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Most Common Dark Mode Logo Problems And How To Fix Them

Brian Bojan Dordevic
About The Author

Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

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How is your business logo looking in dark mode? Some logo designs thrive in dark theme backgrounds. Others fade into the background or become illegible.

If your clients can not see your logo, they can associate that site, app, email, or offering with your brand, which sabotages the whole point of designing a unique brand logo.

Thankfully, there are several ways to overcome this roadblock. In this article, I’ll discuss the most common dark mode logo problems my Los Angeles web design agency has encountered. I’ll also share easy design tricks you can use to solve each issue.

Table of Contents:
Dark mode logo

Why Is It Essential To Adapt Your Brand Logo To A Dark Theme?

Dark mode keeps growing in popularity among websites and web apps. It introduces a black or dark background with white or light-colored text, icons, and design elements.

When it comes to light mode vs. dark mode, the majority of users seem to prefer the dark theme. A darker color scheme makes screen content easier to read and relieves eye strain.

Today, most users are accustomed to having the option to switch between modes depending on their preferences. Offering a dark mode option is increasingly becoming one of the crucial user requirements for a website or app.

These are some of the benefits of implementing dark mode in a business website:

  • Enhanced User Experience: The main benefit of dark mode is how much it boosts user experience. Most users find it more comfortable to navigate a site in dark mode, especially when they are in low-light environments. By offering a dark theme option, you attract a broader audience and show your commitment to user satisfaction.
  • Improved Readability: Dark mode creates better contrast between background and text, enhancing readability. This reduces eye strain and provides a more enjoyable reading experience.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: A darker color palette evokes feelings of elegance and sophistication, providing websites with a modern, sleek, modern aesthetic. The dark mode can make your website or app look more attractive, motivating visitors to spend more time on the platform.
  • Better Accessibility and Inclusivity: Besides being a matter of preference or aesthetics, dark mode’s main purpose is to be an accessibility feature. The dark theme allows users with light sensitivity or visual impairments to enjoy their experience on your website, ensuring all visitors have a pleasant time on your site.

Most Common Dark Mode Logo Problems and Solutions

When a user switches from light mode to the dark-theme, it inverts your site or web app background and text colors. If your logo is not designed to adapt to those changes, it can suffer some unpredictable and negative effects. Those effects can be your logo turning into a weird and unsightly color combination or disappearing from your design.

The best solution to prevent unfavorable logo changes and ensure a seamless, modern UI design is to test how your logo reacts to the dark color scheme. These are the most common dark mode logo issues and how to fix them.

1. A White Box May Appear Behind Your Logo

White box behind logo in dark mode

If your site logo has a white background, it will look perfectly fine on top of white. However, with the dark mode enabled, the background will turn black, and a white box will appear behind your logo.

Depending on your logo design, that may not be an issue for you, or it can turn your brand emblem into a not-so-pretty design.

On the bright side, this is the less harmful dark mode inconvenient. Your visitors will continue to see your logo, and they can easily click on it. However, if you spent valuable time and resources designing the perfect logo that communicates your brand’s essence, having an unflattering white box behind it can be a big downer.

Solution: Use Transparent PNGs

Luckily, there is an easy solution to get rid of the unsightly white box: set a transparent logo background. By switching your background logo from white to transparent, when users use the dark mode, the area around and behind your logo will change to the background color.

To use this solution, your logo must support transparency, such as being a PNG image.

If your logo colors look good and are perfectly readable in both white and black backgrounds, this quick fix can be all it takes to solve your dark theme issue. However, if the logo colors don’t suit a dark background, this solution won’t fix the problem. Then, you can try some of the solutions I listed below.

2. If You Have a Dark Colors Logo, It Will Disappear

So, your logo is already a PNG image with a transparent background. That should fix the issue, right? Well, as mentioned, that only works for light-colored logos. If your logo is black, has black elements, or uses other dark colors (such as maroon or navy blue), it will fade into the dark background.

If the logo completely fades, users won’t see it, and if it is barely noticeable, that will cause readability issues. This can lead to a poor user experience, make your business seem unprofessional, and damage your branding strategy. So, it’s best to tackle this issue in advance.

For logos that disappear in dark backgrounds, I propose three different solutions. Choose the one that better suits your brand style and identity:

Solution 1#: Add A White Outline

An effective solution for logos that fade in dark mode color schemes is to add a white outline around the logo’s vector. The white outline around the logo will be invisible when your clients use the light mod, but make the logo stand out when they switch to the dark theme.

You can use any image editing tool to add a white stroke around your logo. This trick works for almost all 2024 logo trends. You will solve the dark mode logo issue and have a logo that catches your users’ eyes.

Solution 2#: Add Shadows

Another option is using a light-colored shadow around your business logo. While the shadow will make your logo slightly pop up and enhance readability, the change may not be enough to make a significant difference.  This trick will work better in some logos than others; that will depend on your logo’s colors and design.

Make sure to adjust opacity, blur, x-height, and y-height until you find the best fit for your logo design. You may want to add a shadow only to dark-colored elements, such as text or an icon.

Solution 3#: Add A Glow

The last method to prevent your logo from disappearing in a dark background is adding a glow. Adding a glow effect around your logo vector can make it jump off the page and be more noticeable. Again, this solution works differently for every logo design. You can test it in your logo and see if it solves the issue without stepping too far away from your brand aesthetic.

Some designers go against these three approaches because, in some cases, they can make a logo look cheap or they don’t match their design standards. You can use them if they fit your branding or implement them as quick solutions until you find a better approach.

3. Poor Contrast or Unflattering Color Combination

Contrast issues with logo in dark mode

Some websites and apps have dark themes that invert more than just white and black colors. In cases where the dark mode fully inverts colors, your design or logo can end up with some funky color combinations. The result may be a color combo that looks unprofessional, is unflattering and difficult to read, or doesn’t communicate your brand identity.

For example, some email platforms’ dark themes fully invert colors. If you add your brand logo to business emails, clients or prospects that use the dark mode may see it in colors you didn’t pick and don’t fit into our brand guidelines.

Solution: Preview The Dark-Theme Design

The only way to learn if a platform or web app’s dark theme is inverting your logo (and other design elements) colors is to preview your design using dark mode preview tools.

If you notice dark mode is changing your logo colors, a solution could be to save your logo as a background-free PNG image. That will avoid unexpected changes.

You can also target this dark mode logo issue using CSS. This is considered the best solution as it gives you full control, enabling you to set specific standards for light and dark modes. You can set a standard logo version for light mode and another version for when users switch to dark mode. However, for this solution, you will need some basic CSS and HTML knowledge.

Final Thoughts

Have you tested your dark mode logo already? Does it adapts well to dark mode or does it look like it could use some work?

Dark mode is here to stay – it delivers countless benefits, and users love it. Designing your logo and other graphic design elements to fit a dark color scheme is a smart choice. You can use the methods from this guide to make your logo work on a dark theme and provide an excellent user experience in both light and dark modes.

Are you struggling to adapt your logo to fit dark modes? I encourage you to schedule a call with me. Together, we can assess your specific dark theme logo issues to find the best approach to create a responsive logo design.

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