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Twenty Twelve: First sketches

By Drew Strojny on April 19, 2012

At the end of last year Matt and Lance contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in designing Twenty Twelve, the default WordPress theme for this year. I was of course honored and excited, and after some discussion about expectations and details, we started the project in relative secrecy.

After a fast start, Twenty Twelve development slowed to a crawl in February (which was my fault) and in March we decided including it in WordPress 3.4 wasn’t a good idea. Since then we’ve re-focused, moved the Twenty Twelve repository to Github, and established a regular work schedule to ensure it’s ready for WordPress 3.5.

Update! Twenty Twelve has launched.

Twenty Twelve has launched and is now available in WordPress 3.5 and available for download in the WordPress repository. If Twenty Twelve is too basic for you, be sure to check out our WordPress templates or read our guide on finding the best WordPress themes.

Following on Github

If you’re following along over on Github, expect to see commits going in on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Right now the team is small: Lance and I are working on the code and chatting with Matt and Nacin as required over Skype. We may be small, but we’re more than happy to accept bug fixes and suggestions in the form of pull requests. In fact, a few folks have already chipped in — thanks Konstantin Obenland and Jeff Sebring!

Over the next few months I’ll be posting more about the decisions and discussions we’ve made and had while building Twenty Twelve. At first, these will be a bit backdated, but the posts will slowly catch up as we move along. We’ll also put up a live demo site sometime soon, so you can see Twenty Twelve in action!

First sketches

First sketch #1

First sketches are a basic overview for the direction of the theme. It’s the first thing I do when I sit down to design a theme. They don’t set anything in stone, but they set the tone and aesthetic for the design. The goal here was to avoid anything fancy, whimsical, or tricky. The focus for the theme will be clean lines, precise spacing, and great typography. Twenty Twelve should be a joy to read.

First sketch #2

These sketches were completed back in January, and some things have changed since then, but the general look and feel of the theme has stayed the same. In the next few posts we’ll dive a little deeper and take a look at some of the decisions we’ve made so far. Stay tuned!

Enjoy this post? Read more like it in From the workshop.


  1. Filipe Varela

    Didn’t know you were working on the Twenty Twelve, that’s wonderful news!
    Can’t wait to see the final thing live. :)

  2. Patrick Andriessen

    You guys are awesome. First getting your themes on and now you are designing the new default theme! Very cool! Can’t wait to see it in action :)

    Groetjes / Greetings from Holland,


  3. Drew Strojny

    Thanks Patrick! Hope all is well in Holland. Hopefully Jennifer and I can get back there for a visit sometime soon :-)

  4. Andras Guseo

    Great news!!! Can’t wait to see it in action and to get my hands on it!

  5. Steven Gliebe

    Congratulations, this is really cool news. It’ll be nice for WordPress to be represented by a very good looking default theme.

  6. Hassan

    Designing the default theme, eh? That is one tough gig! I’m glad I’m not the one responsible for that!
    Good luck!

  7. Holly

    Wonderful news! (Yes, I love your themes. No, not using one at the moment. Definitely looking at ways to redesign my blog for more efficiency and better use of new WP features, yet keep the “character.”) Glad to hear you’re doing Twenty Twelve!

  8. Deirdre

    Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition. I can’t wait to see the completed design.

  9. Drew Strojny

    Hi Frank!

    Just so you know, we did not design Twenty Eleven (that was the WordPress team), this is a first time thing for us :-)

  10. Rich

    Hey Drew!

    Congrats, you deserve it! I can’t wait to see the finish product. Oh, and hurry up! I need a theme for a new blog…


  11. Kreativ Theme

    Interesting info on Twenty Twelve … did not knew that TTF is building this … I can’t wait to have a new TTF theme ;)

  12. Jakbeas

    Can’t wait for the new theme. Been a advid fan of WordPress and with the new theme and constant great update, It always is a winner..

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