Early Theme Adopters: Libre

Clean and elegant Libre joined the Theme Showcase at the end of June — and thousands of bloggers have already put their own stamp on it.

Out-of-the-box, Libre is an understated, reader-friendly theme that’s already become a WordPress.com favorite. As movie review blog Empty Screens demonstrates, it’s both crisp and classic:

empty screens.png

Head to the Customizer, though, and you can build on Libre‘s strong foundation to create a site that reflects your unique POV.

Change up the fonts


Fonts can be fun or serious, refined or homey — they add instant personality. Now that free Google fonts are available to any WordPress.com blogger, tailoring a theme with fonts is easier than ever.

Novel Pitch opts for Oswald — whose simple lines keep things bold — and Merriweather, introducing serifs for a writerly touch. Jordan Quinn chose two serif fonts for her home page, The Quinntessential; a delicate font makes for an elegant title, and a more substantial one ensures that reading regular text is comfortable. Beauty and travel blog process. goes for a typewriter-reminiscent serif for headlines, and a simple sans-serif for regular text.

Add a small header

By default, Libre displays a site’s title on the left, rather than centered at the top of the page. The layout lends itself perfectly to highlighting a small logo, something these three bloggers quickly realized:


On crab & bee, home sewer Morgan displays a pair of scissors over the default title, letting new readers know at a glance that they’re in for some crafty fun. she be kale-in’ it‘s Kate adds a stalk of the eponymous veggie to her title, which she’s customized to use the Lato font, while at Noble No More, Jacob eschews Libre‘s default title altogether for a graphic of his own design.

Add a full-width header

If you like a bit more up top, no worries — Libre looks just as great with a full-width header.


Since Libre‘s layout is fairly minimal, it can handle a larger or busier header without feeling cluttered. The Boarding Pass, this little light, and and this is why I will die alone surrounded by cats each use a very different header style, but each works perfectly in Libre.

Go nuts with backgrounds

A simple layout means that Libre can also handle the most in-your-face backgrounds without feeling too busy or illegible, and Pocket WritesMy Life in a Suitcase, and shanbobs don’t hold anything back:


Bright chevron stripes, graphic black-and-white eyes, and an endless stream of taxi cabs give life and verve to these blogs without causing us to lose sight of their words; no small feat!

All of the above!

Fonts, headers, and backgrounds, oh my! The Lit(erature) Mermaid goes for the trifecta — and succeeds admirably:

lit mermaid.png

Any one of these design elements could command a readers’ full focus, but here, they each support the others — in part because of the blogger’s smart choices, and in part because a well-thought-out theme makes it easy for you to create a beautiful, custom site.

Want to give Libre a spin? Take a deeper look and activate it from the Theme Showcase!

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Comments are closed.

  1. egoecho

    Beautiful stuff. And I am indeed a Libre fan!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. ridwanris

    waw, looks beautiful. This theme is suitable for the journal blog?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Harriett Lock Blog

    I adopted the Libre theme on the day it was released. It is a lovely clean sophisticated theme as the blogs above show. It would also be interesting to see some examples of blogs that use the default template with the content on the left and the sidebar on the right.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Zoe

    Is the full width header an option available by default or with upgraded customization package?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rosawan

    Libre is the best! I’m using it now and really really love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. totallyborderline

    Please excuse my ignorance, new blogger, but is there a way to collapse the posts so the whole text isn’t displayed? I feel like it would look more appealing if the reader could pick and choose which posts to open

    Liked by 1 person

  7. asleeplogan

    I’m impressed! Might have to try this one out too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Don Charisma

    Looks great, thanks for sharing … if I ever go into movie reviews, then I’ll be sure to try this theme out 🙂


    Don Charisma

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Álvaro Sialer Cuevas

    I fell in love with Libre since the beginning too. Thanks for the examples and the typography advice!

    Liked by 1 person

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