Global Style Variations, “Skins” for Themes, Have Landed in Gutenberg

Global Style Variations, “Skins” for Themes, Have Landed in Gutenberg

It was a busy week, and I almost missed one of my most-wanted components landing in Gutenberg 12.5 RC 1. The global style variations feature quietly snuck its way in as everyone else was getting acquainted with WordPress 5.9. The official release of version 12.5 is not expected until next week, but that did not stop me from giving it a test run.

What are global style variations? I will assume you missed my post praising the idea last November.

In essence, a global style variation is user-selectable skin for their currently-active theme. For example, a theme with a default blue color scheme might package green, purple, or red alternatives. The idea is not limited to colors. Anything possible to change through the global styles system is at play, such as typography, layout, borders, and more.

Style variations in the site editor.

From a theme developer’s viewpoint, they would drop custom stylename.json files under a /styles folder in their themes. Gutenberg and, eventually, WordPress will automatically register these with the system.

The feature was intended to ship with WordPress 5.9, and the Twenty Twenty-Two theme was supposed to be its unveiling. However, it was not complete and is now on the slate for WordPress 6.0.

It did not take me long to build a couple of extra variations for my custom theme. I could change my color scheme and fonts at the click of a button.

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