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19 Base Themes for Drupal
Drupal theming can be much faster and easier when you use base (starter, parent) theme as a foundation. A base theme usually has nearly no css styling, provides theme regions, advanced features, and its purpose is to enable you to create new themes fast, focusing on changing design to code.
Base Theme Classics
Zen is the ultimate starting theme for Drupal. If you are building your own standards-compliant theme, you will find it much easier to start with Zen than to start with Garland or Bluemarine. This theme has fantastic online documentation and tons of code comments for both the PHP (template.php) and HTML (page.tpl.php, node.tpl.php).
Framework is a blank canvas for theme developers. Use Framework as a user friendly starting point to help facilitate your theme development.
Genesis is an standards compliant, accessible and semantically rich starter theme for Drupal 6. Genesis is easy to theme yet extremely flexible, giving you endless theming possibilities. Genesis makes building a standards compliant accessible theme easier than starting from scratch.
Originally a stripped down version of the ZEN theme, basic has now become its own concept of a theme starter. Basic boasts a clean HTML structure with extensible CSS classes and ID's for unlimited theming possibilities as well as a top-down load order for improved SEO.
The idea behind this theme was to make a clean, versatile theme that has just enough styling to be usable right out of the box. Clean theme is analogous to using a reset.css file to start a project, but in the form of a Drupal theme. Clean theme provides a solid foundation on which you will be able to create a bespoke theme within the shortest possible time.
Blueprint is a starter Drupal theme meant to make development of custom themes faster.
Fusion is a powerful base theme, with layout and style configuration options built in that you can control through Drupal's UI. It's based on a simplified 960px or fluid 16-column grid. It's designed to be used with the Skinr module, with numerous block styles included.
Beginning & Beginning 2
The beginning theme has to be considered as another blank canvas for theme developers. Use beginning as a starting point to help facilitate your theme development. Simply add background images and you're done !
Grid Based Base Themes
NineSixty (960 Grid System)
NineSixty is a base theme with all the files provided by the 960 Grid System. From the sketch sheets to all the styles from the framework are included. There are a few modifications so it better fits into Drupal.
Fluid Grid System
If you already tried Blueprint or 960, two very popular grid system, you probably noticed that most of the grid system only offer a fixed, centered width of 960 or 950 pixels to create your designs. Fluid Grid provides a grid system that works with any page width, even fluid layouts! With Fluid Grid, you can keep working within a grid system, but the grid is now completely configurable.
New themes on the block
The Omega Theme is a powerful and free Drupal theme based on the 960gs. It harneses the power and features of many popular themes to provied an excellent base theme, and sub-theming system to help you quickly prototype and theme your site.
Starkish is Zen's younger, leaner cousin. It saves the helpful classes and ID's of Zen, but rips out all the CSS and extra markup.
The mothership theme is the über "clean up this html that drupal provides" theme - so if you wanna make any sense of this them use it as a parent theme! The basic idea is to use this theme before other "theme systemes" (zen, basic, studio, 960). The only thing this theme does is to clean up and remove html & classes that I dont think is necessary, and by that creating a cleaner html code.
Starter Themes - A round up of themes that identify themselves as starter themes for Drupal.