15 Awesome Tumblr Themes

Tumblr. With its creation it tried to usher in a new style of blogging, something more like an expanded tweet and yet still a rather shrunken weblog. The focus on mixed content, pictures and video and audio and text, was well received by the web community, and as a platform, Tumblr continues to grow.

From the design world, Tumblr’s easy themeing capabilities helped it gain a quick following from amateur and professional alike. Today we’ve roundup 15 awesome Tumblr themes from some of the best designers in the field.

Premium Themes

Tumblr has always had a thriving theme ecosystem, but fairly recently the premium theme market has grown exponentially. Previously the domain of really only WordPress, premium themes are where you’ll find professional designers putting their time and effort into crafting a beautiful product. Here are some of the best we’ve found.

MARS for $49

by Style Hatch

MARS

MARS

MARS is the personification of what makes a good theme, no matter what the platform. It gives you “good bones” to work with, while at the same time offering a unique style to use out of the box. Easy to customize, with some well executed doses of JavaScript coolness, MARS definitely qualifies as and awesome.

Inspire Well for $49

by Style Hatch

Inspire Well

Inspire Well

Offering a layout that’s sure to help you stand out from the crowd, Inspire Well delivers on the name. If you’re a big fan of the tumblog nature of posting then Inspire Well might be the best way to show off what you have to offer.

Shutterbug for $49

by Pixel Union

Shutterbug

Shutterbug

A big trend in premium Tumblr themes is crafting experiences with specific users in mind. If you’re a photographer – or just someone who likes to re-post a lot of photos – Shutterbug is for you. You can build a full-blown portfolio on the Tumblr platform thanks to this theme. Definitely something to check out for anyone who’s looking for a simple way to showcase their photography.

Slideshow for $49

by Pixel Union

Slideshow

Slideshow

Also by Pixel Union, Slideshow does what it says on the tin. Unlike Shutterbug which seems more geared to someone looking to show off their photographs professionally, Slideshow gives the impression that it has the enthusiast in mind. The initial impression is great, and it offers a smooth way to slide through a large number of photos. But clicking through doesn’t offer as much information as Shutterbug’s design allows.

Nautical for $49

by Pixel Union

Nautical

Nautical

Nautical is just awesome. Plain and simple. It just oozes character and personality. Granted, it is certainly going in a certain stylistic direction, but it does it so well, committing to it 100%. If you think that look is you’re cup of tea, you can’t go wrong with Nautical.

Sonic for $49

by Pixel Union

Sonic

Sonic

Sonic is another theme with a certain clientele in mind – bands. I think Tumblr is great platform for an indie band, and Sonic is the theme to give ‘em a kick start. Offering integration with social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Last.fm, Sonic is hard to beat. Get it…beat. Never mind.

Simplefolio for $49

by Pixel Union

Simplefolio

Simplefolio

Ok, so maybe you’re not an indie band, and maybe you’re not a photographer. Maybe you’re a graphic designer, maybe you specialize in logo design. The bottom line is, if Tumblr’s your platform of choice, Pixel Union’s got your back with Simplefolio. Yup, that’s right. You can have a full-blown portfolio on Tumblr with theme. And it’s got shiny pixel goodness to spare.

Contrast for $49

by Pixel Union

Contrast

Contrast

This is the last one from Pixel Union – I swear. Those guys just do such a stellar job over there, I can’t help but acknowledge it. Contrast is one my favorites from them though. It doesn’t pull any punches. Its bold, maybe even a little brash, but it offers a strong foundation for you to put your own stamp on. And that’s how any good theme should be.

Vintage Sky for $20

by Kohette

Vintage Sky

Vintage Sky

Vintage Sky has an animated header! Yes, you read that right, I said animated. That alone would give it a spot on this list, but Kohette didn’t stop there. Beyond the killer header, he’s built an elegant, visually interesting 3 column layout. But it doesn’t stop there. This thing is fully customizable – including the awesome header. Nicely done!

Time Goes Back for $20

by Baires

Time Goes Back

Time Goes Back

Minimalism is unquestionably in vogue right now, but it’s a lot harder to achieve than one might think. Time Goes Back hits it right on point. Again, a theme that transforms what appears to simply be a humble blogging service into something that can support a high quality portfolio. Combining features with fashion, Time Goes Back is a real winner.

Free Themes

Before you get all up in arms, we’re not going to leave you with extra tight budgets hanging. While the pricing for most premium Tumblr themes is quite reasonable, you may still prefer something with an even smaller price tag. Here’s our picks for awesomely free themes.

Alternate Route

by IMSupernova

Alternate Route

Alternate Route

It’s called Alternate Route. And it scrolls horizontally. But it does so with a simple aesthetic, and without any hiccups. If you want to give the sidescrolling-style a try, check out Alternate Route.

Single A

by BusinessBullpen

Single A

Single A

Single A really covers all the bases, incorporating everything that Tumblr offers. And it offers a simple, clean foundation that’s really easy to customize to your liking. Feature rich and at a price you can’t beat, that’s a winning combination.

The Eames by Minimalistco

The Eames

The Eames

The Eames is one of the most typographically rich themes on this list. It’s minimalist styled, vertically centered layout has a certain elegance about it that the typography just amplifies. Definitely worth a look.

Nouvelle Vague

by PT Campbell

Nouvelle Vague

Nouvelle Vague

As seems to be the trend with these awesome free themes, Nouvelle Vague’s strength is its blank-slate quality. By itself, it gives off subtle mid-century modern vibes. Give it a look, might be just what you’re looking for.

Effector by Carlo Franco

Effector

Effector

I’ve saved truly one of my favorites for last. Effector really captures that modern, minimalist style while maintaining warmth and character. Offering both a dark and a light version, you’ve got room to play. If you want a simple, plug-and-play theme at no cost to you, Effector is it, no question.

Wrap Up

So there you have it. 15 examples of awesomeness from the Tumblr theming community. Did we miss a favorite of your’s? Chime in in the comments.


  • http://thebird-feeder.com Ben Carlsen

    I adore Effector. Not only is it clean, simple, and modern looking, but it’s definitely the most feature-full free theme. Sometimes I can’t believe that it’s actually free!

  • http://www.bloggingtechnews.com blogging tech news

    really nice. Tumblr now grow up rapidly. So i think tumblr theme will be popular soon.

  • http://wpimpact.com kuku

    the “mars” is really awesome one theme,good work

  • http://blog.arunace.com Arun Sengupta

    That’s an awesome list of themes… I didn’t even know tumblr could even look so cool… i will surely try to find out more such themes :D
    Thanx :)

  • http://www.designrapid.com/cool-tumblr-themes/ Ramandeep

    Amazing collection, thanks for sharing. I just fall in love with Tumblr now, amazing themes are available and everything is free. After using Tumblr for 2 years, I am highly satisfied.

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