TT3 default theme: Announcing style variation selections

Hey everyone! I’ve been completely blown away by the creativity on display in the style variation submissions received for the Twenty Twenty-Three theme.

Since the window to submit new style variations for the TT3 theme closed last week, I’ve been discussing next steps with design lead, @beafialho. Out of the 38 submissions received from 19 contributors spanning 8 different countries (!), we’ve curated a list of 10 style variations to be shipped with the TT3 default theme.

Before jumping into the list of selections, I wanted to share our selection criteria and plans for next steps:

  • These variations were selected in an effort to feature the most drastically different set of variations possible — so in many ways, we were looking at what would work best as a collection versus selecting our favorite standalone submissions.
  • Let’s continue to iterate on the selected submissions up until the WordPress 6.1 betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. period begins on September 20th.
  • @beafialho and I have made some tweaks to the curated set of variations and have left comments on the individual GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. issues for each variation with the requested changes. In many cases, the changes were inspired by a similar submission (we’ll tag any folks whose submissions inspired feedback for others).
  • No explicit next steps are needed from style variation authors — you can update theme.jsonJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML. files where relevant OR those changes can be made in development by @mikachan and others.
  • Some of the changes suggested may be a bit aspirational, but let’s continue pushing to see how opinionated we can make each of these variations.
  • There are also some great discussions happening already about how to showcase the remaining submissions. Some ideas were already discussed in issue #73 — let’s continue thinking about where to collect all the amazing work submitted.

Selected variations


by @richtabor

Pitch will make a great “dark” version of the base theme.

Github pull request

Example 2 (name TBD)

by @beafialho

This variation is an interesting experiment in using a single type size. We tweaked it to use a smaller universal type size, a narrow column width, and took some inspiration from the border radius effect used on images in @melchoyce‘s Mono submission.

GitHub issue

Example 3 (name TBD)

by @beafialho

This variation uses a bold color for all the typography across the site and we think the gray background would work well in a lot of different contexts. 


by @luminuu

This vibrant submission seems like a really nice, opinionated option for a dark version of the base theme. We’ve made some suggestions on how to bring more color to this variation beyond the proposed overlay effect. We’ve also tried a dot pattern texture in the background that would be a cool, unique addition here!

GitHub issue


by @nudge

This variation is a great more traditional option. It would be great to take some inspiration from the Soft variation submitted by @melchoyce and use the Source Serif typeface throughout.

GitHub issue

BlockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. out

by @critterverse

This variation uses opinionated typography and a duotone effect that “blocks out” your images and featured images by using similar colors for the shadow and highlight. We’ve updated these colors with more contrast so that the images are slightly more visible.

GitHub issue

Pumpkin Spice (name TBD)

by @colorful-tones

This style variation has some really custom elements, like the border around the edge of the page, cool button styles, and unique link underlines. The background color felt similar to a few other submissions and the orange accent color doesn’t have a lot of contrast, so we’ve suggested a new color palette for this variation that would help us round out the collection a bit better.

GitHub issue


by @bgardner

We loved how fun and colorful this submission was. It had a lot of overlap with another gorgeous submission, @scruffian‘s Retroactive variation — it would be great to incorporate some of the super unique aspects from that submission into Sherbet to make it even more opinionated.

GitHub issue


by @anariel-design

Shout out to @anariel-design, who was our most prolific submitter and created so many lovely variations that it was hard to pick just one! We loved the unique split color background effect used in Aubergine and suggested some ideas to customize it even further.

GitHub issue


by @amjadr360

We loved the color palette on this submission and thought the type pairing worked really well!

GitHub issue

Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to this experimental process so far by creating style variations, helping iterate on the base theme templates, or landing new GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. pull requests from our project wishlist. We’re excited to keep iterating together over the next couple of weeks!