Zen Themes is a web design and Tumblr theme collective conceived of and led by Taiwanese designer and coder Jen Yuan. Jen uses Zen Themes as an experimental space to explore, innovate, launch, and share digital templates and blog themes for kindred spirits in the modern design community and beyond.
Throughout the evolution of Zen Themes, Jen and his associates have employed styles and techniques of ever-expanding technical and creative complexity. And whereas much of today’s digital culture focuses on the ephemeral and fleeting, Zen Themes seeks to empower modern creatives with themes and templates that have a sense of concrete place, potential, and meaning. For this reason, Zen Themes treats each project with an exactitude generally associated with traditional, tactile art forms such as sculpture, engineering, furniture design, tailoring, or
Zen Themes believes that mindful digital design can empower the transmission of ideologies, sentiments, and life experiences with clarity, finesse, and endurance.
Just as cave paintings mark the earliest manifestation of art as we know and understand it today, the advent of digital design has ignited a new revolution in human expression. As a discipline, Web Design is undergoing constant, explosive change, requiring vigilance and innovation to navigate and thrive.
Web designers, in turn, are tomorrow’s artists, replacing pastels and brushes with code (the skeletal language of the Internet). Constructing a perfect website involves mastery over a wide range of skills, from the visual and experiential (including color combinations, module grids, typography, animations, and responsiveness), to the unseen and tectonic (including SEO and loading speed). Each of these elements requires immense specialization and constant self-education. Zen Themes produces themes and web spaces with a sense of equilibrium between these elements. The result: a totality of experience known as UX (User Experience).
Zen Themes, quite simply, are built for the expression of the self. Our themes are tools to amplify an individual’s personality online. For Jen and his community of thinkers and designers, web design has many parallels with fashion. A unique work of web design is couture, while themes built for the masses are comparable to ready-to-wear. And just as one curates his or her own unique wardrobe out of various items, ideologies and emotions can be expressed through the different arrangements of colors, graphics, structures, and animations. These elements offer users an entirely new layer of visual language to employ for their own ends, widening creative freedom at scale.
Jen founded Zen Themes while still in high school, and with no experience in design or coding, he has built Zen Themes to its current prominence. Teaching himself to code and design was a Zen practice in itself. Through trial and error, his skills improved, exponentially opening new paths in the young man’s life and art.
When he is not working on Zen Themes, one of the most successful Tumblr theme makers in the world, he works as a developer and web designer for Ne.Sense Taiwan, which was recently featured in Taiwanese GQ as the future of Asian fashion. He also works for Isaora, a successful clothing line based out of New York. Jen is a principal of Qual Agency, the design collective behind Young Thug’s Slime Season Eulogy and numerous other engagements for clients in the music and fashion space.
As Jen’s eye for design and precision in coding continue to evolve, he transmits his energy into improving Zen Themes. For Jen, Zen Themes serves as a journal to document his progress in the world of digital design and coding. By incorporating a sense of storytelling into his themes, he has opened up a massive new dimension to the Zen Themes project. It is a labor of constant self-improvement. It will always remain so.
With the generous assistance of Jen’s friends and comrades (Allen, Simon, Zander, Kenny, Shirley, Lindsey, and Casey), Zen Themes operates with complete creative independence. We offer a special thanks to all of those who have read this far, and to every user for whom Zen Themes is a canvas of unmediated