Screen calibration required for app development?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by thedon1, May 15, 2014.

  1. thedon1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    I have a 2013 iMac and am learning to use Sketch to aid my app development. I was wondering if I would see any benefits from calibrating my screen. Is it required for app development or will it not really affect me?

    I don't really know how well calibrated the screen is when it ships so thought i'd ask.
  2. pinholestars macrumors member


    Oct 20, 2011
    I don't see a real need for it if you're just doing app creation. If you were doing print design or color correcting video (or things where exact color is extremely important), then it'd be necessary. If your app having the exact color you want on every screen everywhere is important to you, go for it. If it doesn't matter all that much, then save your money.
  3. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    What screen do you have?
    Most IPS/PLS/MVA screens today are very well sRGB calibrated out of the box, and sRGB is the default App reference colour space. This includes TB displays, iMacs, Retina Macbooks and iThingies.
    If you have a TN panel: ditch it and get an IPS/PLS/MVA one.
  4. slo-climber macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013
    I would like to ask something about this topic too.

    Which "Display profile" have you set under System Preferences -> Displays -> Color?
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    A decent calibrator for a professional is $250. There are ok ones for less.

    If you think you need one, get one.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    There is significant variation between displays, and they also shift over time. A big problem with TN is that they tend to have narrower viewing angles. A small change in head position can make the image on screen appear different.
  7. rdas7 macrumors regular


    Nov 17, 2002
    London, England
    First of all, congratulations on using Sketch app. It is the best app for the purpose by a wide margin!!

    Calibrating your screen accurately using hardware is more relevant for print work, where your colors need to match between screen and printer. For general app development, what you get out of the box should be close enough.

    What you can do is run the basic software calibration tool found in:

    System Preferences > Displays > Color > Calibrate…

    This should ensure that your screen is giving you the optimal image for your particular surroundings (lighting, etc.)

    For app design, by far the most useful thing to do is see your designs previewed on a device. For that, the excellent Sketch Preview app is available for iPhone and iPad. It allows you to see your current art board (on your desktop) displayed on the device.

    This tool is invaluable for understanding how your design will feel in your hand.

    You can see immediately whether the fonts you're using are too small, for example. Or whether or not a button you've placed is in a convenient location to be pressed when holding the device with one hand… things that you can't necessarily gauge when looking at a flat design on a vertical screen at some magnification.

    Good luck with your app design/development, don't forget to post back here (and on dribbble, etc.!) with some screen caps of your work!
  8. thedon1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    I'm still learning how to use Sketch but it seems awesome so far, can definitely see how useful it can be, especially for someone who's more of a programmer than a designer but wants to learn and play around with that aspect of development.

    I only just discovered the preview app but that's invaluable, a great addition.

    I guess with having that, calibration for my iMac screen isnt really needed.
  9. Zeiss macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2006
    don't mean to be totally pedantic, but you can't actually calibrate an iMac because there is no access to monitor controls for colour, gamma etc, only software ones. You can 'profile' your display using an ieye or simliar (x-rite), but all this will achieve is greater shadow / highlight accuracy (you may see more details in shadows and more texture in highlights), but really, unless you are doing photographic editing where you need to be able to interrogate this stuff - forget it.

    Also - there is no way of profiling or calibrating iOS gear.

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