A Unique Monotone


While Matt Mullenweg attended the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco just a few weeks ago, he previewed a new theme which looks like might be the perfect WordPress theme for photographers called Monotone. Monotone was developed by Noel Jackson and is a very unique theme in that, the color scheme changes based on the photograph being displayed. Here are two screenshots showcasing the theme in action with two different photographs.

Green Color SchemeGrey Color Scheme

Monotone takes the first image attached to a post and samples colors from it for use in the surrounding layout. Each post needs to contain one image, and optionally, any text you want. The theme does the rest, pulling colors out of and resizing the images for use in the design. You can use the visual or the HTML editor in wordpress to input your image and supporting text.

One of the only problems I’ve seen with the Monotone theme is that, sometimes the link colors blend in with the background making them difficult to see. Other than that, some of the photos really pop out at you thanks to the surrounding colors.

Monotone is generally only available for bloggers because the images must be uploaded to WordPress so they can resize them and extract the colors properly. For more information regarding the Monotone theme, check out the April Wrap Up.

As a side note, if you would like to use this theme on a self hosted WordPress blog, you will need to visit the Automattic SVN and then download and package the following files.

Also, if you happen to be using the Monotone theme on your blog, provide us a link so we can take a look at it!




  1. arpit dave (1 comments.) says:

    Check out Monotone on my photoblog:!

  2. Chris (26 comments.) says:

    I looked at this theme when linked it a couple of weeks ago. I noticed that it was changing colors, but the reasons never dawned on me; I just thought it looked good. Subtlety is great in a theme. Very creative.

  3. Matt Algren (5 comments.) says:

    So it’s not available as a zip? That’s just weird.

    I’m trying to think of a reason for not offering a zip, and I’m coming up blank.

  4. TheTick (17 comments.) says:

    It’s the same idea behind WhatsItsColor so there should be some way to figure out a way to make a similar theme.

  5. that girl again (41 comments.) says:

    I’m trying to think of a reason for not offering a zip, and I’m coming up blank.

    1. Wanting to present it as exclusive to, but also needing to be able to claim it’s open-source. SVN is the only way of meeting both these objectives.

    2. Laziness.

  6. el diablo (1 comments.) says:

    giving it a shot
    like what i see so far except seems as if you can only have one page ‘about’ which does not take images it looks like

  7. Awesome theme! I just installed it on my photoblog, and wrote a quick post on my blog. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Ian Stewart (28 comments.) says:

    It took awhile for the Prologue theme to get zipped up. If people are talking about Monotone I’m sure it’ll eventually get zipped up too.

    Or it’ll show up on the theme viewer in the indeterminable future. Just guessing.

  9. el diablo (1 comments.) says:

    i must say i kinda like the monotone. will load some more pics and free up some space on my hard drive alas!

  10. George (7 comments.) says:

    I think it’s a cool theme, if it’s run on a self-hosted, how does the colour sampler pick up the images? Is there some sort of plugin to load into the system?

  11. Bryce (1 comments.) says:

    It’s probably still in SVN as it’s not a full release – probably still has some bugs to work out.

  12. George (7 comments.) says:

    I can’t download teh sidebar.php file, it’s loading a blank page for me :(

  13. valerie (2 comments.) says:

    I had read that the author plans on eventually releasing it to the public and I cannot wait! :)
    I’d love to use this on my photoblog and I can’t host my photoblog at (though I have an account) for a myriad of reasons, so yes, totally waiting for this theme to be available!

  14. Feanare (1 comments.) says:

    I love the new monotone theme from the minute I first read about it. It’s pretty nice, and it works. At least on newly uploaded photos.

    And since there’s asked for a link, here is my Monotone themed photoblog:

  15. Mike Robinson (3 comments.) says:

    Personally, I don’t like it at all. The colour thing is a neat idea, but the constant changing of the page size is bad. Mezzoblue‘s colour changing is much more interesting, the colours are grabbed from the photo of that time period and there is no messing with the layout.

  16. Doug Stewart (9 comments.) says:

    Is there a Trac or some other method for filing bugs? The nifty color selection routines don’t work if hosts have url_fopen() disabled and the processing code FORCES an http:// scheme onto the images. There should be a fallback to raw filesystem acccess if url_fopen() permissions are disabled.

  17. Tyler (1 comments.) says:

    Wow! That’s really flashy!

  18. Malcolm Bastien (7 comments.) says:

    Very innovative Idea! I like it!

    I like the simple and minimal page designs that go along with just a large opening image.

  19. caTcode says:

    yeah…, finally its work for my blog. thanks for the creator..!

  20. (1 comments.) says:

    I was the designer/developer of Monotone.

    Thank you all for your compliments. This was a seriously fun project to work on. I’m thankful to have been able to work with Automattic on it.

    As far as not offering the theme to the public… It’s not a conspiracy. The theme was originally created just for, not because we’re lazy, or evil faux open-source people, but because it’s a delicate theme and the image processing is very server dependent. As soon as we can bundle my image resize class along with an htaccess file and a truly rock-solid theme (there are always a few bugs) we’ll let the community have at it.

    My personal opinion, is that is really the only place you’d want to run this theme. They provide the infrastructure and storage while at the same time providing a truly unique theme and you don’t have to fuss with the tough stuff.

    :) Enjoy the theme! (I’m so glad to see so many people using it!)

    I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted.

  21. Noel Jackson (3 comments.) says:

    Monotone is now packaged for consumption. Download at


  1. […] to Weblog Tools Collection for the tip, and Automattic for creating the […]

  2. […] du thème : chez WebLogToolsCollection et eight6 Démonstration : la VO, ma VF (pour juger de la traduction, mes photos ne sont pas […]

  3. […] Denker über y Weblog Tools Collection Etiquetas: bitácoras, blog, blogs, diseño, fotografía, fotos, gratis, sitio, tema, temas, […]

  4. […] it was only available on, and through the Automattic Subversion repository as reported by Jeff on Weblog Tools […]

Obviously Powered by WordPress. © 2003-2013

page counter