Anariel Design launches Bricksy, its third WordPress block theme – WP Tavern

Yesterday, Anariel Design’s third block theme, Bricksy, uploaded to the WordPress.org directory. Ana Segota, the co-founder and self-proclaimed “creative engine” of the company, has almost become a master at designing block-based themes at this point, and this project is just a demonstration of her skills.

I actually took a tour of the theme over the weekend when I saw it was waiting in the review queue, so I had a few days to play around with it. Despite a few trivial issues, it quickly became one of my favorite block themes.

Bricksy blog page design.

While I generally liked the previous two block themes of Anariel Design, Naledi and Clove, I didn’t see myself installing them on an actual project. They just weren’t my personal style. However, Bricksy is a theme that I would definitely use if I had a project right now.

One of my favorite design elements is the cursive handwriting of the site logo, which is also used in various designs.

Offset three columns of team members sections with pictures, names, roles, and social links.  In the center there is a cursive header that reads "freedom," followed by "Our team".
Alternative team template with cursive header image.

The downside is that these are images, so they are not easily recreated by end users without Photoshop cuts. I’d like to see the team reconsider using a handwritten-style font – perhaps one from Google Fonts – that allows users to add custom text directly from the editor.

Bricksy has hands down some of the prettiest designs I’ve ever seen in a block theme. In total, there are 32.

WordPress Block Template Explorer, which displays a categories panel on the left and a three column template grid on the right.
Bricksy’s general block models.

He’s making an early offer for my favorite 2022 theme, but I’m not going to step forward. We still have almost 12 months until I make this call.

It even includes a custom social link layout. More and more themes are regrouping their own interpretations of this pattern, but Bricksy’s color scheme and default cover block image stand out.

Cover block with a background of a jetty above a lake.  The content contains an image, title, subtitle, link buttons, and a menu of social links.
Social links block template.

With 32 models, I could devote an entire article to them, but I’m limited in time. For the most part, they focus on the layout rather than industry-focused templates. This means that they can be used on a wide variety of sites. However, pricing tables and team sections make sense for small businesses. Bricksy also supports WooCommerce.

The most striking thing about each pattern is that they all seem to fit into the overall theme design. Often times when the themes include dozens of block designs, some of them might seem like an extra option just to add something more. And that is never like the case with Bricksy.

For long content, the theme is correct. However, it could be better. Its content width of 720 pixels and font size of 18 pixels can quickly become difficult to read. Cutting the width from 80px to 120px makes it much more comfortable. Increasing the font size by a few more pixels also works.

When I first activated the theme I thought it was completely broken. I wondered how he had managed to squeeze through the exam system. The theme’s header was producing seemingly random demo content. But, it was also familiar. I was sure this was a test post of my installation.

The header of a website mistakenly displays the content of an article, which is a table, an image, and a list.
Navigation menu displaying the content of a blog post.

The question was difficult to track down. After all, from disabling plugins to cleaning up models from the database, I’ve finally found it. the ref key for the navigation block in the theme header.html the model part was the culprit. Bricksy indicated a specific post id in the code:

4790 is the ID of a literal post on my test install, so the navigation block showed its contents instead of a menu. Most likely, this was directly copied or exported from the site editor. Theme authors should pay attention to specific ID references in their code when authoring from the editor, making sure to remove them before shipping.

Aside from a few trivial issues and just one OMGBBQ one after activation I enjoyed using the theme. It has found its place in my list of recommended themes.

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