TwentyTwenty-One: The choice of chiaroscuro

Since September 2021, a new theme is available for your blog. It is Twenty Twenty-One, the latest theme developed by the WordPress teams.

Why choose Twenty-twenty-One?

Why choose Twenty-twenty-One?

Hypotheses offers its users access to the graphic themes developed by WordPress teams in priority, to ensure greater durability and consistency for the platform. This theme has two main advantages. First, it allows optimisation of the block editor and advanced patterns for posts and pages. Thus, if you illustrate your posts with numerous images and photographs (field photographs, diagrams, drawings…), you will have many possibilities to lay them out. Secondly, it is the theme for which accessibility is the most complete, as it has the highest possible level of compliance with the W3C recommendations.

The theme design is quite minimalist. It includes two menu locations:

  • Main menu, at the top, under the blog title and subtitle
  • Secondary menu, above the footer

Moreover, there is only one widget area: above the footer (no side columns available) and above the secondary menu if you are using this option.

Similar to its predecessor Twenty Twenty, it offers few possibilities for customising the general identity of the site. There is no possibility to add a header image as a blog “banner”. However, a logo can be set to appear next to the subtitle and replace the blog title (at least 300px wide, or at least 100px tall). Go to header customization options : Customize > Site Identity). To sum up, the sobriety of this theme is ideal for a blogger who does not want to lose too much time in the settings and start writing posts as soon as possible.

Once the theme is activated from the Appearance > Themes menu in the administration interface of your blog, you will find its configuration options in the Appearance > Customize menu.

To see what this theme looks like, visit this blog example.

First graphic theme including dark mode

Dark mode is an option on the user interface that aims to switch the colours, so that they appear darker and reduce brightness of the screen. The background becomes dark and the text becomes light. It is easier to read and reduces eyestrain, especially when consulting in a low-light environment.

Activating this mode is therefore useful if you have chosen a light colour for the background of the site. If you activate this option, each reader will be able to choose or ignore this mode by using the button at the bottom right of the screen (or bottom left for RTL languages).

Example of a page viewed in dark mode

To activate dark mode on your blog, go to the “Appearance > Customize > Colours & Dark Mode > Dark Mode Support”.

A theme for pastel colours and contrasts

Twenty Twenty-One offers a set of predefined pastel colours palettes, all of which comply with AAA contrast standards.

You also have the option to change the background colour.  The theme will then automatically determine the available text colours, ensuring correct contrast.

To do this, click on “Customizer → Colours and dark mode”

Twenty Twenty One colour palette

To change the background colour, go to the theme customisation options > “Colours and dark mode > Background colour > Published”.

A wider range of block patterns

All the graphic themes proposed on Hypotheses give access to patterns in the editing interface of posts and pages. It allows you to modify the layout of blocks thanks to predefined templates which differ according to the chosen theme. Twenty Twenty-One is the theme that offers the widest range of  block patterns. For example, it is possible to overlap pictures thanks to the “Column” block.

The different patterns are presented on the WordPress website. 

Please note: the block patterns only work with the block editor! They will not appear if you use the classic editor.

Miscellaneous specifications

  • The recommended featured image size in an article or a page is 610px wide or larger
  • Blog titles are systematically capitalized
  • The theme displays excerpts of the posts on the homepage. This makes it easier to see the latest posts without having to scroll too far. However, the use of a “read more” tag within the posts is still a good practice to be favoured! It prevents unpleasant surprises in the event of a change of theme.
  • The author of the posts is not displayed on the home page. You have to consult the post to find this information
  • To facilitate reading on screen, the font is sans serif

To summaries, this graphic theme is most successful in terms of accessibility and its strength lies in the block patterns in articles and pages. On the other hand, the homepage and general structure of the blog are less customisable and leaves little room for images.

To learn more about this theme and its features, see the Twenty Twenty One WordPress.org overview.

You now have all the information you need to get started with Twenty Twenty-One. If you have any questions about this topic and can’t find the answer in this post, don’t hesitate to contact the bloggers’ community (hypocommunity[at]groups.openedition.org), who will certainly be able to help you with the handling and use of your blog. If you are not subscribed to the list, send us a request to hypotheses[at]openedition.org.
Find all the graphic themes available in the “Appearance” category of the House of blogs.



Cite this blog post
Céline Guilleux (2021, November 3). TwentyTwenty-One: The choice of chiaroscuro. The house of blogs. Retrieved May 18, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/ppb2

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