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View Full Version : Monitor Calibration




MarkW19
Mar 21, 2008, 09:28 AM
I'm shortly going to be using my MacBook Pro for design/graphics/printing, to a decent color laser printer, and would like to know how best to set it all up to get the most accurate color display/reproduction.

I'm using Photoshop, Quark Xpress, Adobe Distiller, etc.

Firstly, how do I calibrate my 23" Apple Cinema Display, so that the colors I see on screen are accurate (ie. if I'm trying to find a particular color for a logo, and I hold a letterhead up to the screen, the 2 colors will match, and be correct - I use CMYK/Pantone references usually), and equally how do I ensure my printer is printing the exact colors I see on screen?

Thanks for any help.



7031
Mar 21, 2008, 09:59 AM
Simple. Go to System Preferences, Displays, colour then uncheck "Show profiles for this display only". Then just choose the colour profile you want.

MarkW19
Mar 21, 2008, 10:03 AM
Simple. Go to System Preferences, Displays, colour then uncheck "Show profiles for this display only". Then just choose the colour profile you want.

Then I choose the same profile on my printer?

What are these monitor calibration devices about then (Spyder, the one Pantone do, etc.)?

tsd
Mar 24, 2008, 12:31 PM
Yeah, you're kind of asking two separate questions. Your display needs to be calibrated with separate hardware or built-in software so that it displays colors accurately for the room that it's in, and to adjust for the particulars of your specific display. In fact, it is recommended that you recalibrate your display every week because of small changes in the display as it ages. You can use your own eyeballs to calibrate your display using the OS X calibrator located at System Preferences > Displays > Color > Calibrate... > Expert Mode. The problem with that is your eyes aren't perfect. The best way to calibrate a display is with a separate piece of hardware like the X-Rite Eye One Display or the Spyder. I prefer the Eye One (aka i1), but some people swear by the Spyder series of products. Whatever you get, make sure it can adjust the color temperature of your display via an ambient light sensor. This helps the color on your display match the color of paper that you view in the room where the computer is. If you use a separate print viewing booth, you should use the ambient light sensor on the monitor calibrator to match the display to that viewing booth.


The second issue is that you need a good profile for your printer. Again, the best way to do this is to purchase one of the high end matching systems like what X-Rite or Pantone make. It comes with the display calibrator plus a piece of hardware that measures colors on printed paper and creates an accurate profile for the printer. Most newer printers come with their own profiles, which can be pretty decent. You can select those profiles in the Print dialogues of the Application that's doing the printing. Also, you should use the profile for the final output device in the Application that you're doing the designing in. So, if you're going to use your own office printer to print out the final product, you should select that printer's ICC profile in the design program you're using (Illustrator, for instance).

A final word of warning: it's notoriously difficult to get on-screen representations of Pantone swatches to be accurate. Even after profiling everything you can think of, it's rare to get a display to REALLY show Pantone colors the same way they look in the printed Pantone swatch books. I find it easier to profile my display, design what I want, then find colors in my Pantone swatch books that match my on-screen colors. When I design using the digital Pantone swatches, it hardly ever matches the printed Pantone inks, either with the 17" Apple Studio Display or the new 24" glossy display.

Oh, and let's not get into the Glossy vs. Matte color accuracy debate.

MarkW19
Mar 24, 2008, 01:36 PM
Yeah, you're kind of asking two separate questions. Your display needs to be calibrated with separate hardware or built-in software so that it displays colors accurately for the room that it's in, and to adjust for the particulars of your specific display. In fact, it is recommended that you recalibrate your display every week because of small changes in the display as it ages. You can use your own eyeballs to calibrate your display using the OS X calibrator located at System Preferences > Displays > Color > Calibrate... > Expert Mode. The problem with that is your eyes aren't perfect. The best way to calibrate a display is with a separate piece of hardware like the X-Rite Eye One Display or the Spyder. I prefer the Eye One (aka i1), but some people swear by the Spyder series of products. Whatever you get, make sure it can adjust the color temperature of your display via an ambient light sensor. This helps the color on your display match the color of paper that you view in the room where the computer is. If you use a separate print viewing booth, you should use the ambient light sensor on the monitor calibrator to match the display to that viewing booth.


The second issue is that you need a good profile for your printer. Again, the best way to do this is to purchase one of the high end matching systems like what X-Rite or Pantone make. It comes with the display calibrator plus a piece of hardware that measures colors on printed paper and creates an accurate profile for the printer. Most newer printers come with their own profiles, which can be pretty decent. You can select those profiles in the Print dialogues of the Application that's doing the printing. Also, you should use the profile for the final output device in the Application that you're doing the designing in. So, if you're going to use your own office printer to print out the final product, you should select that printer's ICC profile in the design program you're using (Illustrator, for instance).

A final word of warning: it's notoriously difficult to get on-screen representations of Pantone swatches to be accurate. Even after profiling everything you can think of, it's rare to get a display to REALLY show Pantone colors the same way they look in the printed Pantone swatch books. I find it easier to profile my display, design what I want, then find colors in my Pantone swatch books that match my on-screen colors. When I design using the digital Pantone swatches, it hardly ever matches the printed Pantone inks, either with the 17" Apple Studio Display or the new 24" glossy display.

Oh, and let's not get into the Glossy vs. Matte color accuracy debate.

Thanks a lot for the help. Looks like I should get one of the monitor/printer calibrators from Pantone then.

I'll be using a lot of Pantone references, so I guess once I've calibrated my monitor and printer, the best thing to do, as you said, would be either use the actual PMS number for a previous job/logo, which if the printer is calibrated properly, will print out accurately; or if I'm designing from scratch, just choose the colour that looks right on my monitor, then before output, change it to the nearest PMS colour by comparing the printed swatch with the image on-screen (even though it may then look different on screen), as the actual NUMBERS won't necessarily match up. That it?

jerryrock
Mar 24, 2008, 04:26 PM
Just to clarify the product line, X-rite now owns Gretag-MacBeth (eye-one products) and Pantone (Huey) forming a sort of color management monopoly.

The only other competitor in the desktop printing game is DataColor (formerly Colorvision) who manufacture the Spyder line of products.