First Look at Twenty Twenty: New WordPress Default Theme based on Chaplin

Anders Norén unveiled the designs for the new Twenty Twenty theme today. As speculated earlier this week, WordPress will repurpose Noren’s Chaplin theme in order to expedite shipping the new default theme on the constrained 5.3 release timeline.

Although the new default theme will be based on Chaplin, it will not retain the same style.

“Using an existing theme as a base will help us get going on development faster,” Norén said. “Very little of the style of Chaplin will remain though, so it will still look and feel very much like its own thing.”

The screenshots he shared in the announcement look like a completely different theme. With just a few color and typography changes, along with a centered column for content, Twenty Twenty has its own distinct character.

Norén said he designed it to be a flexible, all-purpose theme suitable for businesses, organizations, and blogs, depending on the combination of blocks.

“The promise of the block editor is to give users the freedom to design and structure their sites as they see fit,” he said in the post introducing Twenty Twenty. “The responsibility of a theme is to empower users to create their inspired vision by making the end result look as good, and work as well, as the user intended.”

The theme uses Inter for the typeface, selected for its legibility and bold personality when used in headings. It also comes in a Variable Font version, which Norén said will be a first for WordPress default themes. The benefits are that it reduces the number of requests and decreases the page size.

Those who are adventurous can download Twenty Twenty right now from GitHub and play around with the theme in its current state. Once it is stable, Norén and his team plan to merge it into core and continue development on Trac. There will be weekly meetings held in the #core-themes Slack channel for those who want to contribute to the design and development. The first one is scheduled for Monday, September 9, 2019, 02:00 PM CDT.

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