25 Beautifully Dark Websites – Part 3

Although most websites use dark text on light backgrounds, but sites with dark backgrounds with light text can be very striking when executed effectively. In the past, I’ve published two collections of great dark designs (see part one and part two), and here is part three.

BrandStorm

Brandstorm

Native Tongue

Native Tongue

Art of Dying

Art of Dying

Edit Studios

Edit Studios

TreemoLabs

Treemo

Take the Walk

Take the Walk

Rolando Rivas

Rolando Rivas

Kurt Gannon

Kurt Gannon

Water’s Edge Media

Water's Edge Media

Soh Tanaka

Soh Tanaka

DevKick

DevKick

Austin Town Hall

Austin Town Hall

Backboard

Backboard

Let it Bleed

Let it Bleed

Subsontrast

Subcontrast

Sawyer Hollenshead

Sawyer Hollenshead

Youandigraphics

Youandigraphics

PSD 2 CMS

PSD 2 CMS

Nick Hand

Nick Hand

YouLove.us

YouLove.us

jQuery

jQuery

Versions

Versions

OllieKav

OllieKav

Elysium Burns

Elysium Burns

Worldwide Blogger Bake Off

Worldwide Blogger Bake Off

For more design inspiration, please see:

Published December 29th, 2008 by

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44 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • international shipping, December 30, 2008

    awesome looks. i always liked the black sites. you showed some of the be best black sites on the net. thanks for that.

  • I am not a fan of dark sites as a rule, but there are some exceptions here. Still don’t think I can bring myself to do this.

  • Raymond Selda, December 30, 2008

    Designs like this makes me wanna redesign mine! hahaha. Thank you!

  • Alen Grakalic, December 30, 2008

    Great collection! These days I am so into dark web designs. Got a little tired of bright colored corporate stuff I usually do.
    Happy New Year!

  • Vandelay Design, December 30, 2008

    Ann Arbor Design,
    It’s not for every site, but in some situations it works really well.

  • James Chartrand - Men with Pens, December 30, 2008

    Well, we went with a dark site during our redesign and loved it. It fit like the perfect leather jacket. We were damned proud…

    And then we were ripped apart by blog readers who HATED reading light on dark text. We got nasty comments, we received hate mail (over a background??!), the works.

    We’ve put up what we consider a really freakin’ ugly white background for post pages (we left the home page dark), but honestly, I can’t stand it.

    So here’s my question: How do you pull off a dark site that people *LIKE* to read? Do other designers get critiqued for light on dark text and readability? We can’t be the only ones…

  • Ollie Kavanagh, December 30, 2008

    Thanks for mentioning my site, always nice to be picked amongst such great designs

  • Vandelay Design, December 30, 2008

    Hi James,
    I think most of the dark websites that work well are not content-heavy, such as portfolio sites. Yes, I’m sure there are some blogs with dark backgrounds that work well, but I think they are in the minority. Here’s my thought on why your readers reacted the way they did – change. All of your readers were accustomed to things being one way and that could be a significant change to some people. My guess is that if your site had a dark background from the beginning you might get some emails or comments about it, but not such a strong response.

  • zoel, December 30, 2008

    great, i love drak site style;-), i think in 2009, its style still to use

  • Aka, December 30, 2008

    Elysium Burns is really nice. Maybe you’ll like http://www.julien-brionne.fr too

  • Joren Rapini, December 30, 2008

    Very nice! I rarely get to do websites like those, so I had decided to do one with my most recent portfolio design. I like it a lot, but I think it’s slightly annoying to read even my own blog articles hahah. I’ll agree with Vandelay, I think content heavy sites should probably stick to dark text on a light background.

  • James Chartrand - Men with Pens, December 30, 2008

    Hm, true, true. Visually beautiful, but terrible for longer-term reading and so, perfect for portfolios but awful for blogs. Still… *sigh*

    And yes. I agree. Resistance to change is HUGE. I’ve seen some terribly ugly sites go with a fantastic look, and then get absolutely swarmed with comments about it. It’s amazing how strong that “don’t change” instinct can be in people.

  • jenna, December 31, 2008

    nice post

  • Linda P. Morton, January 1, 2009

    I know that dark designs are popular now, and are different from the average web site, but I for one find them difficult to read.

  • Brian D. Hawkins, January 1, 2009

    I’m with Ann Arbor Design, I don’t generally care for dark themes but there are many exceptions. I have never been able to pull it off myself but when I find a dark theme that appeals to me I tend to be very impressed.

    I also agree with Vandelay Design, it would be tough to make a dark theme work on something like a magazine style site or something with a ton of content.

  • Jon Aizlewood, January 2, 2009

    Great list, was hoping mine would have shown up here! Alas, not to be. Maybe next time! http://www.carbongraffiti.com/notebook

    http://twitter.com/aizlewood

  • Franchise Opportunities, January 4, 2009

    Dark themes have their place and can be quite striking indeed, however I find them off putting when it comes to quick and simple navigation as they tend to be designed for their look as opposed to for the user.

  • ryan, January 5, 2009

    This should also be included in your list.
    http://www.twintoe.com

  • Irene Demetri, January 7, 2009

    Thank you very much for including my website!

  • Mattie, January 8, 2009

    I like light colored one always as it gives a pleasant impression on the person which we are thinking..I like the last one here at very impressive and attractive..

  • Jim Jamesson, January 8, 2009

    Really sweet collection!!! I also think dark will be more ‘in’ in 09… here’s to hoping :)

  • Nick Hand, January 12, 2009

    Thanks a lot for adding my site, nickhand.net, I was pretty stoked to see it there! Check out my blog as well it’s another beautiful dark design, at http://www.justmythoughts.com

    Thanks again!

    Nick

  • Vasali, February 27, 2009

    Thank you for this great compilation

  • Sean Baker, March 8, 2009

    Thanks for including me on this list — and an excellent one it is! I appreciate it greatly!

  • JG, May 21, 2009

    I just wanted to let you know that Soh Tanaka looks really similar to http://www.openwebdesign.org/viewdesign.phtml?id=2461&referer=%2Fuserinfo.phtml%3Fuser%3Dsnop

    I think it might be a coincidence but at least there is an open source alternative if you like this design :-)

  • jark, March 5, 2010

    Nice collection! I like the Soh Tanaka.

  • Andrew Wilson, March 15, 2010

    Really good collection…

  • Ted Apostoleris, April 22, 2010

    I like dark sites. I think that they make a statement, but it totally depends on the image you are trying to convey and who you are. If you want to convey yourself as a powerful company, with a strong image, use dark colors. If you want to be friendly and open, use light colors. It is up to your brand.

  • Nikki May | Web Content Writer, September 6, 2010

    Hi,

    I have found websites with dark backgrounds and light text to be very beautiful and outstanding. I have therefore considered customizing one of my next new sites with a dark background. Thanks for this inspiring list – much appreciated!

    I am not sure how this dark background look would fare in the long term though. Also, not sure about whether the look is good for reading….but very striking and beautiful nonetheless!

    Thanks again!

  • Apróhirdetés, September 18, 2010

    I usually prefer white backround websites over dark ones, but these are really nice.

  • video, October 30, 2010

    I like light colored one always as it gives a pleasant impression on the person which we are thinking..I like the last one here at very impressive and attractive..

  • web design hull, December 13, 2010

    These dark websites are great for entertainment style sites, bands, gaming etc but I don’t think I could convince any of my business to business type clients to go this way… I need to get some trendier clients!