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Horizontal WordPress themes for artists

[wpsm_box type=”blue” float=”none” text_align=”left”]Check out my collection of 10 stunning horizontal sliding WordPress themes for 2015
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In this video I take a look at some clean, horizontal WordPress themes suitable for housing a collection of artistic images that might be part of a catalogue or portfolio.

I’ve spoken before about the distinct lack of WordPress themes oriented towards artists and these themes offer an interesting solution to anyone looking for a simple blank canvas to house their artwork.

The horizontal format is usually not a practical option for content heavy websites, but for a focused series of photographs with textual inserts, these themes work well. The horizontal effect emulates something of the experience of viewing a gallery or an exhibition.

Moreover, scrolling horizontally is a lot less problematic in a world increasingly moving towards tablet devices (note the announcement of Microsoft’s Surface today) for which touch-sensitive navigation is an integral part.

The themes were developed by horizontalwp.com, they are all premium themes, but the price tag of $40 seems reasonable enough to me. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Written by Will Ellington

Originally from the UK, I currently live in Osaka, Japan, where I work in higher education. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2004 and have developed numerous projects with it over the years. Wpliving is a place to share things i've learnt along the way, and to explore innovations in WordPress too.

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5 Comments

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  1. It’s nice to see some independent theme developers’ work outside of the major marketplaces. Without your video, I probably would have likely never found these fantastic themes.

    Personally I think the gap between artist/ designer and the general public is narrowing every day. Good design is everywhere now.

    For example there may be relatively few professional artists out there who need a good theme like this to showcase their work – However a savvy theme developer would realize that average people would appreciate and use the exact same theme to showcase their “average” work (family photos, amateur photography, etc.).

    Good design is not just made for and appreciated by the artistic elite any more.

    By the way I have a password protected photo/video blog for my kids on posterous that I share with family/friends. I never type text posts. It’s just photos and video on a black background. I’m looking to put in on a self hosted wordpress site. Any theme suggestions? I’d like it to be responsive and have all the focus be on the photos and video content. I also love how I can just upload a video form my iphone via the posterous app and it’s ready to play immediately on the site. How is this possible with WordPress?

    Any theme suggestions or tips are greatly appreciated.

    Thank You.

  2. Thanks for taking the time out to leave such a thoughtful comment Chris. Fantastic stuff.

    Just to respond to a couple of points you make.

    Good design is not just made for and appreciated by the artistic elite any more.

    I think this is true and if my video led you to believe otherwise then that’s an error on my part. My point was not so much about the appreciation of good design, or the ability or inability of anyone to appreciate design, but rather the specific lack of WordPress theme designs that cater to the needs of artists who are looking for a simple platform with which to showcase their art work.

    I think it’s important to differentiate between design that is integral to an artistic project and design that supports the outcome of artistic projects that take place in strictly non-digital, non-web based contexts. Both facets require entirely different design approaches. My video falls into the category of the latter. I wanted to highlight these horizontal themes precisely because they offer an alternative solution for showcasing art work that is different from the vast majority of themes we see being churned out on a daily basis across the various commercial outlets.

    Now to your second set of questions.

    I have a password protected photo/video blog for my kids on posterous that I share with family/friends. I never type text posts. It’s just photos and video on a black background. I’m looking to put in on a self hosted wordpress site. Any theme suggestions?

    There are a whole number of tumblog type WordPress themes available, a quick search for the term “tumblog” on ThemeForest will give you some interesting results.

    Among those that appeal to me personally are the following:

    This are some of my favourites.

    I’d like it to be responsive and have all the focus be on the photos and video content. I also love how I can just upload a video form my iphone via the posterous app and it’s ready to play immediately on the site. How is this possible with WordPress?

    In terms of posting directly from your iPhone, I would recommend looking at themes that use the excellent WooTumblog plugin by WooThemes. I think I’m right in saying that the majority of WooThemes themes integrate and support this plugin out of the box. They also have some specific tumblog style themes which would come very close to your experience of Posterous. See this selection of tumblog themes for example.

    There’s also the excellent WordPress for iOS plugin which is free to download from the AppStore. You can read all about it here. It was recently updated to include video uploads as well as photos straight from your iPhone.

  3. Good point on design. Am I correct in understanding you that design needs can be different when the website IS the message vs the website is the messenger?

    And Wow. Thank you so much for all the info and recommendations. I will check all these options out.

    I’ve learned a lot about independent theme developers like Elma Studios, Press75, HorizontalWP from WP Living. A list post with links to these indie developers whose themes are not on major commercial outlets would be nice to see on the web.

    Maybe even 2 lists. It would be nice for a WP theme shopper to see all the options in one place. Sometimes it’s hard to find the “underdogs.”

    Major Market Places (Aggregators)
    – Themeforest
    -Mojo Themes
    -etc.

    Independent
    -Elegant Themes
    -Woo Themes
    -Elma Studios
    -Press 75
    -etc.

  4. It’s so refreshing to hear your comments, they echo my own thoughts on the matter. I am an exhibiting photographer that has been looking to find a way of presenting my work online that mimics strolling through a gallery, or flipping through a book – the horizontal format just makes sense to me.

    I very often find that most WP themes are rather garish and obtrusive in their design – I want my work to stand out, not the theme. And I’ve been deterred from horizontal themes in the past because of usability issues, as I find it quite awkward to manually drag a horizontal scrollbar left and right with a mouse. I applaud the design interface of Greg’s themes and to me they successfully transfer the experience of looking at art in the physical world to a digital format.

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