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White, Black, & Grey

When displaying your work in an online portfolio, the background color should always be white, black, or grey. The reason for this is fairly simple: these three colors allow any image displayed on top to really stand out while allowing all colors of the design/photograph to make an impression. White makes the cleanest appearance which allows your site to have a minimal look. It is the most pleasant to the eyes when browsing works. Most photo sharing apps, such as Instagram, use a white background for this very reason. When using the color black for your background, you should have a very good idea of design and format. Black is harder to work with than white simply because not all colors stand out as much and are dulled instead. Grey is a good option because it is a neutral color and allows your eyes to rest as they goes through the images on the page. Grey is used in photo/graphic editing software because it provides a neutral base for the eyes to look at while working with different colors in an image. With this in mind, make sure to really choose the right background when you share your work. It can either make or break an impression.


  1. Bianca Panyanouvong wrote:

    Thank you for sharing! I agree with having a subtle background for an online portfolio. The purpose of the design of the portfolio is to enhance the work being showcased.

    Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
  2. Nicole Judge wrote:

    This really makes sense. Using a color for background might take away from what you really want to be seen. One of my old professors always recommended using a black background.

    Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink
  3. Abigail West wrote:

    Now that you mention it, I don’t think about this much– except when people do atrocious things like put red text on a black background. There’s a “night mode” on twitter that changes the background of one’s twitter feed to a dark blue-gray, and I prefer that to the normal version. I wonder why more websites don’t use gray as the background? It seems like it’d be much easier on the eyes. Does gray perhaps not leave enough of an impression?

    Friday, October 13, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
  4. Maryam Nozary wrote:

    This is great information! I always thought it was better to match the background with a strong color that is presented in the work but having white, black, or gray will keep my page consistent with each image and piece of work. Instagram pictures look good when sized because they are using the white background which is something I never thought about but can apply to my own photographs and designs.

    Friday, October 20, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink