Switch Themes

Enjoy a hearty collection of custom themes to change the look and feel of Perishable Press.

Update (2013/08/19): Alternate themes are no longer available. The original goal was to create 26 alternate themes, one for each letter of the alphabet.. after eight years I managed to create 23 of the 26 themes: A–W. It was fun while it lasted, but the complexity of maintaining and updating that many themes was just too much going forward. So with the launch of the current theme, Wire, all previous themes have been removed. This post describes the different themes, and will remain online for reference purposes.</update>

The Perishable Press Theme Collection

[ Thumbnail: Apathy Icon ] Three-column newspaper-style theme. This is one of my oldest, least-used themes. It presents a lot of information right up front, which almost seems silly now. As far as I know, this is one of the first themes to employ a fully functional triple loop.
[ Thumbnail: Bananaz Icon ] A traditional, two-column, fixed-width theme with all the trimmings. The original version of this theme was created in 2005, back when I was really digging into CSS and XHTML. Although I am relatively pleased with the overall appearance of the theme, there are several details that require attention. I personally do not use the Bananaz theme, but know of several people that continue to do so.
[ Thumbnail: Casket Icon ] Casket is a traditional, fixed-width, two-column theme with a post-modern “gothic” feel. This is one of my favorite themes. As I designed the original version way back in 2005, CSS and XHTML were finally beginning to “click”. Lots of nice features included here as well, including live comment preview and external link indication.
[ Thumbnail: DOS_FX Icon ] Produced on a whim, DOS_FX was inspired by the formatting and presentation of the DOS command prompt. DOS-FX is a fluid-width, two-column theme set in the legendary “Terminal” font. Beyond that, there really isn’t too much to say about it. Must see to believe.
[ Thumbnail: Entropy Icon ] Entropy is simply the DOS_FX theme with an inverted color scheme. Instead of light text on dark background, Entropy features dark text on light background. Tedious, eh? Oh well, it’s all part of the learning process!
[ Thumbnail: Finished Icon ] Finished is a fixed-width, two-column theme with fresh skeleton graphics and minimalist text styles. Maroon on white is one of my favorite blog color schemes, and the Finished theme throws ‘em down with style.
[ Thumbnail: Garbage Icon ] The Garbage theme began as an old B2Evolution theme before I had discovered the joys of working with WordPress. I have always like the cluttered look of this theme, even if it would never work in the “real world”.
[ Thumbnail: Headline Icon ] After several months working with the Apathy (newspaper-like) theme, I began receiving requests for a fixed-width version. Happy to oblige as always, I reworked the CSS and a bit of the PHP, and released the Headline theme. Over the past few upgrades, Headline has evolved into quite a solid little theme, even if it is a bit “old school”.
[ Thumbnail: Information Icon ] Information is a monster of a theme that strives to streamline presentation of a well-rounded, multimedia portfolio. At the time, I was really trying to emphasize the different facets of my work, including photography, video, audio, art, and so on. The Information theme uses drop-down/pop-open JavaScript to consolidate different topical portions of the site while integrating them into a comprehensive presentation of content. Although this was a great idea in theory, the practicality of it all gets lost somewhere along the way.
[ Thumbnail: Killer Icon ] Finally, after eleven previous stabs at producing a theme that I could live with, I finally designed something halfway decent. The Jupiter! theme will be recognizable to many you, as it reflects the look and feel of Perishable Press from the not-too-distant past. The first theme to feature the official Perishable Press sun logo, Jupiter! is a fixed width, pseudo-two-column theme with toggling meta information for each post. Live comment preview, link indication, Flash titles, and comment quicktags help to round out the overall functionality of this classic theme.
[ Thumbnail: Jupiter Icon ] Another attempt at something different, the Killer theme is more of a study of XHTML markup and floated divisions than anything else. Believe it or not, this theme is doing things that the CSS newbie just wouldn’t understand. Although the presentational puzzle was eventually solved and the desired layout achieved, the overall look and feel of the Killer theme is fairly awkward and overwrought. An interesting chapter in theme development, if nothing else.
[ Thumbnail: Lithium Icon ] Once Jupiter! had been online for awhile, traffic began to increase a little, and a few folks had dropped some positive criticisms concerning the theme. Inspired, I decided to refine Jupiter! and optimize it for dial-up. I removed much of the extraneous functionality, streamlined lots of code, and consolidated the CSS. In the process, I also enhanced the appearance of the text, making it cleaner and easier to read. To top off the fun, custom print styles were also included.
[ Thumbnail: minimalist Icon ] The minimalist theme is a sparse, flex-width, two-column theme with a nice, quiet appearance. The minimalist theme utilizes two special menu pages to help streamline links, organize content, and reduce clutter. Other features include comments appearing directly adjacent to posts and an “invisible” search box that I thought was way too cool for it’s own good. Even today, minimalist remains my most popular theme, as measured in sheer number of downloads.
[ Thumbnail: Naked Icon ] Designed exclusively for CSS Naked Day, the Naked theme features succinct, XHTML-1.1 markup, ultra-optimized PHP code, and plenty of sweet, behind-the-scenes WordPress functionality. Virtually CSS-free (featuring only a pinch of style for the Coldform), the Naked theme may not be the prettiest WordPress theme around, but it happens to be ideal for low-bandwidth users, mobile devices, and anyone who desires a lightning-fast browsing experience here at Perishable Press.
[ Thumbnail: Optimized Icon ] Once traffic really began to pick up early last year, I began work on another evolution of the Jupier!/Lithium theme. Since the release of Lithium (the default theme at the time), my design skills had improved significantly, and I was determined to create something representative of my current level of understanding. Thus, after several weeks of development, the Optimized theme was unveiled to the public. Similar in appearance to its predecessor, Optimized features significantly improved code, faster loading times, and greater functionality. Lots to love about this theme, including a super footer featuring the multiple-loop presentation of recent posts from each category.
[ Thumbnail: Perishable Icon ] You are were here. This is was the site’s current default theme. It replaced the Optimized theme late last year (2007), and is designed with a serious passion for minimalism. Of all my themes, I have found this one to be the most inspiring to work with — it gives me a sense of seriousness, speed, and accuracy that I find highly inviting and rewarding.
[ Thumbnail: Quintessential Icon ] You are were here. This is was the site’s current default theme. It replaced the Perishable theme in October of 2008, and is my finest design effort to date. Features include triple content panel sliders, smooth scrolling to internal link targets, imported Twitter and Tumblr feeds, cross-browser display precision, and much, much more. The initial release was a little rough around the edges, so I will be sharpening things up throughout the coming months.
[ Thumbnail: Requiem Icon ] You are were here. This is was the site’s current default theme. It replaced the Quintessential theme in January of 2009, and is a return to minimalism in a more user-friendly fashion. Features include cleaner interface, streamlined archives, toggling metadata and metapost information, and much more. The text is displayed via highly contrasted Helvetica with classic blue underlined link styles, and the post paragraph text is justified for tighter overall page views. Other changes include dropped Tumblr feed import, new Gravatar display for comments, and smoother JavaScript embellishments. Overall, it’s my new favorite ;)
[ Thumbnail: Serious Icon ] The Serious theme replaced the Requiem/Quintessential themes on November 30th, 2009. This theme is my favorite so far, keeping the focus on content via streamlined interface and reorganized site architecture. Features include enhanced presentation of <pre> code, Ajax-powered recent-posts panel, and imported images from my graphix archive site, perishable.biz. Definitely check it out or learn more about the Serious theme.
[ Thumbnail: Serious Icon ] Tether replaced the Serious theme on February 6th, 2011. Built with HTML5 and liberal doses of CSS3, the Tether theme is the first theme designed for both old and new versions of the site. If you change the theme to something else, you will notice that the Home Page does not change. Whatever, this is one of my best themes, and it’s designed with readability in mind. Note that the base theme for this design, named “Quantify” is available for download at the DigWP.com Theme Clubhouse. You can also read more about this design.
[ Thumbnail: Unicorner Icon ] Unicorner replaced the Tether theme on March 7th, 2012. Built with HTML5 and liberal doses of CSS3, the Unicorner theme is the first theme designed for the new unified Perishable Press. The entire site is now seamless and better organized, with tons of features and fully responsive design.
[ Thumbnail: Volume Icon ] The Volume theme replaced Unicorner on April 8th, 2012. Built with HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery, the Volume theme brings lightweight, responsive design and streamlined, minimal interface focused on better usability. Keywords: details, energy, organic, no hacks.
[ Thumbnail: Wire Icon ] You are here. This is the site’s current default theme. Wire replaced Volume on August 15th, 2013, and was specifically designed as the first stand-alone theme for the site. Free of the baggage and entanglements of the previous 22 themes, Wire serves as a breath of fresh air, with its minimal responsive design and streamlined code under the hood. As with previous themes, performance, security, and usability are front and center. I am definitely looking forward to using this theme ;)

The Intro

Editor’s note (2012/03/07): For the sake of efficiency, the next two paragraphs are relocated to beneath the list of themes.

Finally, after many grueling weeks of relentless determination and tedious repetition, I am pleased to announce the return of the entire collection of Perishable Press themes. Enabling users to change the appearance and functionality of the site, the fifteen unique themes were dismantled several months ago for the ongoing Perishable Press site renovation. Since then, links referring to the removed themes had been redirected to a temporary “Labs” subdomain (labs.perishablepress.com), which featured various installations of WordPress populated with “lorem ipsum” filler text. Although this was suitable as a temporary fix for those interested in exploring the different themes, full theme renovation and restoration remained an ongoing task that finally (finally!) reached its conclusion late last week.

Each and every theme has been painstakingly evaluated, optimized, improved, and tested. During the process, many structural, organizational, and presentational improvements were made. Each theme now operates independently, requiring no files (images, scripts, etc.) beyond those contained within the theme directory itself. Further, each theme has been integrated into a sitewide error-logging process whereby all errors (PHP, 404, htaccess, etc.) are logged in a centralized location and appended with plenty of theme-specific information. Thus, if someone begins to experience issues with one of these newly restored themes, I will be the first to know. This is important as people begin to use the themes under different circumstances (operating systems, user agents, extensions, etc.). I tested as much as possible to ensure universal functionality, but must admit a significant reliance and dependence on Web Standards throughout the restoration process. Thus, if something breaks on Internet Explorer, I won’t be surprised ;) So, without further ado, here is a summary of each newly renovated theme — feel free to check ‘em out!

Looking back and moving on..

Renovating and restoring these themes has proven both challenging and enlightening. It took every ounce of effort and determination I could possibly muster to keep my nose to the grindstone night after night, day after day, meticulously contemplating and reworking endless lines of atrociously written code, perpetually sleuthing and resolving conflicts and inconsistencies, and continuously dealing with crashing servers, impatient support help, and unappreciative ticket responses. I spent a solid month working on this project — righting the many wrongs that had plagued many of my previous themes — and can honestly say it may have been the most rigorous, grueling experience I have yet encountered while developing my computer skills. Fortunately, the process was also very enlightening. Going through and reworking old code is a great way to observe progress. Some of my oldest themes had not been touched in over two years! And let me tell you, I may not know much about PHP, XHTML, CSS, or JavaScript now, but two years ago I knew virtually nothing! You would so laugh if I told you about some of the code I found lurking in those old theme files. Beyond recognition of progress, I also benefited by the additional exposure to WordPress. The entire theme process is so crystal clear to me know — loops, tags, templates, hooks — I am excited to move ahead and start fresh with a new theme design. Finally, the most practical benefit of renovating all these themes is that they are all once again working well and available for customizing the look and feel of Perishable Press. These themes represent a significant phase of my Web design experience, and now that they are preserved and restored online, I hope you enjoy them!