What is Dark mode?

Dark Mode is an accessibility setting that people can choose to view their content in. What this means for email is, it changes the chosen colour palette in order to display its content in high contrast. It reverses the colour palette to improve the readability in a Dark Mode environment, for example, a white background may become black.


Using light foreground and dark background colours, it can minimise eye strain, improve readability and reduce blue light. Therefore it’s ideal for those with light sensitivity or people who simply prefer their content to be in high contrast.




This doesn’t mean you need a totally new Email Design System or need to redesign anything. We have put together help articles that detail some small things you can do to update your current HTML in order to support Dark Mode in your emails and improve the overall experience for your subscribers.

What impact can dark mode have on your emails?


With more and more people choosing to view their emails in Dark Mode it's important to test your emails in this environment.

Below we’ve put together some common examples of things that can go wrong to help you know what to look out for while testing.

If you have a dark logo, then this can become hard to make out in Dark Mode if the background colour gets inverted to the same or a similar colour.

The same thing could happen with your social media icons

If you use text over image modules, with light text overlaying a dark image, this text can colour can be changed, making it hard to read in dark mode.

CTA text colour might get changed, whilst the CTA background colour might stay the same, making it difficult to read

Lastly, if you have a white background, this can sometimes get changed to black, so any dark text is completely lost.

Why you should not try and stop Dark Mode happening

Dark mode has been a challenge for everyone whether you are an email developer, designer or marketer. In many email clients, there is little control you can have over how the content changes in Dark Mode enabled devices. Yet there are a number of reasons why dark mode should be embraced, not overcome.


If your subscribers are viewing your emails in dark mode, it’s because they chose to. Instead of trying to “fix” it or hack around it, making small adjustments to your Email Design System to support this, to improve how your emails appear in dark mode, can give your subscribers better experience when viewing your emails


Dark mode displays dimmed colours that are less harsh on the eye. Users with visual impairments, those who suffer from migraines or are more sensitive to bright light may prefer switching their device settings to dark mode.


Dark mode also works great in low light environments. While we all know using the phone in bed may disrupt the quality of our sleep, reading white text on a black background may be more convenient than lowering the brightness and squinting your eyes trying to read.

Read Next:

Dark Mode Best Practice and Tips | Different Email Clients in Dark Mode

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