How To Make A Successful Tumblr Theme

So you’ve finally made yourself a Tumblr blog; now that you’ve passed the super-challenging signup process you want to maybe stick out from the other billion Tumblrs, right? It’s pretty easy, actually. First look for the most popular theme out there, and install it. After you’ve installed it, you can customize it, and that’s where the fun begins.

You definitely want something high contrast for the background, like a bright neon pink, or an absolute black. A loud pattern or an animated .gif would be even better. Then, for the text you want to pick something with next to no contrast, so if you’re using a black background, choose a super dark grey text color, that way everybody’s gotta squint to read it. You’re not gonna be writing anything original (you’re on Tumblr probably because you can’t write past a 5th grade level anyways, right?) so legibility doesn’t matter at all.

The next step is to change the padding. Why have all that wasted space around your grid of posts (you *did* get a grid theme right? Those are what the cool kids use), just get rid of all the padding. There we go, nice and cozy, the posts should be right up against each other. Perfect.

For any images you might want to use in the theme, make sure to mess with their proportions. Nobody wants to a see a perfectly-sized image, so get crazy with it. Bonus points for adding animated glitter, stars, and cats to your theme.

For the fonts, you want something artsy, like Times New Roman, or Comic Sans. Nothing says “fun” quite like Comic Sans. For the sizes, 11pt/px should be the absolute biggest font size you have. Big font sizes are ugly, small font sizes are sexy, get with the program. 8px is an ideal size for all the text, it’s small and cute. Adjust the text-spacing (it’s actually called kerning, but that’s for losers lol) to either really close together or really spread apart. That’ll show everybody just how _artsy_ and _creative_ you are.

And for the finishing touch, make sure that the next page/previous page links are super hard to find. You’re working so hard reblogging all these things, at least give your readers a bit of a challenge when they try to read your Tumblr. Make sure there’s no obvious link to the homepage either. I mean, this is Tumblr, you don’t have to make it functional and usable like all those other icky sites on the internet.

If by now you can’t tell that I’m being extremely sarcastic, then perhaps you do belong on Tumblr. The point of this post is to make fun of all the horrific designs I see on Tumblr these days. The culprits are usually teenage girls who think they’re designers and special little snowflakes. Good design has no place in Tumblr for the most part. Nor do semantics, with deprecated tags like center and marquee still being in common usage. However, not all is bad in the land of the Tumblr. There are some blogs which are very nicely designed, but those are usually those of web designers who know what they’re doing.

Posted in Design, Rant, Web
  • Paul D’Amora

    Also, if the background doesn’t give visitors an¬†epileptic seizure, you’re doing it wrong.¬†