Clean, minimalist Drupal themes

Minimalist Drupal themes FAQ: Can you recommend any Drupal minimalist themes?

As my website about living in Alaska starts picking up more readers, I've been thinking about changing the website theme to something "lighter". I just published the results of my looking around for clean, minimalist website designs, and in this article, I thought I'd share the results of looking for clean, minimalist Drupal themes.

Clean, minimalist Drupal themes

I dug into this search for clean, minimalist Drupal themes by looking through a variety of Drupal theme collections websites, and trying to pick out the ones that appeared to have a light, clean look and feel. I then uploaded each Drupal theme to the OneMansAlaska website, changed the theme, created an image of each theme, and then moved on to the next one.

I'm not blown away by any of these themes out of the box, but some of them are decent, and I can see how I'd change them for my own needs. I should also note that I didn't try to configure any of these Drupal themes. I just dropped them in, took a look at them, and then moved in. In a few cases the themes might look better with some configuration.

I'm just going to share these themes in alphabetical order here. For the time being I'm also just pulling descriptions of each theme from their Drupal theme page.

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Clean Drupal themes - Ad The Morning After

Notes on the Drupal Ad The Morning After theme:

  • W3C Valid, and tested on Firefox, IE7, Netscape, Opera, Safari
  • Support for two, one, and no columns
  • Support for logo, primary links, secondary links, mission, search box, shortcut icon and user pictures

Clean Drupal themes - Ad The Morning After

Clean, minimalist Drupal themes - Austin

The Drupal Austin theme is a minimalist theme designed for the SXSW 2009 competition. It's a very clean theme, and I used it as the basis for one of my other websites. I don't think it was completed for the Drupal "admin" portion of a website, but I use the default Drupal themes for administrative work, so that's not a big deal for me. Here's some other information on this minimalist Drupal theme:

  • The Austin (Zen Sub theme) was created in partnership with Mark Boulton for the "Iron Chef" style competition at SXSW 2009.
  • The sxsw project can be followed here: and the site and its theme + modules will be available for download there soon.
  • The Austin theme is a typographically driven theme, designed by Mark Boulton.

Clean Drupal themes - Austin

Clean Drupal themes - Blue Bars

The Drupal Blue Bars theme.

  • This is a port of the "Blue Bars" theme found on
  • This is a fixed width 2 column layout. Definitely a minimalist design.

Clean Drupal themes - Blue Bars

Clean, minimalist Drupal themes - Burnt

I came close to using the Drupal Burnt theme for another website, but in the end I decided not to. That being said, with a few changes to its fonts and spacing, this can be a very nice minimalist Drupal theme.

  • This is a port of the "leaves" theme found on
  • This is a fixed width 3 column layout.

Clean Drupal themes - Burnt

Clean Drupal themes - Camsel

The Drupal Camsel theme.

  • A 3 column layout with maroon and gold bars.
  • Supported features include logo, slogan and secondary links.
  • Primary links can be added if there is demand (please create an issue if this is wanted).

Clean Drupal themes - Camsel theme

Clean, minimalist Drupal themes - Chameleon

The Drupal Chameleon theme.

  • These are the Chameleon theme and its sub-theme Marvin that were in Drupal 6. They were removed from Drupal 7, but will live on as contributed themes at this location.

Clean Drupal themes - Chameleon

Clean Drupal themes - Clean

The Drupal Clean theme.

  • The idea behind this theme was to make a clean, versatile theme that has just enough styling to be usable right out of the box.
  • Clean theme is analogous to using a reset.css file to start a project, but in the form of a Drupal theme.
  • Focus on speed to create a new bespoke theme
  • 100% XHTML 1.0 Strict and CSS 2.1 valid
  • 1/2/3 column collapsible layout
  • Large base font size
  • Relative font sizes

Clean Drupal themes - Clean theme

Clean Drupal themes - Dark Blue

The Drupal Dark Blue theme.

  • A port from the free template Dark Blue from

Clean Drupal themes - Dark Blue

Clean Drupal themes - Delicious Fruit

The Drupal Delicious Fruit theme.

  • Two-columns
  • Fixed width
  • Tableless / Pure CSS design

Clean Drupal themes - Delicious Fruit

Clean Drupal themes - Foliage

The Drupal Foliage theme.

  • The theme has a fixed centered width and supports screen resolutions of 1024 pixels
  • It validates XHTML 1.0 Strict and is valid CSS
  • Foliage is source-ordered: the content comes before the left and right columns in the XHTML source
  • It can be used with one, two or three columns - this depends on how the block visibilty is organized in the admin backend
  • Foliage has been tested against the following browsers: Firefox (for Windows, Mac and Linux), IE 6, IE 7, Safari (for Mac and Windows), Opera (for Windows, Mac and Linux) and Konquerer
  • Logo, Site name, Site slogan, Mission statement, User pictures, Search box, Shortcut icon, Primary and Secondary links are supported.
  • The theme also supports all default block regions. The "header" is positioned on top of the middle column directly below the mission statement.

Clean Drupal themes - Foliage

Clean Drupal themes - Forest Floor

The Drupal Forest Floor theme.

  • A 3 column theme that also works very well with one or even no columns.
  • This theme supports the folowing features:
    • Logo
    • Site Name
    • Site Slogan
    • Mission statement
    • User pictures in posts
    • User pictures in comments
    • Search box
    • Shortcut icon
    • 1024px and 800px wide versions

Clean Drupal themes - Forest Floor

Clean Drupal themes - Fresh Media

The Drupal Fresh Media theme.

  • Three special “user” block regions
  • Two-columns
  • Fixed width
  • Tableless / Pure CSS design
  • Five block regions - content, right sidebar, footer 1, footer 2, and footer 3

Clean Drupal themes - Fresh media

Clean Drupal themes - Id Facta

The Drupal Id Facta theme.

  • Collapsible left sidebar and bottom blocks.

Clean Drupal themes - Id Facta

Clean Drupal themes - Light

The Drupal Light theme.

  • A simple and clean theme ideal for blog's and small personal websites.

Clean Drupal themes - Light theme

Clean Drupal themes - Marvin

The Drupal Marvin theme is included with Drupal 6.

Clean Drupal themes - Drupal Marvin theme

Clean Drupal themes - Minimalist

The Drupal Minimalist theme.

  • Two column layout
  • Tableless design for SEO
  • Fixed width layout
  • Four regions (Content top, Sidebar, Content bottom and Footer)
  • CSS 2.1 and XHTML 1.0 validated
  • Supports custom logo and favicon (logo could be a banner that extends the length of about 930px)
  • User picture in profile, comments and post
  • Fast loading theme
  • Very customizable
  • Heading H1 optimization for SEO

Clean Drupal themes - Minimalist Drupal theme

Clean Drupal themes - Pushbutton

The Drupal Pushbutton theme.

Clean Drupal themes - Pushbutton Drupal theme

Clean Drupal themes - Shallow Grunge

The Drupal Shallow Grunge theme.

  • Two-columns
  • Fixed width
  • Tableless / Pure CSS design

Clean Drupal themes - Shallow Grunge Drupal theme

Clean Drupal themes - Simplex

The Drupal Simplex2 theme.

Clean Drupal themes - Simplex theme

Clean Drupal themes - Superclean

The Drupal Superclean theme.

  • The layout is a 2-column fixed-width layout (in which the content goes full width if there is no site logo or blocks in the left sidebar).

Clean Drupal themes - Superclean Drupal theme

Clean Drupal themes - Zen Classic

Zen Classic is included with the Drupal 6 distribution.

Clean Drupal themes - Zen Classic Drupal theme

Clean Drupal themes - Zubrick

The Drupal Zubrick theme.

  • A theme for Drupal 6.x that is based on the original Wordpress Kubrick theme.

Clean Drupal themes - Zubrick Drupal theme

Alaska website redesign

I just finished the first round of the redesign of my website about living in Alaska (One Man's Alaska), and I'm pretty happy with it so far. You may not believe it by looking at it, but I actually started with the Austin theme, then kept working on it until I got something I liked. Here's what it looks like:

Clean, minimalist Drupal theme -