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Many of you who watch me have noticed that the first thing I write under every photo I post is:

"I encourage everyone to please view this image on my website I use a dark neutral background that makes viewing art much more pleasing to the eye."

This is my only real gripe with deviantART, and one that if they fixed, I feel could significantly improve the look and feel of the site as a whole.

The main reason I post this is because I can't understand for the life of me why deviantART, an ART website, would choose a very awful shade of green to use throughout their website to showcase art. It's my opinion, and the opinion of pretty much any art site you visit (red bubble, 500px, 1x etc) that there should be a neutral background to a website where you are showcasing art. It really should be black or white or anything in between (shades of grey) This weird, gross shade of green just makes everything look worse. It's such a great site, with SO many talented artists, I can't figure out why they can't drop the green. Now, I've written a journal before about this subject, and while most agree with me, I get a few people saying things like "I don't think I see any green on the site, It looks grey to me." Well, yeah, it's a shade of green that's close to grey but anyone with an eye half tuned into color will see green. Another persons problem may be screen color calibrating issues. If you really are seeing grey, that's not good, because it means you're seeing all of your other colors wrong as well. I also get a lot of the same type of comments directly on my image page, saying the same thing. A lot of times I hear "you only write that to get people to go to your website" well, yes.. admittedly I will take any opportunity to direct people to my personal website because that's where I sell my prints. I wouldn't put it there if I didn't truly believe that photos look much better on my website though. I cringe sometimes when I see how a photo of mine looks against this background. It's not the end of the world or anything, but I wish a site wide color change would take place.

And for those of you who don't believe me about the color: (maybe I was bored, haha) Here is a handy chart to show you.
On the right you will see the obviously green shades of deviantART's color scheme (hex numbers included in the circles) against a neutral grey background. The circles on the left are the exact same colors only desaturated. Obviously, since they have color in them, desaturating takes them down to different shades of neutral grey. You'll also notice the only color that didn't change during the desaturation is the neutral background grey. So, hopefully now when people comment that I'm crazy for seeing green on this page I can just send them a link to this journal instead of having to explain it over and over.


Thanks for reading. I will go get a life now!
Add a Comment:
Pachunka Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
The poll *AMHolly mentioned produced an interesting result -- a LOT of people wanted us to leave the color alone, or move to a darker green.

I left a comment on =KrisVlad's thread - [link] - that you might find interesting.

I will say we're definitely not happy with the look anymore and a redesign IS coming.
kkart Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Professional Photographer
That is reassuring. Honestly, if I was you guys, I would really do what flickr does, white with the ability to also view the image on black.
KrisVlad Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013   Photographer

This is the only thing I hate about this art community. It's so damn ugly.

Check out my forum post in "Suggestions" -- I feel you man.
JokerrLaughs Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is very logical, never thought about this
jennystokes Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
Absolutely 100% correct.
Anyone looking at any image........always should be on a greyish background.
Thanx for this.
I will vote.
ms-laika Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013   Traditional Artist
You definitely put a lot of thought into what you have to say here.
AMHolly Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
There is a poll at the bottom of DA if you like the green background & you can vote for what you would like to see. I totally agree with you on a darker background.
jennystokes Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
Where is this Poll.
I have never seen it?
AMHolly Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
At the very bottom of da it shows journals, polls ect. They change the poll every so often. Just scroll down.
jennystokes Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanx so much
AMHolly Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
On the polls I see that you can click on the arrow & it will bring up the color poll. Most people like the green. So it looks like it's not going to change anytime soon...
mstargazer Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow is that a pie chart you've created? :wink: awesome! Agree 50% .. lol
KaytanaPhoenix Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
dA is green! You're not delusional ;p and it's obnoxious and ugly.. also not delusional there! Just thought I'd letcha know ;) haha :heart:
pestilence Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
Hey Nate!
Well this site is slowly dying for photographers, quality photos get lost, background is...well you just posted it...and everyday it feels even more like a social website rather than a showcase.
I loved DA and actually I can't say much about it, through this place I got the chance to meet and find great artists and friends, yet quality feels as degrading and especially with sites like 500px rising I don't see much potential.
Hell I have even kept my old images (just to remind myself where I was back in time) and people keep on faving those instead of the new ones :)
Hope you are doing great :)
FoxboyPrower Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
It would be nice if they let each artist customize the way their gallery looks to viewers.
Pale-Recluse Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I wouldn't complain if they had a photo background border viewing option where you could chose black or white or pastel bile green.
Christa-S-Nelson Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I totally agree with you. It's like when you frame a photo. The frame should COMPLIMENT the piece, not take the attention away from it. I see a lot of beautiful paintings framed in outrageous, gaudy, gold, frames. It looks awful. The point of the background on a website is to frame or matte the picture in a way that will draw the viewers attention to the photo, not the ugly color in the background!! A frame should be, depending on the piece, black, grey, white, or if the picture is colorful, a neutral color that works well with the color scheme.

I went to the Van Gogh show in Denver last week. They had many of his paintings and drawings in ginormous frames that stuck out 6 inches from the wall and were painted an awful gold. I tried to ignore them and focus on the work but my eyes kept strolling back to the awful frame. But they had one painting framed in a silvery white. It was beautiful and it worked perfectly. If only they paid more attention to all his other works.
Coeurlregina Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know this comment was made months ago, but I just couldn't stop myself.
I am not saying I am an expert, but many older pieces of art had frames that complimented the art in a good way, even if they were large, baroque style frames with gold leaves and whatnot. They simply would not look good without them, they would look naked. I say this because my family has an impressively large painting from the 1800 and to be honest, the frame becomes a window and compliments the style of the painter well. However, that does not mean that newer art benefits from it the same way. Especially if the frame is in "old" style, but not necessarily from the period. It would look fake and pretended. When it comes to modern art, especially stilistic styles, they benefit the most from simplicity. Definitly. Just make sure the simplicity does not end up becoming dull. Then the impression of the art gets an opposite effect of what the gaudy, gold frames would give, an extreme opposite that is, and no middle ground.

And I have to agree, DA should have a black background option, or at least a greyscale slider, like many photo sites have. Dark pictures come to life and we don't have to watch the glare of the light gray.
MyLifeInFocus Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
You are totally right! This is a site designed for ART, not being 'pleasing' to the eye, which I love a nice black interface with excellent photographs, not having to mentally separate it....Oh well, we are at dA's mercy I suppose..
lilfixit Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I think the people that don't see green are either trolls or colorblind.
GloriaLinder Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't do a lot of commenting, but I completely agree, I love photography and while I'm no professional even I cringe when I see some of my pics here, they definitely suffer against this back ground. On a better note though, I love your photos! They make me miss my home state of Montana. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful.
muntoo Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
The reason Photoshop is the way it is.

The reason Lightroom is the way it is.

The reason any design-related tool (NLVE, CAD, etc) that is worth anything is the way it is.

Because grey makes art beautiful. It removes focus from the chrome. It gives equal weight to each and every artwork; with a colored background, some artworks may look better than others, giving unfair advantages and biases. (This is particularly true of B&W work which was not meant to be viewed in such horrid conditions.) With a "lifeless" background, the art itself can come to life, and the careful balance of colors is not disrupted.

dA should change to this [link]. (Though, I have one quibble with it: hyperlinks are so hard to tell apart from regular text. Maybe I'll edit the CSS sometime.)

However, having a green background seems to appeal to the masses of dA. Black or grey or even white would seem too professional; green gives the welcoming message that "ALL ART IS WELCOME!!!1 :heart: :bananaplz: :momplz: :thissitesucksplz:".

dA seems to want to remain a mainstream art site (more ad revenue) and doesn't seem to care about quality. The dA team's lack of care for the front page is evidence of this -- in contrast, the Shadowness and 1x frontpages are currated, and 500px uses some algorithm that is specially designed to help them make tons of money (yes, I have a problem with $500mil as well).


I also cringe whenever I see my photography on the default background.
muntoo Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
You know what, maybe I'll put this rant in my journal. Spread the word! (Not that anyone reads mine.)
darkmanx56 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
TheFlyingSparrow Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm worried about people not seeing that the site is green... However, I personally don't dislike the colour scheme, and I've come to be in a love-hate relationship with grey websites. What I would prefere, though, are darker colours on the deviation pages, or an option to "turn out the lights" while fewing a deviation.
rythmdance Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
They also need to get a like button like on face book :-)
nikefuretta Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I agree with you Nate. I have not the best screen of the word, but the background is really green!
I've seen a couple of good deal in the comments and I'm going to try some of them.
But maybe we all should start a petition to ask a neutral background...
Does anybody knows how?
La-Vita-a-Bella Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012   Photographer
I agree. Green is an awful shade that doesn't compliment our art. :nod:
joejoeyjoy4 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Student Writer
I've always known that deviantart's colour scheme was green and I notice it all the time. It's just neutral enough that it doesn't bother me.
KiusLady Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Red/green color blindness *is* the most common ;)
Likely the people who say "I only see grey" can't perceive green.
(This has probably already been mentioned in the comments but I'm too tired and lazy presently to check)

That all said: I do agree that the present dA color scheme is not the most conducive to viewing art.
Lyrak Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Even the default journal style is called "deviant green"... always has been...

But yeah I don't get it. And they seem to be trying to move to an even LIGHTER color scheme, judging by complaints of the new submit page some folks are testing.

No, DeviantArt.


muntoo Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
^This, deviantART team.


Buddhalassie Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
Yes and yes!!! We should start a poll on this problem and encourage everyone to vote! I hate the puke-worthy green too - it makes me feel - well - green!
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Millsy1 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Many sites use the trick where when viewing an image in full screen, it places the rest of the page under a dark filter. You can still see what is underneath, but the image is there on it's own quite nicely. Not sure why they haven't tried this.
primavistax Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think its green!^^ and its good!XP
SachiyeKazumi Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Student Photographer
Actually, I added an application to my browser so that I would not have to look at those terrible green shades. Everything is currently gray for me, and for that I am quite grateful. I was never happy with the green, so being able to change the look of the entire website has made my art-viewing experience much better. I can really focus on the art and I haven't really noticed the background since I changed it.
Although, I do prefer to view your photography on your actual website.
bonefish Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Out of curiosity, what browser and application are you using? If it's Firefox-compatible, I'd love to give it a try.
SachiyeKazumi Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Student Photographer
I am using Google Chrome! But I looked it up and the application (it's called Stylish) is also Firefox compatible.

Just a tip for when you use it, type in "deviantart" in the search box (should be on the left of the site) and then you can pick out your favorite theme. I have multiple themes just in case I want to change it.

It can be a bit buggy, just as a warning. If it is the same for you, go to "Manage installed styles" to delete any undesired styles. Otherwise, it'll glitch out on you and you may have to restart your browser.
muntoo Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
What style are you using? Mine's [link]
SachiyeKazumi Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Student Photographer
Right now that's the one I'm using. :)
Fellmekke Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
I use this [link] to see black.
Kimiko-chan1 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Professional Photographer
I would definitely agree that art looks better on a neutral background - black, white grey. It just looks more professional, and makes the art stand out more, which is the whole idea, right?
So why doesn't DA fix it?
Even when I'm matting and framing my work, I use neutral mattes unless the person I'm doing it for orders custom colors.
Ragnar949 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
I've noticed the "institutional" green. In museum techniques we learned all about the physiological and physical influence of color. I will also say that a number of shots I've put up I took down immediately because they were no longer the same pictures. I hadn't thought of the green being a factor but I think that you may be correct.
OcularFracture Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
I didn't even notice it had a green tinge.
derfs Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
Don't know if it's a changeable setting in Firefox but if you right click on an image and choose "View Image" it will display just that image on a dark background. Used to be images were displayed on a white background.
Rhynn Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I really agree that the green background affect negatively the display of most images. People just don't know what they loose.
angelsarefascists Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's never bothered me much (probably because I like gross colors), but I completely agree with you on the presentation of art - it completely changes the feel of the image. It's a wonder that none of the staff ever looked at the site and said to themselves, "Oh, my God. What were we thinking?"
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
Agreed. Sadly I doubt the $taff will ever do anything. You need to wave money in their faces.
xXopheliajaneXx Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
I agree... things always look better on black. After reading your entry here though I wanted to share my amusement with your findings. I am partially color blind, I can see color... just not all of it. For all intents and purposes my world is just less colorful/vibrant. Now, despite the fact that I get in a bind now and then at work for picking the wrong shade of color adjustment... even I can see the green on this site and the difference between them. lol.... There must be some really colorblind people out there who aren't aware of it (or... as you mentioned, poor calibration).

Anywho... enjoy the day and go do what you do best, have fun at your job :)
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