Here’s a good list of sites with dark backgrounds. Obviously, I’m a big fan of black backgrounds, CartoonSmart.com has always had a dark look. Want some color theory as to why?…. Black is the absence of color, white is all colors combined. See the totally original illustration I made below as proof (yeah right). So the reason CartoonSmart has a black background is because I don’t want my colors to compete with the background. If the background was white, which is the brightest color possible, then any color in front of it is going to visually take a step back. Whereas ANY color on top of black is going to come forward. Even a dark grey will pop toward you some, and a good example of that is the wine bottle on Black Estate’s site. Its also difficult to make something glow on a white background. Its possible, but again, white tends to swallow up that color and it just doesn’t look right.
One of my original design ideas for CartoonSmart was that I wanted people to feel like they were walking into an Arcade when they got to the site. And Arcades, R.I.P., were DARK rooms!! The only significant light was coming from the video games, (e.g. their product). So I wanted that same feeling, that the product was illuminated, drawing you toward it.
In recent years, I’ve tried to layer my blacks. So you’ll see a black background, some dark grey on top of that, then another black object on top of that grey. So that gives the effect that even the black backgrounds are objects themselves, and if you could reach into your monitor you could grab every element of the site.
Okay thats all for now, I need to travel back in time to 1973, and give this illustration I drew below to some band to use as their album cover. Maybe the Bee Gees.