Self Made

9 of the best Squarespace templates for artists, painters, photographers, and other creatives

Spruce up your portfolio or online shop with one of these modern, mobile-friendly themes.
By Haley Henschel  on 
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Overview

Best for photographers

Quincy

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Best for painters

Wells

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Best for Art Studios

Sackett

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Best for graphic designers

Novo

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Best for web designers

Nolan

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Best for podcasters

Sundew

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Best for musicians

Kitui

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Best for selling prints

Spotted

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Best for selling virtual art classes

Passero

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See 4 More

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mashable readers can save 10% on new Squarespace plans with the coupon code MASHABLE10.

Whether you dabble in drawing, painting, graphic design, podcasting, or music-making, staking out an online presence is key to getting your name out there as an artist. But therein lies an important question: How do you make a website packed with different forms of multimedia without getting bogged down in annoying technical drudgery?

Out of all the top website builders out there, Squarespace is a preferred choice for many creatives because of its all-in-one subscription model (starting as low as $16 a month) and extensive library of modern and visually rich templates. These pre-made, plug-and-play demo sites (called themes) make it easy to whip up an online portfolio that makes your work accessible to potential clients, with layout presets, font packs, professional color schemes, and drag-and-drop element blocks that make minimal coding experience a non-issue.

Squarespace currently maintains more than 230 different templates, making the decision of choosing one just a tad overwhelming. That being said, there are several ways of narrowing down your pool of applicants and, depending on the version of the platform you're using, you don't necessarily have to bind yourself to any single one.

Screenshot of Squarespace templates for artists
Some of the most popular Squarespace templates for artists. Credit: Squarespace

Below, you'll find our guide to choosing the best Squarespace template for an artist's website.

Squarespace templates 101: A quick primer

There are two versions of Squarespace in use, and each has its own special way of handling templates.

Version 7.0 was launched in 2014 with 91 templates that it groups into "families." Every template in a given family is coded similarly to have the same underlying structure and unique formatting rules. This type of categorization makes it harder to switch between templates without risking content loss, but many longtime Squarespace users have stuck with version 7.0 to this day because some templates offer advanced style options that never migrated to version 7.1. (Parallax scrolling, infinite scrolling, and sidebars are just a few examples.)

Version 7.1 came out in 2020 with some 140 templates (and counting) that aren't categorized or grouped in any way; they all offer the same structural, formatting, and design options. This homogenization might be off-putting to more experienced users who want to do extensive customizing, but it comes with the huge benefit of being able to change templates without a hefty rebuild.

We highly recommend version 7.1 if you're a new Squarespace user simply because it's more flexible and future-ready, especially since last summer's release of Fluid Engine, the platform's latest content editor with more fine-tuned block arrangements and setup options. (Version 7.0 sites still rely on its classic editor.) You can try both versions during Squarespace's 14-day trial, but keep in mind that once you pick a version, you're basically stuck with it.

What makes Squarespace's templates so great for artists?

While some Squarespace templates make nice blogs and writing portfolio sites, the vast majority of them (across both versions of the platform) lean heavily on visuals. Artists can load them with full-bleed backgrounds, banners, galleries, grids of thumbnails, stylized landing pages, and other imagery without overcrowding or cluttering up their site. Better yet, all Squarespace templates come mobile-optimized from the get-go so these visuals look stellar on any platform.

a screenshot of Squarespace's website builder and the novo template for artists
Squarespace makes it easy to add online stores, blogs, and portfolios to artist websites. Credit: Squarespace

All templates across both versions of Squarespace support its full suite of features, including ecommerce tools you can use to schedule appointments and build a simple online shop (say, if you want to sell prints). Here are some features that will be especially relevant to creatives:

Squarespace also maintains three mobile apps that work with its entire template library, which are all free with your subscription or trial. The main Squarespace app (available for iOS and Android) lets you upload new images, review site analytics, and manage your store's inventory on the go, while the Squarespace Video Studio app (available for iOS) offers tools for creating professional-looking videos out of photos and clips. Its newest app offering, Squarespace Unfold (available for iOS and Android), makes it easy to create stylized social content that's designed to get more eyeballs on your website.

What's the best Squarespace template for artists?

There's no definitive best Squarespace template for artists — and realistically, any Squarespace template can be turned into your dream site with enough fiddling — but many work better for artists than some of their peers.

You can begin to narrow your search by visiting Squarespace's "Templates" tab and sorting its library by "Type" and "Topic"; a Portfolio template geared toward Art & Design or Photography is probably a safe bet for your purposes. From there, Squarespace's Help Center suggests "[looking] for specific colors and layouts that appeal to you." You can preview any template to see what it would look like as a live site before you begin customizing it.

Need some extra guidance? Below, we dive into our favorite Squarespace templates for artists in 2023. Remember: Mashable readers can use the coupon code MASHABLE10 to save 10% on new Squarespace memberships.

Note: Most of our recommendations are from Squarespace version 7.1, but we've sprinkled in a few options from version 7.0 that continue to stand out. 

UPDATE: Sep. 22, 2023, 5:00 a.m. EDT This guide has been updated to reflect our latest experiences with Squarespace and to include a new theme (Sackett).

a screenshot of the squarespace template quincy

Quincy

Best for photographers

Helmed by a stunning full-bleed landing page, Quincy is an elegant template for working photographers that lets you showcase your work and book shoots. After clicking through to your portfolio, visitors can hover over project titles to see featured full-bleed images that link out to scrollable galleries. Its demo site also comes with About and Bookings pages; the latter has a pre-formatted Acuity Scheduling block that lets clients request different kinds of sessions on your calendar and submit contact information.

Honorable mentions: Elliot (7.1), Forte (7.0), Laurie (7.1), Ortiz (7.1), Reseda (7.1), and Tepito (7.1).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template wells

Wells

Best for painters

Wells is a portfolio template that's been around for the better part of a decade, and it's a perennial favorite among painters and other creatives for good reason: It's simple and great for scrollable galleries, with clickable thumbnails that pull up larger images with titles and captions. It is built on Squarespace version 7.0 (with no 7.1 counterpart), which might deter some users. But to it's credit, its still quite flexible: You get support for store pages, events pages, and blogs (with sidebars!) to flesh out your site further.

Honorable mentions: Beaumont (7.1), Flatiron (7.0), Matsuya (7.1), Minetta (7.1), and Pazari (7.1).

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Screenshot of Squarespace Sackett template for art studios

Sackett

Best for Art Studios

Individual artists may be able to make do with a simple one or two-page website, but if your art studio needs a more robust website, then Sackett is a great choice. With Sackett, potential customers can easily book a consultation with your studio using a widget built into the template. The template also comes with pages for a gallery, services page, and about us page. The homepage even has a space for you to include testimonials, which can be a great trust signal for first-time visitors.

If your art studio sells goods, then Squarespace makes it easy to add an online store to your new website. While playing around with this Squarespace theme, we were able to add a digital storefront with just a few clicks (although adding products and entering prices will require some extra work). This Squarespace template also puts visuals front and center, which is great for artists who love to show off their work and studio space. One word of warning — if you don't have lots of high-quality photographs you can incorporate into your design, then we recommend choosing an alternative theme.

Overall, this is a flexible and easy-to-customize template that's perfect for art studios.

Honorable mentions: Pedro (7.0), Ortiz (7.1), Novo (7.1), and Rotate (7.1).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template novo

Novo

Best for graphic designers

Featuring a similar (but bolder) black-and-white color scheme, Novo is a more modern portfolio template with grid of individual project thumbnails on its homepage. Each of those thumbnails populates a title when hovered over, and link out to separate blog-style pages where you can go deeper on your creative processes and add full-width images. Social icons for your Dribbble, Vimeo, and Instagram have already been placed in the top and bottom navigation menus. It's a fairly basic template overall, but that's a good thing: It won't distract from the logos and branding concepts you're trying to show off.

Honorable mentions: Jasper (7.0), Kester (7.1) and York (7.0).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template nolan

Nolan

Best for web designers

Web designers who need an online home for their work can get a site up and running in no time with Nolan, a portfolio template that makes it easy to organize and emphasize a ton of information and imagery. (The demo version was actually formatted with a web design agency in mind.) Its scrollable homepage features calls-to-action for a services list, work samples, a featured case study (with a cool full-bleed photo background), and a contact form, plus a quick overview of past clients you've worked with. You also get a pre-made bio page, which is linked to in the top navigation menu. Bonus points for its chic black-on-white color scheme, which will appeal to Dark Mode users.

Honorable mentions: Bergen (7.1), Cami (7.1), Hawley (7.1), Henson (7.0), and Utica (7.1).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template sundew

Sundew

Best for podcasters

Sundew is a funky template built specifically for podcasts that has an ombre, retro-inspired color scheme and fun rise animation effects. Its comprehensive homepage starts off with a featured section for your latest episode and a banner with your tagline, followed by a grid of past episodes with thumbnails, a newsletter sign-up block on top of a full-bleed photo banner, and a brief bio that links out to your contact info. Each episode gets its own separate page, complete with a pre-formatted audio block (though you could easily scrap those and turn it into a one-pager, if you felt so inclined). Links to Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts listings have already been added to the lower navigation.

Honorable mention: Paloma (7.1).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template kitui

Kitui

Best for musicians

Another dark and moody theme, Kitsui is a ready-made template for musicians that puts your latest release front and center on its homepage. Scrolling down a ways brings visitors to a handful of upcoming show/event dates, with more found under the "Tour" tab, plus a prompt to subscribe to your newsletter. You can list your merch in its pre-made store page (see also: Squarespace's new on-demand custom merch tool) and link out to your Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud, and YouTube in the top navigation.

Honorable mentions: Cruz (7.1), Horizon (7.0), Jasonwild (7.1), Juke (7.0), Polaris (7.0), Vandam (7.1), and Waverly (7.1).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template spotted

Spotted

Best for selling prints

Platforms like Etsy, Society6, and Redbubble make it easy to sell prints online, but their high seller fees and steep competition are two excellent reasons to look into a self-managed site on Squarespace as an alternative. Spotted is a chic, visual-heavy ecommerce template that's pre-designed for selling artwork and taking commissions: Its homepage has a striking full-bleed banner image overlaid with your artist statement, followed by featured images of pieces from different series, thumbnails of popular work, a prompt to visit your About page, and a newsletter sign-up block. Other highlights include a cool zoom-in effect on product images and a page with Framing & Mounting options (which you can simply delete if you don't offer those services).

Honorable mentions: Indigo (7.0), Jotterpress (7.1), Maru (7.1), and Montclaire (7.1).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template passero

Passero

Best for selling virtual art classes

Informative and inviting, Passero is one of the few Squarespace templates that comes pre-enabled with the platform's premium Member Areas feature, which lets you put some of your site's content behind a paywall (as subscriptions or one-time payments). This makes it incredibly easy to offer virtual art classes and other digital content that involves visual instructions or demonstrations. Also of note: Passero is one of the only Squarespace templates that includes video in its demo, which is a dynamic and engaging effect. Beyond that, it earns points for its inclusion of full-bleed visuals, earthy color scheme, and plethora of calls-to-action.

Honorable mentions: Alignflow (7.1), Comet (7.1), and Growwell (7.1). Check out our dedicated guide to Squarespace templates for video to learn more.

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Topics Squarespace

How we tested

Mashable Shopping Reporter Haley Henschel has written multiple guides about the best Squarespace themes for Mashable. From the best Squarespace templates for writers to the top designs for designers, she's reviewed dozens of templates from Squarespace version 7.1 and 7.0. In addition, Mashable editor Timothy Beck Werth contributed additional testing for this guide.

Some of our team members rely on Squarespace for their own personal websites, and we've tried many of these templates firsthand. Before including a new template in this guide, we first logged into Squarespace to see how easy it was to work with that template. For instance, how easily could new customers add a digital storefront to their website?

When selecting templates for our Squarespace guides, we always take the following criteria into consideration:

  • Ease of use

  • The ability to customize designs

  • Overall design and aesthetics

  • Mobile-friendly and responsive designs

Finally, when selecting the top Squarespace templates for artists, we looked for designs that put visuals front and center. We also looked for designs that incorporated must-have features such as gallery pages, online stores, and consultation-booking tools. While not every template has all of these features, we wanted to share a range of templates that would suit artists' needs.

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Haley Henschel

Haley is a Mashable shopping reporter based in Chicago. Before joining the team, she covered politics for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wrote about exotic pet ownership for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and blogged for several Jersey Shore stars. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games and hanging out with her parrot (Melon) and dog (Pierogi). You can follow her on Twitter at @haleyhenschel or reach her via email at [email protected].


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