League is another one of those “made for everybody” corporate style themes, but it achieves what it sets out to in flying (gradient) colours. It’s a real design winner in a lot of ways, although – you do need to keep in mind – that it follows a fairly formulaic approach to the site theme business. We should note that there are stacks of demo layouts, and we’ve really only chosen to look at one here. If you want to check them all out, the demo is available here. Getting started: the hero image on the home page is nice, and has an effective coloured gradient (which is surely customisable) to help ensure that the text is always readable. This is a nice touch as many designers forget about these things when throwing hero images in – they make look nice with striking stock imagery, but once you get your own content in there, how well will your text stand out?
The typography and icon set is very smooth, and we like the way it fits with the overall design mantra of the theme. The clever use of both fixed-width and full-width elements breaks up the page nicely, and gives the overall UX a very modern and classy feel. You can see this part-way down the homepage where there’s a full-width element (see the screenshots below). Similarly, the portfolio gallery is very nice, and the animated fade of the content overlay adds a nice dynamic touch. By keeping the content not full-size, it adds a layer-on-layer effect, and this works really well.
Diving in to the About page demo (see here for examples), we really do like the full-width masonry layout of the content – it works really well, and looks awesome. The blog display options are nice, and very functional, and of particular note is the nice portfolio gallery which utilises some smooth parallax scrolling. In addition, the theme is built for WooCommerce sites too, giving you even more functionality built right in. It’s consistent, super-functional, and looks nice – a real trifecta here for League.
The loading splash, which appears on every link click, is a good idea, but a bit disconnected from the rest of the site. It would be better to have built the theme to load lightning-fast, rather than dropping back to a loading screen. We feel there might be some added bloat due to the use of plugins such as Visual Composer – which, while nice, does add complexity to shifting your content between themes in the future. You need to watch out for becoming locked in to using Visual Composer, and ensuring that it stays up-to-date as this can cause issues with WordPress updates in the future.
Overall, there’s a lot to like about League, and we think it’s a pretty solid theme you should check out today.
What we liked:
- Clean modern design, including typefaces and icon set
- Nice use of gradients to help ensure text is readable over imagery
- Great use of full-width and fixed-width elements – awesome!
- Nice colour scheme, although this will likely change with your own project
Not so much:
- Loading screen... let's try and avoid them altogether if we can?
- Some of the menu animation can be clunky – especially when leaving or reaching the very top of the page. Perhaps this will be fixed in a later update? This theme is brand new!
- While it does what it does well, it does follow a fairly standard formula found in many other themes