Overview

Vertigo is WordPress’ most recent free theme. And it’s fantastic! If you’ve used Tumblr before, then this template might look familiar. Vertigo was initially a popular Tumblr template created by Matthew Bunchanan. Now on WordPress, it still maintains the same feel and features. Its various post formats will definitely get you to re-think the way you blog.

Layout

Vertigo has a rather Hitchcock-feel to it, drawing inspirations from Saul Bass, Art Goodman and Dave Nagata. It’s a rather dark theme with bold accents and a touch of quirkiness.

It’s a one-column theme where the column is pretty slim. It’s a really basic theme where the layout is unique in itself. It might be a bit hard for your reader to initially navigate the site as the custom menu bar that’s usually found at the top of the site is now at the bottom. Because it’s just floating text, it doesn’t stand out us much and is a bit hard to notice, even when I am at the bottom of the page.

If you like your widgets and worried about the one-column layout, then you’d be relieved to know that there is a footer area. Footer Area One is the bottom left-hand-side while Footer Area Two is on the right-hand-side. The footer area is great for text-based widgets, but doesn’t handle images or the calendar well as things start to become unaligned.


Information such as writer, tags and dates on the front page is hidden. To reveal them, you’d have to roll over this nuclear symbol on the right. It’s a nice way to keep the posts tidy and clean.

Features

The main feature about the Vertigo is that you can actually change the look of each post with a click. If you go into your Add New Post, on the right-hand-side, you’d notice that you have lots of Formats to choose from. The default is Standard, but by choosing something like Chat, Image or Video, you’d get a subtle graphic overlay with your posts.


For example, here’s a standard post:


By changing the format to Gallery, you’d get a picture-frame around the image.

Here’s an example of a Chat post:

And also a Status and Quote post:

What I love the most has to be the Video Format. It even comes with an animated film projector!


It’s definitely fun and it will make you approach blogging from a different angle. Instead of long article posts, you’d be more inclined to post short updates and include more media posts.

What makes Vertigo even better, is that you can customize the color accents through the backend in Theme Options. Simply enter the HEX color number. If you’re unsure, you can browse through the endless choice of colors. Personally, I quite like the default, bright red color accent.

You can also spice up your blog with a custom header, simply go to Header and you can upload a header image and change the text color.

Conclusion

Vertigo is a quirky and fun theme. The different post formats will make blogging more spontaneous as it highlights shorter posts and media by making them appear more interesting. The dark, bold design is unique from the usual boxy themes you’d usually see. The off-center graphics add a bit of character to blog and keeps it interesting. The only small downside might be the unconventional navigation, which might make it hard for readers to find items like widgets and the menu bar. However, I’m still a big fan of this theme. You can try it out for yourself at: http://vertigodemo.wordpress.com

Let us know what you think by commenting below!