlines, and a simple sans-serif for regular text.

Add a small header

By default, Libre displays a site’s title on the left, rather than centered at the top of the page. The layout lends itself perfectly to highlighting a small logo, something these three bloggers quickly realized:

Libre-Small-Header

On crab & bee, home sewer Morgan displays a pair of scissors over the default title, letting new readers know at a glance that they’re in for some crafty fun. she be kale-in’ it‘s Kate adds a stalk of the eponymous veggie to her title, which she’s customized to use the Lato font, while at Noble No More, Jacob eschews Libre‘s default title altogether for a graphic of his own design.

Add a full-width header

If you like a bit more up top, no worries — Libre looks just as great with a full-width header.

Libre-Full-Width-Header

Since Libre‘s layout is fairly minimal, it can handle a larger or busier header without feeling cluttered. The Boarding Pass, this little light, and and this is why I will die alone surrounded by cats each use a very different header style, but each works perfectly in Libre.

Go nuts with backgrounds

A simple layout means that Libre can also handle the most in-your-face backgrounds without feeling too busy or illegible, and Pocket Writes, My Life in a Suitcase, and shanbobs don’t hold anything back:

Libre-Backgrounds

Bright chevron stripes, graphic black-and-white eyes, and an endless stream of taxi cabs give life and verve to these blogs without causing us to lose sight of their words; no small feat!

All of the above!

Fonts, headers, and backgrounds, oh my! The Lit(erature) Mermaid goes for the trifecta — and succeeds admirably:

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Any one of these design elements could command a readers’ full focus, but here, they each support the others — in part because of the blogger’s smart choices, and in part because a well-thought-out theme makes it easy for you to create a beautiful, custom site.

Want to give Libre a spin? Take a deeper look and activate it from the Theme Showcase!

Posted by WordPress Guru