Before there were more apps using light themes, but for a while more and more apps come with dark themes. I personally really like working in dark themes. They are very easy on my eyes. Of course different people prefer different ones. Some of my colleagues use gray themes, and some of them like to boost saturation levels way above normal (5-10x).

For artistic software, are there any pros or cons to each? I imagine there must be some research done on this to figure out which one is the most effective, allowing you to focus on the artwork, etc. I know for instance when you see the same image on different backgrounds, it may appear slightly different in terms of color perception.

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    I am one those who prefer grey theme because it enough to highlight with bright color to make it visible. for more creative and elegant design you can dark theme. here is link that may help webdesignerdepot.com/2009/08/…
    – jdniki
    Feb 24, 2014 at 6:37
  • This question doesn't really have an answer, if you can focus it to some examples of software, and may be rephrase it a bit, it would be better, other wise, most probably is going to be closed.
    – PatomaS
    Feb 24, 2014 at 6:42
  • i prefer black theme, as it looks nice and saves battery. blog.stevemould.com/phone-battery-save-black-wallpaper
    – Awesh
    Feb 24, 2014 at 7:24

2 Answers 2


This photo.SE answer describes something I've read before, but can't find anymore.

It basically comes down to perceiving color in the right way. You don't want your iris to be too small, too little light will come in. You also don't want your iris to be too wide, too much light will come in. You'll perceive the color different both times. 50% gray, a spectrum right in the middle, should let you perceive the colors just right.


As Paul said you definitely want to stick to shades of gray for background. Middle grays, or 50% grays are the ideal background for working with art, but the problem is any text on that background will be hard to read, the text won't be in contrast enough with the BG.

So an ideal BG for the art is around 50% gray, unless there is text on that same BG, in which case readability of the text will be improved by lightening or darkening the BG to allow more contrast with the text.

It seems most photo browsing software (e.g. Adobe Bridge DXO Optics Pro) uses dark gray backgrounds with lighter text.


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