Tips for Choosing Effective, Crisp Backdrop Colors for Product Photography

Product photography of red shoes with white backdrop color

What’s the secret to putting your product in the best light when creating promotional images and packaging? Savvy marketers and photographers know that some background colors make products look more compelling. Learning the art of how to use the right backdrop colors on product packaging and promo materials makes the task of making the sale much easier.

Take a look at some tips for choosing backdrop colors for product photography. First, let’s cover the strongest individual colors for product backdrops.

The Best Single-Color Choices for Product Backdrops

Color inspiration for choosing the right product backdrops


Simple can be good. The effectiveness of white backdrops is proof of this. White works as a product backdrop for a number of reasons. First, it’s clean and crisp. White can be especially effective if the goal is to show off the true color of a product. It’s also quite easy and inexpensive to use white as a universal background if you’re creating your own packaging or printing your own catalog. Additionally, handling digital files is simply easier because white will allow you to maintain a much tidier file size.


Professional camera on tripod photographing food on grey backdrop color

Grey is a real superstar when it comes to product backgrounds. While it accomplishes many of the same goals as white, the impact of grey is far more dramatic. The neutral properties of grey ensure that you’re not detracting from the colors used in your product. You’re also not stirring up any specific emotion among viewers. This allows your product to make the impact. Overall, grey is a great option for really highlighting your product without making a huge editorial statement.


Black can be a very effective backdrop color for products. However, it must be used appropriately and strategically to be effective. First, the dramatic impact of a black backdrop can draw the eye in like few colors can. Black can also bring elegance and contrast when used in product photography. It’s important to use black in a way that allows a product to shine without being obscured by a dark, overpowering backdrop.


Empty yellow pedestal display for product photography

Yellow is an effective backdrop if you’re looking for something upbeat and positive. Of course, yellow can be a bit edgy and overwhelming when used incorrectly. The best way to make a product stand out is to use that product to make a darker contrast against the yellow.


Red is effective for creating a physical response to your product because it calls attention before elevating the pulse. However, it’s not effective for all types of product displays. The way that red creates impulsive urges on a psychological level means that this is a great color for online ads and displays where the viewer can click to buy.

Bringing Your Product to Life Using Earthy, Natural Textures

Wood Backdrops

Beige wooden textured flooring background

Textures can give your product a “brand identity” by assigning a mindset. Wooden backdrops are especially good for achieving this. Think clean, vibrant wooden floors when you need to make a product appear natural, fresh and modern simultaneously. The natural grains in wood backdrops offer textures and richness that are nice contrasts to flat backgrounds.

Stone Backdrops

A closeup shot of small grey pebbles on a beach

Like grey, a stone backdrop offers a nice way to introduce a very neutral and calming background. However, stone brings a mosaic-like twist that calls on both nature and sophistication to elevate the value of your product. The naturalness of stone brings a sense of authenticity to your product.

Shiny Backdrops

Room empty of white marble studio background used to display products

Using materials like marble and granite, you can bring a cool and icy vibe to your product backdrop. This is a great option to consider if you’re showing off a beverage, tech gadget or lifestyle product. Opt for white or grey natural granite or marble to get that shiny, slick backdrop.


Natural seamless pattern with fresh juicy lemons on black background

Pulling off a neat, effective patterned background is slightly difficult. However, it works beautifully when all of the proper elements have been taken into account. The goal of a patterned backdrop is to reinforce brand identity. Many brands achieve this by using smaller versions of their logos in patterns. Additionally, a patterned background that incorporates the colors of a brand can also be effective.

The Most Important Rule for Product Backdrops: Don’t Let the Product Be Swallowed

Professional photography equipment prepared for shooting stylish shoes in studio

Product photography isn’t just art for the sake of art. The goal is to thrust a product into the spotlight in a way that catches the eye naturally. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for a product to be swallowed up by an overpowering backdrop that steals the spotlight. An effective backdrop always points toward the product instead of detracting from it.

The easiest way to do this is by simply using neutral colors. However, patterns and textures can be uniquely effective when you’re able to make your vibrant backdrop muted in comparison to the product. There’s an easy way to know if your product background allows your product to shine. If you’re reviewing some comps, take the seven-second test.

Studies show that it takes about seven seconds for a first impression to be made. That means that your full product image with backdrop must convey the purpose and value of your product in a seven-second glance. The impression won’t be made if the backdrop is busy enough to create confusion during that seven-second window.

Final Thoughts: Keep It Crisp

Product photography illustration of cosmetics, shoes and art equipment

Ultimately, lighting is going to be just as important as color when crafting a backdrop for a product. This is very much an exercise in portrait art. In fact, the product should be viewed the same way a human subject would be viewed in a pictorial sense. The product needs to be kept in focus with clear visibility for details. It’s also very important to keep scale in mind to make it easy for the viewer to grasp the real-life dimensions of what you’re displaying. Anything that causes your subject to fade into the background is a mistake that will prevent you from grabbing your customers during that first, quick glance.