A client told me they want something with more a design software feel rather than web 2.0 feel, particularly something with a dark colour scheme. So now I am looking for some examples to show to him. I do not use many different types of software, so I am just looking for something that looks nice so i can understand what he likes or doesn't like.

The only one I've thought of is the dark colour in Adobe Bridge, but I was wondering if there is other software that tends to be on the dark grey side? Please include a screenshot of the software example.

The most interesting one that I found is Final Cut Pro Server. I would appreciate if you have some other software designs to suggest. I am focusing on the visual, not so much the UI, as it is a matter of taste not functionality.

  • 4
    What do you mean with "dark side"? Colour scheme? It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. Could you be more specific? What actually is the question you want answers to? (or should this be flagged as community wiki?) Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 12:46
  • My fault, I was hurrying writing, and I didn't actually wrote properly my thoughts. I edited everything again, I hope that is more clear.
    – Littlemad
    Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 20:28
  • So do you just want examples of software that use a dark theme?
    – Hemi
    Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 21:47
  • @people that vote down or to close: please explain why you do not think that is a good question, or how to make it a good question, so I can avoid to make something not related. @Jaips: yes Looking for designs on dark themes
    – Littlemad
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 1:14
  • i think the basis of the question is fine, but just needs to be rewritten more simply for clarity. The headline should be in the form of a question and be centred around colourschemes.
    – e100
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 8:53

11 Answers 11


Adobe Lightroom (and many of Adobe's other apps) effectively use a dark color scheme: alt text

More screenshots: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/



alt text

  • 2
    Similar to this - Cinema 4D
    – Dan Hanly
    Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 13:06
  • ZBrush as well (3D sculpting app).
    – Kromster
    Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 5:30

I'd also say to do a search for "dark colour scheme" web sites and look at the samples that are out there. The web sites are a lot less overkill than installing a big software package just to look at the color scheme.

  • About the search: I had exactly the problem to look for something more software like, than web like. For this reason I am asking to the knowledge of the group, for example I never use photography software and I do not own any.
    – Littlemad
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 1:15
  • 1
    Just to note that Adobe Lightroom (in its latest incarnation it's) 'Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3' is another one, but not included in Creative Suite. adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom
    – e100
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 19:11
  • @e100: Thanks! I did mean to add that one...
    – squillman
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 23:22

Sorry mis-understood the question the first time.

New answer: There are quite a few examples of software using a dark theme, most of the ones already mentioned cover photo, video/animation.

But there are other examples too:

Most Autodesk design products use a dark theme by default. For example AutoCAD:

AutoCAD for Mac screenshot

Microsoft office has a dark theme (though its not the default).

MS Word with black theme screenshot

And Steam uses a dark theme based on the 'metro' design language

Steam screenshot

Dark theme's seem to be quite 'in' at the moment, many of these programs have only recieved a dark theme refresh in the last few releases. Personally i find it helps the visual hierarchy of the screen, allowing the main content - photo, video, drawing, ad's - to be more prominant while the UI sort of 'fades to the background'

  • Question appears to be asking for examples of software with a similar UI colourscheme/visual style, not similar functionality.
    – e100
    Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 13:19
  • 1
    AND Final Cut Pro Server is mentioned in the question itself... Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 15:02
  • Hey how do change the word theme? I've never seen that before.
    – Hanna
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 8:13
  • using office 2007 (i think it is similar for 2010): office-orb > [word] options > then under 'popular options' look for the color scheme drop-down box
    – Hemi
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 11:06

There's pixelmator, if that counts.

enter image description here


Try Looking at Theme Forest (http://themeforest.net/)


or Adobe Flex has some good Interface


or Browse Interface Gallery (http://userinterfacegallery.com)

  • thx for the link but it has to be a software, not a website
    – Littlemad
    Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 9:51
  • 3
    I can see a pattern that Online Apps and Desktop Apps are becoming one in terms of design. You just asked for a color scheme, you can get it almost everywhere.
    – Pennf0lio
    Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 11:14
  • If you check the question I said "to a software design", and if you read the question it is exactly the difference that I am making because the client do not want a web design.
    – Littlemad
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 4:19
  • @Littlemad sorry, my bad. I misunderstood your question.
    – Pennf0lio
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 8:00

Snowtape for Mac has a dark theme:


Sorry, can't post image, new user, not enough rep.


Ubuntu's unity is a good exemple of well integrated dark color scheme. http://unity.ubuntu.com/about/


Apple Aperture too, as nearly every imaging / photo software, has a dark color GUI.


GIMP has themes, and there's quite a few dark ones.

YouTube video explaining the process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFBFXoohAdg

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