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I'm not a graphic designer - I'm a web developer.

I'm looking at creating a portfolio website, and hiring a graphic designer to design it for me.

By default, I personally like dark themes - and the web applications I build for myself typically use one.

So I could instruct the graphic designer to create the design with a dark theme in mind.

The question is - are there any downsides to a dark theme? Any issues with accessibility?

If not - why are dark themes rarer in the wild?

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Depends on how you position yourself and the type of clients you are after. For business type clients, corporate work, etc using a dark background can give you the wrong positioning. Dark backgrounds are usually more present in gaming culture and teenage visuals, but certainly exceptions can be found in the business world.

Otherwise, 'in the wild', white has always been the number 1 background choice ever since Leonardo da Vinci and up to Instagram. Better contrast, better readability, better everything.

One possible technical advantage of a dark background on a mobile app is that it can probably make the app more battery efficient.

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This is mainly an opinion (and thus may get deleted).

Possible downsides: - dark themes can be harsh on the eyes for some people if the text is very bright. - dark themes can appear "gloomy" depending on the spectator Possible advantages: - energy saving, particularly on handheld devices - less harsh on the eyes, particularly when viewed in dark environments - stand out from the rest

For accessibility (i.e. visually impaired users) this shouldn't be an issue, so long as you ensure the contrast is high enough (this tool is useful for that http://jxnblk.com/colorable/demos/text/). One might even argue it is easier to see on dark themes. It could also be argued, that lots of visual work looks better when framed by darker shades, rather than white.

It is mainly a question of style. In recent years the "clean and crisp" look, found for example in Mac OS was considered the way to go. That being said, Mac just released a dark theme, so I'd say go with what you like.

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