The interactions between anionic or zwitterionic liposomes and a water-soluble, DNA-binding photochromic spiropyran are studied using UV/vis absorption and linear dichroism (LD) spectroscopy. The spectral characteristics as well as the kinetics of the thermal isomerization process in the absence and presence of the two different liposome types provide information about the environment and whether or not the spiropyran resides in the liposome membrane. By measuring LD on liposomes deformed and aligned by shear flow, further insight is obtained about interaction and binding geometry of the spiropyran at the lipid membranes. We show that the membrane interactions differ between the two types of liposomes used as well as the isomeric forms of the spiropyran photoswitch. © 2013 American Chemical Society.