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Graphic Designers & Color Management

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Graphic Designers & Color Management

Question:        Why don’t my prints match what I see on my monitor?

Answer:          Because you are not utilizing color management.

Most of the Graphic Design Teachers are not familiar with the Calibration of ICC, & ICM Profiles for a WYSIWYG Print-out. Further Dye Sublimation Inks does not have an ICM or ICC profile So, you cannot expect a WYSIWYG Printout and nobody adds these profiles with the Graphic card or with the Monitors. Most of the Graphic Designers or Tutors use un-Branded Monitors and Scanners. Gamma correction is not  done according to the monitors. So, the customers See a Green Color in your monitor and expects the same on their products. Which will not be able to achieve unless you calibrate the Graphic (VGA) Card, Monitors, Scanners including the Inks that you use. If you can teach into this professionalism you could get the closest possible color frame. So, you have to tackle the issues of RGB verses CMYK. Example : to see the difference try to make a TIFF file converting an RGB Image to TIFF and the Same Image Convert it in CMYK image into TIFF. Most of the Digital large Format Printers accept TIFF files.

Color Management


Introduction to Color Management

Color Management

Color Spaces

ICC Profiles

Monitor Calibration


In an ideal world, you point your digital camera at something, go click, and make prints that either match reality or improve upon it. This is what the chemists at Fuji and Kodak provide with their films. Each emulsion has a different tone; you choose which is right for you. Reala produces overall neutral colors. Use Velvia if you want your landscapes to have the hyper-saturated look so popular in National Geographic. Use Kodak NC or Fuji NPH if you don't want any people caught in your viewfinder to have the George Hamilton tans that Velvia bestows. Going the digital route, you must do the work instead.

In the real world, your camera has to talk to your computer, which needs to talk to a printer. Somehow, the color information needs to get passed along as well. This is where color management steps in. Each pixel in your camera captures light and encodes it as a combination of discrete Red, Green, and Blue values. What do these values mean; e.g. what color is 88/249/17. Without any context, it is a meaningless triplet of numbers. This is where color spaces come in.

A color space provides the definition for what color the numerical combination represents. Color spaces are akin to languages. A value such as 88/249/17 is given meaning by the color space in the same way as an otherwise random sound has meaning in a particular language. If our example of 88/249/17 is interpreted using the Adobe RGB color space, it is a vibrant, attention getting green. If, on the other hand, the same value is interpreted using the sRGB color space, it is a pale, sickly yellowish-green. This is shown below, using colors as close to the actual values as most web browsers can display.

(88, 249, 17) in Adobe RGB

The same RGB value in sRGB

 As you can see, it is important to know what language each component of your image processing system speaks. Unfortunately, your camera, scanner, monitor, and printer all talk different color languages. None of them map the same actual color to the same R/G/B value. Happily for us, the International Color Consortium has created a standard — ICC profiles — for how devices can communicate color information. Our printer profiles let your image processing program, such as Photoshop, know how to translate what you see on the screen to the printed page as accurately as your printer allows. Editing profiles, such as Adobe RGB or sRGB, allow you to edit images and get consistent results. Monitor profiles tell your operating system (if you are using a Mac + OS/X), or image editor how to display the picture accurately. A profile of your camera or scanner lets all the other steps in your workflow know how to interpret the original image.

There is obviously much more to color management than outlined above. True color geeks will notice the vast simplifications made; please don't get offended. These pages are intended to provide a conceptual understanding of color and color management. For further details, please read our tutorials on Color Spaces, Profiles, and Calibration Tools. For links to in-depth information, see our list of resources.

Color Management shows how to implement color as a practical form of problem solving. It is a consolidated resource, arming designers with an understanding of how to communicate with and manage color in all its aspects and applications: subtractive and additive; pigment, CMYK and RGB; 2-D and 3-D; still and motion. Sensitivity of pigments to light and air and the stability of inks is also detailed, as is the human factor, through issues of color legibility and the physical and psychological effects of color. There are step-by-step systems for achieving accurate color and successful process builds for prepress operations, color sinking, and overprinting, while technical issues of color-printing order, color mixing, dot gain, and color removal are also analyzed.

Accompanying the book comes a CD, which contains a 10,000 hue color swatch book and application software for determining legibility of type and color combinations at a distance. Color Management features visually stimulating and engaging examples of dynamic professional graphic design work. In its depth and breadth, this is a unique body of information... a one-stop color resource for designers working across all fields of visual

This is a well-designed book showcasing some students work as well as more known designers like Ahn San Soo, and Art Chatry-in a word, many design examples in this book aren't the ones you seen in hundreds of other graphic design books out there. The work shown in the book aren't placed there randomly like a catalog display. They all effectively accompany a particular topic in discussion-about color.

There are seven chapters in the book:

1.    Intro
2.   The Terminology of color
3.   Basic Color Theories
4.   The Creation of Color Wheels
5.   Color Calibration and Overprinting
6.   Color Prepress and Printing
7.   Behavioral Effects of Color

Note that the book for graphic designers. Those who want to study color theories and psychology of color may want to look else where. What l really like about this book is the discussion of prepress work and explaining step-by-step how to manage and correct colors. Like what you can find in the book, "Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color", there are also 19 pages of "color associations" which package designers may find useful. This book also blows away "Color Index." The book comes with a CD containing PDF files of "hue swatch system."

Color management and color science: Introduction


Who needs Gamutvision?

  • Photographers: professional and prosumer

  • Manufacturers and reviewers of printers, papers, and profiles

  • Graphic arts studios and print shops

  • Students of photography and color management

Image color analysis with Gamutvision

Gamutvision Print Test


Download Gamutvision

System Requirements

Operating System:    Microsoft Windows* 2000 / 2003 / XP/ Vista
                                          Macintosh with
Virtual PC6 or 7
                                         (*Not supported on Windows 98SE and ME,  but may   work   on 
  some installations)

RAM:                               256 megabytes minimum; 512+ megabytes recommended

Hard Drive:                  36 megabytes

Screen Resolution:    1024x768



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