New Theme: Twenty Twelve

Every year the WordPress team proudly unveils a new default theme, increasing by one the collection now known affectionately as the Twenty Somethings. Serving as the flagship theme for a year, it has big shoes to fill. The theme should work well for a blog or a website, be carefully crafted under-the-hood to support essential WordPress features, and—of course—it should be aesthetically pleasing and exciting.

Say hello to the new default WordPress theme for 2012.

Twenty Twelve is an elegant, readable, and fully responsive theme that makes your site content look its best on any device.

A key component of this theme is a special homepage template. Recently, it’s become even more evident that WordPress is heavily used as a content management system (CMS) with many more sites now using it to organize any kind of content rather than purely as a blog. The homepage template meets this need by allowing authors to craft a perfect introductory page—it’s the first thing visitors see. Homepage content (text, images, video, anything you’d like) lives in the upper area, and below it you can arrange specific homepage-only widgets.

What makes this theme really shine are the design details. Starting with a thoughtfully crafted mobile-first layout, Twenty Twelve is intended to be viewed on any size device from smartphones and tablets up to the latest and greatest HiDPI/retina screens. No matter how your readers decide to visit, it’ll remain usable and good-looking.

To increase readability and attractiveness, Twenty Twelve features the gorgeous Open Sans typeface. Refreshingly different from the basic web fonts of yesteryear, this font spruces up your prose and gives your content a modern, clean look.

Since I already mentioned the Twenty Somethings, I’d also like to highlight how this one is different. Here are two key departures from previous default themes.

First, you’ll see in the styling for post formats that the design remains consistent on both list and single views. Links, quotes, asides, and images that you select to be formatted as such in your post editor are shown a bit differently than standard blog posts—and they’ll retain their unique look-and-feel across your site.

Second, you’ll notice that a custom header image is not visible when you first activate the theme. Unlike Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven, this theme doesn’t come with a set of hand-chosen header images, nor does it use featured images as large banners at the top of posts and pages. A header image is supported by the theme, though this time the feature will be turned off until you choose to upload your own.

Learn all about these features and more on the Theme Showcase.

Designed by Drew Strojny and built by many hands in the WordPress community, Twenty Twelve is now available in your WordPress.com dashboard at Appearance → Themes. Self-hosted WordPress.org users will have access very soon can download the theme via the WordPress.org Extend theme directory, and the new theme will be bundled with the official 3.5 software release later this year.

I hope you enjoy the new theme and the new look.


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Lance Willett

  • Aug 28, 2012 @ 5:50 pm
  • Themes

124 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Natasha McNeely

    Thank you for constantly offering new themes and options!

  2. Derek Springer

    Reblogged this on 12-inch pianist and commented:

    Pretty excited about Twenty Twelve, Twenty Eleven was an excellent showcase of all WordPress can do and I expect Twenty Twelve will be even more impressive!

  3. Egill

    Reblogged this on Egill and commented:

    Twenty Twelve is finally here!

  4. Food and Tools

    I am using Twenty Eleven, will check it out maybe it is time to change!

  5. roabowling

    Might just be time to change my theme!

  6. Sajib

    Don’t you feel this has become too minimalistic compared to the previous ones? Because I loved Twenty Ten more than Twenty Eleven. Twenty Eleven was still okay. But Twenty Twelve, as I had suspected, looks more like a sandbox theme intended for designers with Custom CSS Upgrade.

    • Lance Willett

      I think the design stands on its own, it’s fully fleshed out and is not intended to be a bare bones starter theme like Toolbox or Sandbox.

      • Sajib

        I know that. It just looks to be so. Also, it should have come with a few header images at least. You know, when a blogger starts a blog, they generally don’t have the header image ready. Some bloggers don’t even bother changing header images. In cases like that, a preset header image really stands out (like we’ve seen in Twenty 10, 11, and Coraline).

        That’s all my opinion, again. I think it would have been better if the option was there.

        • Lance Willett

          That’s why we’re doing a new theme each year—not every one is going to like each one as much as the last. Something different! In this case the core team specifically asked for “no header images” as a main feature of this one.

  7. ismailimail

    The header image is showing up below the menus. Is this by design? Shouldn’t it be above the menus?

  8. Eddi Hughes (@eddihughes)

    Playing with it right now. :3

  9. Gary Lum

    Fantastic about the home page.

  10. Frau Blau

    I like it.

  11. Sandra Pawula

    Lovely! I love the simplicity and elegance. Is it available as a wordpress. org theme yet?

  12. David Bennett

    Great — best thing to have come out of WP.com in a while. Like a cross between ‘Thematic’ and ‘Linen’.

  13. virtualmarketadvant (@virtualmarketad)

    Looks pretty sweet! Looking forward to giving this a try. I think this will be great for some of my easier pages. I am so surprised when I have clients tell me Twenty Eleven has too much going on. I bet they’ll like this one!

  14. timethief

    Woo hoo! I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this. Thank you!

  15. christrocks

    Awesome! Though these themes haven’t really suited my blog so far, they do look really good.

  16. jerometimeinc

    Cool. Like the emphasis on more and more uses of WP as a custom CMS, and that appears to be front and center with the new homepage template.

  17. Igor

    Cool, but give me this on .org as soon as possible ;)

  18. Patric

    This is one of a kind. Much appreciation!

  19. 99nintendo

    Twenty Eleven is better.

  20. PlanetPrisoner

    Thanks…..I like it, seems a bit more flexible for me and my viewers.

  21. timdesmondblog

    Thanks. Does look clean. … which is what I liked about WordPress as it is. I really hate cluttered landing pages.

  22. Lauren

    Love the simplicity and sterility of this theme… applied!

  23. John Brøndum

    It’s a bit late in the year to reveal the 2012 theme. ;)

    Nice theme!

  24. TheMeth90

    Finally Twenty Twelve, thanks.

  25. justinwriter

    Thanks, Lance, Drew Strojny and the WordPress team. Twenty Twelve looks fresh and clean. I think I like it!

  26. El Santo

    Woo! Finally! I’ve been waiting for the update.

  27. AJ's Mom

    Guys, it’s like you’ve heard my theme prayers! I love this so much. I’m going to try this out, right about now! Thank you once again.

  28. John Wesley Brett

    Wonderful work! My only criticism is that when changing from portrait to landscape view in a tablet…the typography size also changes. To be truly responsive, there should be no change to the size of the font. Still, this is another example of why WordPress leads the pack!

    • Lance Willett

      We discussed this at length; at the end of the day it’s better than the default iOS behavior of zooming up after orientation so you have to tap or pinch to even get back to readable scale. We feel it’s an OK tradeoff—and the latest rumors are this will be fixed in iOS 6 release. Yay.

  29. Inge

    WOW, Thank you! I’m gonna try it!

  30. victorworang

    Wow, so exciting! Clean, elegant, and super-crunchy featured theme, matching this amazing year! :) I have another name for this, Matchbox Twenty Twelve, yeah!

  31. Twisted T

    Great job everyone. This theme is great.

  32. kharis sulistiyono (@kharissulistiyo)

    Wow, it is very cool.

  33. walif (@walifglc)

    Twenty Eleven is a popular theme in WordPress, but I think Twenty Twelve will be more popular.

  34. Val

    It’s very nice. Does the single column option have a footer?

  35. Rick Plumley

    Looks like it could use some more design work. I like that it’s a clean, balanced layout but it is a bit disjointed like the content blocks are all floating and theres no attractive design element to hold them together… Maybe just needs some customization?

  36. Admin

    Finally it arrived. Thanks, I will apply it.

  37. João Moura

    Really good, simple and easy to read theme. Nice work.

  38. artnip

    Great design!

  39. Destination Infinity

    The theme is good, but the home page just contains single line links to blog posts. Instead, it could contain a title, small description and a miniature photo for each post. Also, people could be allowed to display as many such snippets as they want, on the home page.

  40. Willow Brook

    Love it! Apart from my poetry writing, I love taking photos and hope to see mine on your site one day… how would I go about that? Any interest let me know. :)

  41. John Hayden

    Very nicely done. I look forward to using it for a political campaign blog. The front-page template with widgets is outstanding, when that’s what you need. And the ability to adapt well to any device is great. The overall look is a little too plain for my taste, but a user can change that with custom typefaces. Twenty Ten is still my favorite.

  42. Alice Hartley

    I am such a “theme” virgin, let alone one to comment, but here I am, driven to write to you since I have spied Twenty Twelve. Ooh, decisions decisions. Shall I give this baby a go? Mmmmm. Much love from Dubai !

  43. Gen

    I always get excited whenever I see a new theme announcement. I’m still on the lookout for “the one”. Maybe this new theme will be it!

  44. Samuel Lavoie

    Great addition to the 2011! Love that it’s now fully responsive.

  45. Lijin

    It’s very simple and lovely… Liked it and already activated! One feature I am missing is a header slider.

  46. guenbt

    Another theme to try and play in the next couple of days. =)

  47. baizzu

    I’m very happy for the new theme announcement and information updating.

  48. shantanurane

    First of all, really good work! This one is beautiful and a worthy successor to 2011 and 2010. Second of all, major props to whoever thought of replacing Lorem Ipsum by Gregor Samsa!! Litbloggers all over the wordpress universe have officially been seduced :) .

  49. jujubandung

    Woohoo new default theme from WordPress, I think it’s perfect for an introduction page blog.

  50. Bosstiger

    It is a good theme, but I was expecting it to be more ground breaking! More stylistic, and with header images, it is good to do new things but look back what you have achieved so far with 2010 and 2011, radical changes ain’t so good all times…

  51. poonam222

    It’s simply great… good job.

  52. Aulia Rahman

    Amazing, I like it :D. But now I am using Twenty Ten and maybe I can try it.

  53. Web Templates Creare (@crearetemplates)

    Great work guys! You have knocked it out of the ball park with this one, great look, great user experience, responsive and built for a CMS site not blog! Really incredible, well done!

  54. Don(n)a

    Save and Activate! Thanks. :)

  55. infoandweb

    I was waiting for this theme, great design.

  56. fotoebook

    Great to see you made a responsive layout!

  57. Durkin

    Love the responsiveness of this, definitely going to have a play!

    Am I the only one that hates these super-condensed fonts though? They look terrible on my screen…

  58. dlaiden

    Kafka. Ah, Kafka. Anyway, the theme looks brilliant! Might use it for a secondary blog in the future.

  59. summerfield84

    Thank you for the cool theme. I have adopted this theme for my English site.

  60. John

    Beautiful, Lance. When will it be available for WordPress.org users? Thanks to you and the team for all the hard work!

  61. Mayukh

    The theme is very clean. Also, 960px is very useful for me.

  62. paidsocialmediajobsforall

    Thanks to WordPress.com for adding this nice theme.

  63. Sunite

    Seems like a nice theme, but like the 2011 theme, it lacks options to change from a dark and light theme which I certainly liked, will this be implemented in the future? Also will there be an option to add a logo or will this theme be even more limited then 2011?

    • Lance Willett

      No dark option this time, again—it’s a new theme not a clone of the exact last one.

      For your logo, you can upload it via Appearance > Header and crop it to the size you wish; this theme (and Twenty Ten and Eleven) now support flexible image sizes.

  64. ಪ್ರकवि

    No footer widgets like in Twenty Eleven? Disappointed. :(

  65. Inder Rathore

    Welcome Twenty Twelve. :)

  66. Jason Pant (@wholypantalones)

    Would you really say that was “designed”? Very plain and boring visually as opposed to” aesthetically pleasing and exciting”. Being responsive is good, but it lacks any sort of design imo.

  67. nwde

    Really looking forward to the release. Just wanted to start a new blog. Will it be soon? Should I wait? Thanks to the WordPress Team!

  68. Janet Williams

    I like it. I’ve just changed. Thanks!

  69. Meri Greis

    Finally! I’ve waited for this theme long enough thank you!

  70. Fish & Bicycles

    Sorry, but the navigation menu placed above the header image is a dealbreaker for me.

    It’s not an appearance thing. It’s a usability thing. Why make users have to scroll above the header in order to navigate?

    It’s a bummer, cuz I like everything else a lot and would have made the switch if it weren’t for the one flaw. (Why not offer the choice to have the nav menu above or below the header image? Don’t you offer that choice in some other theme?)

    Yeah, providing choices is good.

  71. Zombease

    It’s nice and clean, and I like the typeface, but why was the option for sidebar location removed? I prefer the sidebar on the left side of the screen, as do most of my readers. I also think it’s odd that the “previous post” and “next post” links are only located at the far bottom of the page, rather than available at the top as well.

    • Lance Willett

      New year, new theme. We realize not everyone will like it—it’s OK if you don’t and decide to stick with another one.

      • Zombease

        I completely understand the logic in that, I was commenting more on: “Why not the best of both worlds?” 2012 is nice and clean, but with a lack of options for sidebar placement, and no back/forward post navigation at the headers of post, it almost seems like a step backwards rather than forward.

        Just my opinion though.

  72. Born To Organize

    If I switch from 2010 to 2012, will my blog require a complete overhaul visually? It looks like fun. I’m always game to try new things.

  73. Kojiki

    Wow, what a great theme.

  74. Raise Expectations

    That’s a pretty good default theme. Good for new users starting their own blogs.

  75. Kale

    For a default theme, this is really nice. I can like it.

  76. The Vegetarian Bagpiper

    You guys are awesome. Please keep adding great new stuff like this. Have a great day.

  77. House of KiKies

    Love the clean design, and I changed my portfolio site with this theme. But the header image isn’t clickable. Intentional? Or maybe there will be an update soon. Thanks.

    • Lance Willett

      It’s intentional—in this theme the header is below the navigation and not meant to be a navigational “home” link like with other themes.

  78. saifarafat

    Wow… lovely design.

  79. guenbt

    Just switched to Twenty Twelve. Not just that, because of this theme I registered a custom domain for my blog. I know this is what I have been waiting for. Thanks WordPress! =)

  80. tacticianjenro

    Yay for WordPress theme! :)

  81. Winged Astronaut

    I am going to try this now. Thanks boss.

  82. Miroslav Glavić (@MiroslavGlavic)

    “Say hello to the new default WordPress theme for 2012.”

    Wouldn’t that apply if the theme came on the first quarter of 2012 not the third quarter? Third quarter or second half of the year. I like to split hairs. Just so you know.

    However, I do like 2012.

  83. Betty

    Just activated theme Twenty Twelve. So easy to switch. I love the clean and fresh look.

  84. Rusha Sams

    I like the refreshing new look! What I really like is that the homepage content is above the header! Nice change.

  85. Carl Peterson

    Like some others, I have a hard time calling this one “Twenty Twelve” when we’re 2/3 of the way through the year. As long as it took to release, I think it may have been prudent to go ahead and make this “Twenty Thirteen.” If “slow baking” is the preferred development method, then perhaps a little more lead time is appropriate.

    That aside, it is a nice, attractive look that appears to have potential for spin-off work.

  86. wphelpsorg

    I’m very happy to see a clean, fresh and responsible default theme with WordPress again. Thanks.

  87. TheMeth90

    I like the theme but I can’t change color of links like on the old Twenty Eleven, too bad.

  88. Good Guy

    Hope this will be available to download for self hosted sites. SVN download is not an option because of so many files to download. You guys don’t want us to miss any files, right!

  89. beckymunoz01

    Unlike the friends I have who share my age, I welcome change. Without it, there would be a boring life. I like what you have done to the theme. I like this a lot.

  90. Sandra Pawula

    This is such a lovely, simple theme. I’ve been experimenting with it. One suggestion: please reconsider the underlined links. I find the underlining too much and it takes away from the elegant look. Also, you might want to double check that the photos are aligning correctly with the height of the first line in a paragraph. They seem a little lower rather than aligned.

    I’m sorry you are getting flack for releasing the theme later in the year. It’s still 2012 so what’s the big deal! You are constantly releasing new themes and tweaking older ones and deserve appreciation.

  91. Caasi Tica

    Simple but lovely. :)

  92. Jawan Bates

    Wow! 2012 theme. Yeah, check out my site before the world ends. Just playing, I like the themes. Don’t know when I wanna change my theme.

  93. tarbeyawatakwin

    It’s simple and attractive… I like to see this in education themes… thanks.

  94. Scott Fillmer

    Love love love the new Twenty theme… thanks for a great update to this theme, it’s as good as many of the premium themes out there!

  95. RCONNORIII

    Wow what a turn out!

  96. Nova Coffeelatte

    This is an amazing theme, my blog uses this theme. :)

  97. admin

    Looks great and the responsiveness is very welcome. I’m using one of Drew’s themes and if it’s half as good as that it’ll prove very popular.

  98. Sandeep

    My blog readers tell me the blog looks fabulous with the new theme, especially on mobile devices where the layout is clutter-free and the menus collapse into a single button.

  99. Thoufeeq

    Great work from the wordpress community. Waiting anxiously for the release in wordpress.org :)

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