Tag Archives: Monitor Profiling

The common question…

Yesterday we spent a very enjoyable day down at LCE Southampton

It’s always good getting out and about and talking to people face to face. It’s something we enjoy, and without wanting to boast, it’s something we’re very good at. We had a great time talking to you all, and we hope you enjoyed our seminar session in the evening.

As ever though, there was one query that stood out above all others:

“My images look great on screen, but don’t look anything like it when printing out” – or in other words; how can I get my printouts to match my screen?

The answer is calibration – a calibration of both a monitor and printer to be precise.

The device capable of performing both is called the ColorMunki Photo from X-Rite.

ColorMunki Photo

Whereas other calibrators will just take care of your screen or projector, the ColorMunki Photo will do your screen as well as any printer(s) you have connected to your laptop, Mac or PC.

Essentially it does the same thing to both devices; namely getting them to display or printout a series of colours for it to measure, compare to what the colour should be and create a profile to compensate for the difference.

Once these profiles are saved and applied to your machine you can start printing with peace of mind what you see on screen is what you’ll see coming out of the printer.

Calibrate your screen once a month and profile your printer for any paper/ink combinations and you’re good to go.

Easy.

You can learn more about ColorMunki Photo here.

Why don’t my printouts match my screen?

This is probably the most frequent question we get asked at CC HQ…

Whether on the phone, at Focus on Imaging, or at one of our Drop-in days; “why does my printout look different to what I see on-screen” is a frequent query from photographers and designers alike, particularly those that are starting, or wanting to print from home.

There are no single reasons for this, there are often multiple factors coming into play, such as; an un-calibrated screen, your working environment lighting conditions, system set-ups on your monitor or printer, the list goes on…

Luckily, there is a simple solution to this problem in the shape of the X-Rite ColorMunki Photo.

ColorMunki Photo has been designed to be an all-in-one spectral device for monitor, printer and even projector profiling – basically, a device that will ensure what you see on your screen is replicated as closely as possible when you print out.

It does this by calibrating/profiling both your LCD/CRT monitor and your printer.

Firstly, working like a ‘conventional’ monitor calibrator, ColorMunki Photo will create a custom profile you can save and apply to your monitor. It will integrate your display contrast settings and brightness into your workflow, giving you accurate on-screen colours.

Secondly, ColorMunki Photo will calibrate your RGB or CMYK printer by getting it to print out a series of test charts. The ColorMunki will scan the first test chart, learning how your printer behaves with these colours. Once this is done, a second chart is produced and scanned by the ColorMunki, thus creating a printer profile to save to your printer.

That’s it.

Colour accuracy is now achieved across your workflow from monitor to printer.

Learn more about ColorMunki Photo and how it can benefit your workflow here.

Colormunki Smile – monitor calibration that puts a Smile on your face

Today marks the release of the X-Rite ColorMunki Smile…

A name which lends itself to a host of puns and cheesy marketing gimmicks – although to be fair, I think we were fairly restrained with our efforts at CC HQ!

Anyway enough of that…

If you are completely new to the world of colour management, image editing or photography and are starting to require a solution to produce greater on-screen accuracy, then this is the solution for you.

Have you ever wondered why the pictures you took on your camera don’t look the same when displayed on your monitor? Well, monitors aren’t prefect; displayed colour can vary from monitor to monitor or even drift over time. This means the image you view on screen might not be a true reflection of what you actually captured.

Monitor calibrators are designed to solve this problem by optimising your monitor to display colours as accurately as possible.

The ColorMunki Smile has been designed with simplicity in mind. Unlike its bigger brothers; ColorMunki Display and i1Display Pro which offer a host of advanced features to play with, the Smile is as straight-forwards as plugging into your USB and letting it get on with calibrating your screen. This means you don’t need to have an expert knowledge of colour science to get the results you want.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYeXdpL6HNY?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

In a nutshell – this is the ideal monitor calibrator for a beginner.

In summary you get:

  • The ability to calibrate one, or multiple LCD & LED laptop or desktop displays
  • An easy and intuitive wizard interface – simply plug in and click
  • Powerful calibration technology found in X-Rite’s professional calibration solutions
  • Before and After image comparison
  • Easy to follow help videos and guides

You can learn more about and purchase ColorMunki Smile here.

Happy calibrating!

Brand New For January – Introducing Datacolor Spyder4

Launched today, we’re pleased to announce three brand new monitor calibration devices from Datacolor – the Spyder4 range.

You will probably be familiar with the Datacolor brand, indeed many of you reading this now will more than likely use, or have used a Spyder device to calibrate your screen (By the way, if you’re a photographer or graphic designer and aren’t calibrating your screen, read our post here to see why you really should be).

The Spyder2 and Spyder3 range quickly established themselves as both ‘no-nonsense’ devices for accurate monitor calibration, with the option for greater control over the calibration process if required. The Spyder4 series continues this straight-forward, but detailed approach with the latest range.

As before, there are three levels of device tailored to meet the needs of various users. All feature Datacolor’s patented 7-colour sensor which improves on the traditional 3-channel RGB sensors found on other devices. Basically, this means you get a more accurate, reliable calibration. The Spyder4 range is also geared to calibrate an iPad – available by downloading the free App.

Lets have a closer look at the range…

Spyder4Express

This is the entry-level/beginner model, ideal for image and photography enthusiasts, or for those looking for a quick, but accurate calibration. If you’re relatively new to the process, this is the device for you. It comes with wizard-style software to guide you through the process, making it as straight-forward and easy to understand as possible. You can learn more about Spyder4Express here.

Spyder4Pro

This is Datacolor’s intermediate level monitor calibrator, suitable for more advanced photographers or creative professionals. The Spyder4Pro is a perfect solution for those with more knowledge of the monitor calibration process, or seeking greater control and customisation when calibrating. The Spyder4Pro comes with ‘Monitor Quality Analyser’ (MQA) software, for calibration testing plus gamut, gamma and white point graphing. It also has an ambient light sensor to integrate your working environment conditions into the calibration. You can also calibrate multiple monitors, as long as they’re setup on the same system.

If you’re looking for greater control of colour management and the calibration process, this is the device for you. You can learn more about Spyder4Pro here.

Spyder4Elite

The Spyder4Elite is an advanced monitor calibration device developed for pro photographers and creative profesionals, or for those whereby precise, accurate on-screen colour is essential. This solution offers the highest level of monitor calibration and projector profiling customisation. The Spyder4Elite has the same features as the Spyder4Pro, plus extra capabilities to take the calibration process up a notch. Advanced MQA (with extra features than the Pro version) software means you can also graph luminance and colour uniformity.

With the Spyder4Elite, you can calibrate multiple monitors and workgroups – ideal for studio use. The software also features SpyderTune software, the ultimate fine tuning tool for displays.

This really is a device for those that know what they’re doing! You can learn more about Spyder4Elite here.

We’re looking to do an in-depth analysis of these devices once we’ve had chance to have a play with them! Keep checking back to the blog and our website over the next few weeks to get our take on the Spyder4 Range.

Colour management: an overview

This latest segment of colour confidence blog posts will link to information from our Learning Centre, and hopefully give you an insight into a range of topics you may find a bit puzzling!

First stop is colour management itself; what is it exactly, and why do you need it?

“Have you ever wondered why your digital camera pictures don’t look the same when displayed on your monitor? Or why they look different again when printed out? The answer is that no two devices display colour in the same way. Every device has its own colour range or gamut. Every camera and scanner captures colour differently. Even two
monitors of the same model and type will display slightly different results.

“To keep your colour consistent from device to device, you need colour management. At the heart of colour management is the process of profiling (also known as ICC profiling). By profiling a device, you can ensure it is displaying colour correctly within its capabilities, based on industry standards. Once the profiles are in place, you can make sure colour is reproduced in the same way by all devices – to put it simply, you can get your printer to create a print that looks as close as possible to the picture on your monitor.

“While this may sound complicated, most colour management products are designed to make the process as simple as possible, using automation and easy to use, wizard-based software. In as little as ten minutes, you could profile your entire system.”

So, colour management is the process to help you keep colour accurate and consistent throughout your workflow. But what ways are there to introduce or commence the colour management process?

There are 3 primary ways to help you get accurate colour:

  1. Profiling your monitor
  2. Profiling your printer
  3. Profiling your camera

All three have their own solutions, and all three have their own processes to help you achieve accurate colour. Crucially though; when these methods are combined – you start getting incredible results.

Want to know more about the why and the how to start profiling – download our colour management pdf which explains the processes a little further.

You can then check back to colorconfidence.com to see which solutions might be best for you.

Happy profiling!

Adam Borriello
Social media & marketing