A Simple and Minimalist theme for Hugo with a focus on typography and content.
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Call me Sam: a theme for Hugo

Main page screenshot

Sam is a Simple and Minimalist theme for Hugo. It lets you categorize and showcase your content the way you want to.

Focused on content and typography, the stylized index page is really just a list of navigation links that you can set in your config.toml. This versatile design is limited only by your imagination, as you can make it say anything you like. Here are some ideas.

Index page iterations.


  • Showcase content
    • Content-focused page templates for list pages, single pages, and posts
    • A responsive CSS grid gallery page that renders from a folder of images
  • Customize
    • Custom navigation menu set via config.toml
    • Custom footer text
  • Developer-approved
    • Syntax highlighting
    • Share-ready metadata set via config.toml (OpenGraph and Twitter Cards integration)
    • Easy-to-navigate Sass files included

Quick start

1. Get the theme

Run from the root of your Hugo site:

$ git clone https://github.com/vickylai/hugo-theme-sam.git themes/sam

Alternatively you can include this repository as a git submodule. This makes it easier to update this theme if you have your Hugo site in git as well. For this you need to run:

$ git submodule add https://github.com/vickylai/hugo-theme-sam.git themes/sam

2. Configure your site

From the exampleSite, copy config.toml to the root folder of your Hugo site and change the fields as you like. There are helpful hints in the file.

3. Create pages


$ hugo new page.md

Where page can be anything you like. A contact page, a bio, dates for your upcoming world tour... Anything!

4. Design your main menu and index page

In config.toml, customize the entries for [[params.mainMenu]] however you like. You can have as many or as few entries as you like. You can even include external links.

This list comprises the index page and part of the navigation menu at the bottom of single content pages. Here's an example:

    link = "/photography"
    text = "photography"

    link = "/posts"
    text = "writing"

    link = "/about"
    text = "who dis?"

Preview your site locally

Use Hugo's built-in server to see your site in action as you make changes.

$ hugo serve -t sam

Visit localhost:1313 in your browser to see a live preview of your site.


To create a new post, run:

$ hugo new posts/your-post-title.md

Image gallery

To create an image gallery, place all the files you want included in a folder within /content/gallery/. The exampleSite has this configured as content/gallery/images/ but you can change the name of the "images" folder in config.toml if you wish.

 └── gallery/
    └── images/
    |   ├── file_1.jpg
    |   ├── file_2.jpg
    |   └── file_3.jpg
    └── _index.md

The gallery title is defined in the front matter of _index.md. You can also optionally define the page URL using url:

title: "Portraits"
type: "gallery"
url: "/portrait-gallery"

In order to create more than one gallery, create multiple folders in content/ with this file structure and type: "gallery" defined in the _index.md front matter.

In config.toml, you can set smallPreviewImages to true in order to use small sized thumbnails. Include those thumbnail files in your gallery image folder. In exampleSite, this looks like:

 └── gallery/
    └── images/
        │   └── small/
        |       ├── file_1.jpg
        |       ├── file_2.jpg
        |       └── file_3.jpg
        ├── file_1.jpg
        ├── file_2.jpg
        └── file_3.jpg

The thumbnails need to have the same filenames as the larger images they represent.

That's it! Sam's gallery layout template will automagically build the page from your images.

Editing the theme

All the theme's Sass files are included. You can compile these to CSS using the npm scripts included in package.json.


To install all dependencies:

$ npm install

Available commands are:

  • npm run build:sass compiles Sass files to compressed CSS
  • npm run autoprefixer autoprefixes the compiled CSS
  • npm run build does all the above
  • npm run watch watches Sass files for changes and automatically recompiles and autoprefixes the CSS


Pull requests for bug fixes and enhancements are welcome.

Thank you to: @paskal, @crownsedge, @jazzi, @hakamadare, @mfg92, @Hanzei, and @lx4r!


Copyright (C) 2018 Vicky Lai

Licensed under AGPL-3.0