Monochrome is a sleek and compact WordPress theme. It demonstrates that great aesthetics can be combined with easy functionality. Sometimes keeping it simple is all you need for a great looking blog.

As the name suggests, Monochrome predominantly has the colors black and white as its theme. However, unlike other darker templates, the light gray area around the black panels keeps this theme looking fresh at the same time. The article posts are on a white background so the words remain easier to read than an inverted color scheme.

Monochrome is a three-column theme that makes the most of its space. I like the inclusion of small amounts of colors like blues, greens, yellows and reds. They make details like dates, comments and the RSS feed icon really stand out against the dark background. Nothing ever looks too cluttered and the focus is always on the middle column where your articles are.

The attention to details of Monochrome is what really makes it stand out. From the subtle roll over effects to the neat layout, crisp lines and curved corners. It supports a drop down menu bar and has few nifty tools of its own.

Although you can’t customize the layout, heading or colors of this theme, Monochrome still offers a few options in the backend. Under Theme Options, you can tick and untick a variety of simple add-ons to your blog. For example an information title box, RSS feed, how you want to present the search box and what details you want to display for each post.

One of my favorite features about this theme is the clever inclusion of the ‘Return Top’ side link on the right bottom hand corner. It’s a great tool for if you have longer articles or feature a bunch of posts on the front page. Your reader can go to the top of the page at any time with just a simple click.

On mono-lab’s demo page, I also spotted what appears to be a lightbox. Thumbnail images can be expanded on the page in a pop-up box. However, I haven’t managed to get this to work on my demo site. If you have any clues as to how to do this, let us know. It would be great to have this feature properly working too.

Monochrome is definitely a classy theme that utilizes its compactness. It tones down the boldness of the black and white colors without being dull and boring. You would love the small features of this blog. And although there isn’t much you can tailor in terms of the look and layout, you’d be equally as happy tweaking the available options to your own liking.