As reported by our friends over at Brickset, LEGO appears to be making plans to transition away from the use of black backgrounds in instruction manuals. Earlier today, LEGO customer Sam Walker posted an image in a Facebook group of a response he received from LEGO customer service, in which the company states “we’ve been listening to feedback about the background colour in our building instructions. We’ve done lots of testing already and have plans to move away from the black backgrounds entirely.”
The dark backgrounds have been part of the theming for 18+ sets in LEGO’s newly rebranded adult product portfolio that began rolling out last summer. The black manuals have been the source of much frustration for builders, as the low contrast has made it very difficult to discern darker-colored elements, with some disappearing entirely, as we noticed in our review of 10275 Elf Clubhouse.
LEGO has been trying a variety of things to combat the issue, including adding more outlines to elements. Some recent sets, such as 10295 Porsche 911 Turbo & 911 Targa, shipped with black backgrounds in the instruction manual, but the version available for download from LEGO’s website has been updated to include traditional light backgrounds. Other recent 18+ sets, such as 21325 Medieval Blacksmith, included light backgrounds in the printed manual that shipped with the set, though it’s unclear if this is a result of the change already being put into action, or because that set is part of the Ideas product line rather than Creator Expert.
In the response to Sam Walker, LEGO also says that it is working with LEGO designers with color impairment in creating revised manuals.