All monitors will display colors slightly different, so you need to learn how to use ICC profiles.
Monitor calibration is not a perfect science, meaning that you can’t always expect perfection. To be able to produce digital images that will print with colors and a tonal range that are approximate to what you see on your monitor, you will need to do a basic monitor calibration. The simplest way to accomplish this is to adjust your monitor’s gamma.
We recommend 2.2 gamma and D6500K for the white point.
Gamma is basically a number value given to contrast.
White point is basically a definition of white. For example, photographs taken indoors may be lit by incandescent lights, which are relatively orange compared to daylight. Defining “white” as daylight will give unacceptable results when attempting to color correct a photograph taken with incandescent lighting.
Working with a calibrated and profiled monitor is essential for professional photographers and designers. Just because you see your photograph doesn’t mean that the same colors you saw when viewing a scene are the colors interpreted by your camera or emitted by your monitor. While digital cameras employ white balance to determine the appropriate color temperature of the lighting source and the corresponding appearance of neutral colors such as gray and white, your monitor has no such function. Taking the time to adjust it can help you produce printed images that are not a surprise to you.
I have Calibrated my monitor. What is next?
You should order some test prints. These test prints will show you what the lab is printing, along with recommendations from the soft proof department on how we would adjust the files to get them to a lab standard. When you get these prints, you need to set them next to your monitor and make sure that what you are seeing on the final print is the same as what you are seeing on your monitor. You may still need to adjust your color and density to receive the same color on the monitor as you have on the print in hand.
What if some of my prints are dark and do not match my monitor?
The calibration tests are done on an e-surface paper. So when you are calibrating your monitor, you are calibrating to a photo print. While all of our printers are profiled to match, there are variances.
- You should also make sure you are using the correct color profile. Our lab uses sRGB.
- Some monitors cannot be calibrated. You need RGB controls, brightness controls, a video card and driver that can take a profile and not too much ambient light in the room.
- Many laptops cannot be calibrated and many share video with the built in screen and external screen and RAM so you get all sorts of weirdness trying to calibrate them.
- Mac has an internal calibration system built into the hardware.
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