Frank: A Free WordPress Theme Designed For Speed


Today we are pleased to release Frank, an open-source WordPress theme designed and built to provide a light, responsive and unobtrusive reading experience. The theme’s default home page makes 9 database queries and consists of 2 requests weighing at roughly 30KB (9.5KB gzipped). Frank keeps it basic: no Javascript dependence, no unnecessary images, just a simple, no-frills, fast blog theme. The theme is introduced by its developer, P.J. Onori. —Ed.

Frank is a responsive WordPress theme. It uses a modified version of the Foundation grid system. It also offers the unique feature of a modular home page layout system. The theme comes with various different layouts for your home page (1 column, 2 column, 3 column, 4 column, etc.) that can be mixed and matched. This allows for a home page with different content sections in different layouts.


With intense use of HTML5 and CSS3 Frank cuts down on complexity and improves performance. Frank works decently on Internet Explorer 8+. However, at the moment no guarantees are given for any earlier IE versions. It is packaged with the parent theme (in the frank directory) as well as the child theme (in the somerandomdude directory) which I use for my own site. By using Frank, my home page weighs in at 43.65KB over 6 requests (Google Analytics accounts for ~15.5KB and 3 requests). In addition, 33.78% of global page loads completely within 1 second or less (55.75% in the US). On Google Page Speed, the demo gets an overall PageSpeed Score of 97 (out of 100).

Also, Frank uses a subset of Foundation to provide a responsive layout for desktops, tablets and phones. Add this to the theme’s small footprint and you have a mobile-optimized blog. The theme is 100% open source and developer-friendly. The parent theme (/frank) is released under the GNU Public License and the child theme (/somerandomdude) directory is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Demo and Downloads

You can check the live demo of the theme.


Why Did I Make Frank?

There are three reasons:

The first reason was to make good on a promise. I made the commitment that everything I created on my site would be open source. That is how Iconic was born, and this is how Frank came to be. My site is now 100% open source.

The second reason is that I believe that speed is an essential part of user experience. I wanted my site to reflect that belief.

The last reason is that WordPress has an unfair reputation of being a slow, resource-hungry blogging platform. Make no mistake, WordPress can be slow, but that is often due to poor use. I wanted to make a WordPress theme to break the unfair stereotype.

Frank shines for sites that need a no-frills blog that focuses on the reading experience. Frank is not for everybody, but it shines when used in its sweet spot.

Reading Experience: Example

Future Development

Frank is ready to be used, but there is still a long way to go until it’s in tip-top shape. This theme can and will get faster. Here’s what is currently being worked on.

  • Greater typographic and visual polish
  • Increased CSS optimization
  • HTML cleanups and structural improvements
  • Modernization and optimization of Javascript components
  • Improved organization and structure of SCSS files
  • Developer-friendly build tools
  • Guides for optimal use of Frank


This theme was built with significant help of some great folks. My sincere thanks to Felix Holmgren, Jon Christopher and Josh McDonald for their tremendous contributions.

(ea) (vf)

© P.J. Onori for Smashing Magazine, 2013.

Freebie: Christmas Icon Set (10 Quality Icons, 256×256px PNG)


Today, we have a beautiful Christmas icon freebie for you created by the talented, hard-working folks at RocketTheme. The icon set contains ten icons available as 256×256px PNGs that have been lovingly and exclusively prepared for Smashing Magazine and the Web design community. As usual, the set is released under a Creative Commons license and can be used in commercial and private projects.

Christmas Icon Set

is work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You are free to build them into your work, even commercially. However, please always credit the original designer of the set (in this case, RocketTheme).

Download The Christmas Set For Free!

You can use this icon set freely for commercial and personal projects. Please link to this release post if you want to spread the word.

Free Icon Set


The set contains 10 icons for the upcoming Christmas holiday. Each icon is available as a PNG. The icons included are:

  • A bag full of presents,
  • A glass ball ornament,
  • A Bullfinch,
  • Cookies,
  • Christmas decorations,
  • Christmas presents,
  • A Gingerbreadman,
  • A pair of mittens,
  • A Nutcracker,
  • A Christmas stocking.

The amount of hard work the guys behind RocketTheme have put into creating this icon set is remarkable. Hats off, guys! We sincerely appreciate your time and effort!

And if you’d like to stay updated with more upcoming freebies as well as our recent articles, make sure to subscribe to our email newsletter. Happy holidays, everyone!


© Smashing Editorial for Smashing Magazine, 2012.

ByPeople: Download Your Free 5GB Bundle Of Templates, Icons, Logos, Banners, Backgrounds And More Today


2013 will see a new resource for web designers. ByPeople is going to bring you a market packed with icons, templates, PSDs, logos and lots more. ByPeople promises to deliver everything web-ninjas could ever need. To shorten the wait its creators decided to put up a large archive for free. The archive, containing hundreds of design elements, comes at a weight of around 700 MB to a desktop near you. All you need to do is get your hands at an app that's able to unpack a 7z-archive and tell ByPeople your mail address.

Freebie: Art Professions Icon Set (34 Icons, PNG)


This week we have a beautiful icon freebie for you. BanzaiTokyo designed this art related icon set. Their collection of 34 icons are an homage to the creative professions. The icons are available as PNG files and released under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Art Professions Icons.
Large view.

The Art Professions Icons set would not be out of place in an artist’s portfolio website, be they cook or painter — or even multi-talented. Imagine these icons guiding a modern art gallery’s visitor through the institution’s online presence and you won’t feel let down. Any site remotely representing artistic efforts, finally, has a homogenous set at its disposal. Furthermore, the geniuses at BanzaiTokio did Smashing Magazine the honor of designing an icon just for us, which you will also find below.

The icons are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. You are free to distribute, transform, fiddle with and build them into your work, even commercially. Please always credit the original designer of the set. The icons may not be resold, sub-licensed, rented, transferred or otherwise made available for use.

Download The Set For Free!

You can use this icon set freely for commercial and personal projects. Please link to this release post if you want to spread the word.

Smashing Book Icon.


The set contains 34 icons for various occasions. The Icons are available in eight sizes — 32×32 px, 48×48 px, 64×64 px , 72×72 px, 96×96 px, 128×128 px, 256×256 px, 512×512 px. The icons included are:

  • 3D
  • Animation
  • Architecture
  • Body Art
  • Cinema
  • Comics
  • Creative Writing
  • Culinary Arts
  • Dance
  • Digital Art
  • DJ
  • Drawing
  • Fashion
  • Game Development
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Packaging
  • Painting
  • Photo Editing
  • Photography
  • Pixel Art
  • Print
  • Programming
  • Publishing
  • Sculpture
  • Sculpture2
  • Street Art
  • Theater
  • Typography
  • UI Design
  • Vector Art
  • Web Design

Vector Art Icon.

Behind The Design

As always, here are some insights from the designers:

“We see a lot of icons created for business and general public – social networking and ecommerce, what bothered us is that fellow creatives – writers, painters, sculptors and many others were overlooked and we made it our goal to create icons for every creative activity there is.

Now artists can use these icons to showcase different sections of their portfolio websites and blog writers can have a complete coverage of all creative activities.”

— BanzaiTokio

Thanks, BanzaiTokio, for being creative for the creative community!

© Smashing Editorial for Smashing Magazine, 2012.

Freebie: Extended Entypo Glyph Set (EPS, PDF, PSD, Typeface, Web Font)


After endless suplications from the design community Daniel Bruce finally finished his update of the Entypo Glyph Set — a free set of universal 284 carefully crafted pictograms for regular design projects. The icons are available as EPS, PDF and Photoshop PSD files as well as desktop typefaces (TrueType, OpenType) and Web fonts.

Entypo Glyph Set

Download The Set For Free!

This set contains a large collection of glyphs for all occasions and uses — common pictograms that shouldn’t be missing in anybody’s arsenal. Each glyph was drawn and optimized to make sure that it fits the overall style of the suite. Overall, the set contains 284 pictograms. You can use this glyph set freely for commercial and personal projects.

The freebie is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. You are free to distribute, transform, fiddle with and build them into your work, even commercially. However, please always credit the original designer of the set (in this case, Daniel Bruce). The Social Extension glyphs are subject to the trademark and copyright laws of their respective companies.


Entypo Sizes Preview

Behind The Design

As always, here are some insights from the designer:

“The first Version was released in February 2012 and had around 120 glyphs. Actually, the only reason why I designed it was that I myself needed a well-designed pictogram suite for my own projects. I also wanted a suite with a more illustrated style than the ones available out there. So I started with the 20-30 glyphs that I needed at the time — ending up with 120 glyphs. And since I already had done the work, it was an obvious choice to release them free to the Web design community we all are a part of. Let’s say it was my chance to give something back.

So now — 7 months and 83.000 downloads later — it was time for an update. During that time, many people asked for new glyphs that they felt should be a part of the suite. This, together with my own ever-expanding need for pictograms, has led to Entypo 2 with over 280 glyphs.

The update has brought:

  • Over 150 new glyphs
  • Improved design of many of the old icons
  • A new social media extension
  • Improved hinting

When selecting what social media services should go into the Entypo Social, it was important for me to include services from non-Western societies as well. That’s why Entypo is the first suite where you can find pictograms for QQ, Renren, Sina Weibo, Mixi and VK. And true to the phrase “carefully crafted” I haven’t just copy-pasted the logos of all services into the suite. I have actually redrawn most of them so they are optimized for a size of 20×20 pix at 72 dpi.

The hardest pictogram to draw was strangely enough the key glyph. It sounds pretty straightforward, but getting the perfect shape of a modern key that would go well with the rest of the suite took me quite some time.

My favorite pictogram is the trash can. It has a very distinct look to it and sets it apart from all other icon fonts. The trash can is also one of those pictograms that have depth. You might notice that Entypo is a mix of flat glyphs and ones with a bit of perspective.

— Daniel Bruce

Thanks, Daniel! We sincerely appreciate your time and efforts! You can follow Daniel on Twitter and on Dribbble.


© Smashing Editorial for Smashing Magazine, 2012.

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