Briar is a new minimalist theme that landed in the WordPress directory last month. It’s the type of bold, non-flashy theme that puts the spotlight on content and images without trying to stuff widgets into the reading experience.
Briar was created by the folks at Slicejack, a Croatia-based development company and a brand new WordPress.org theme author. The theme uses the Bootstrap framework to provide a responsive layout for desktop, tablets, and mobile.
One of Briar’s most interesting features is the ability for users to create a full-width heading using a shortcode. The content and background image specified in the shortcode will have a parallax effect, which you can see when scrolling on single posts.
The theme’s primary menu can be toggled into view using the hamburger icon. It includes support for multi-level navigation.
Briar also has a unique fixed footer with post meta that disappears as you scroll down the page. On mobile the post meta is pared down to just the author and post date.
The theme supports more than a dozen customization options for colors, backgrounds, layouts, and social buttons. Its elegant layout and color selections are some of the nicest customizer controls I’ve seen in recently launched themes. The layout controls allow you to select from three different options for the home, blog, single, archive, category archive, search, 404, and default page templates. Briar includes six prepared color schemes as well as 15 different color pickers for customizing individual elements of the theme.
The theme supports an optional sidebar widget area, which will appear on the templates where you assign a layout with a sidebar. If you’re using Jetpack, you can enable the infinite scrolling module without having any conflicts.
Briar’s design provides excellent readability with contrasting fonts – Noto sans for headlines and Martel for paragraph text.
Check out the live demo at SliceJack to see the theme in action with the single-column layout.
Briar is Slicejack’s first free theme but they have another in the pipeline for approval. The theme is available on WordPress.org and is also hosted on GitHub. If you’re looking to restart your blog in 2016 with a no-frills, content-focused WordPress theme, Briar fits the bill.