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> how do i make sure my printer(a different party) prints my design... exactly the same color as i see it on my laptop?..
Laptop displays have very poor viewing angle stability, meaning that what you see changes significantly depending on the angle you are viewing it at. One should look at the display in its dead center, perfectly perpendicular, which is not an easy feat. Even then, what you see is not very reliable, because what you see to the left and right of center is off by an angle large enough to alter the way it looks.
Bottom line, do not rely on your laptop's display for color-critical work, even if it's calibrated and profiled to the best of your abilities.
> can embedding ICC profiles in my .ai files do the trick & ensure the colors come out the same?
Ensure? Yes and no. That's a long discussion, that has generated sizable threads on several forums. It's difficult to summarize it here briefly.
1. how do i get started in calibrating my monitor... is there a tutorial on it or a software that i could use?
Here is a tutorial I posted for an event I presented at a color management user group here in Seattle, WA -
But, like Marco said, laptop monitors are poor for color-critical work and difficult to calibrate properly.
2. how do i make sure my printer(a different party) prints my design... exactly the same color as i see it on my laptop?.. can embedding ICC profiles in my .ai files do the trick & ensure the colors come out the same?
Embedding profiles is certainly a step in the right direction to ensuring your color will match closer to what you're seeing on your laptop.
If you are going to profile a laptop its best to spend the money for a hardware calibrator, because laptop monitors are not the best for color critical work. If you must do color critical work it would be best to buy another monitor and use it.
I agree with that. Buy an external monitor that you will then connect to your laptop. The image will be mirrored (meaning that the external display will receive exactly the same number of pixels in the same arrangement and with the same RGB signals as your laptop's display).
Once you have an external display connected to the laptop, calibrate and profile that external display, and make sure that the resulting profile is activated in the Displays > Color panel in System Preferences (I'm assuming you have a MacBook, but you may have a PC instead, in which case I don't know much about the procedure of assigning a monitor profile for Wintel machines).
The profile created for the external display will make the laptop's own display look incorrect, so it's a good idea to make a second profile for the laptop's display, and activate one profile or the other depending on whether or not you are connected to the external monitor at any particular time.
In any case, just make sure that the active profile is the one (between the two available) that is intended for the display that you are using at any specific time.
Marco, can you go into more detail as to why it's important to run the external monitor in mirrored mode? It doesn't seem necessary.
When I attach an external monitor to my Mac laptop, I use it to extend the desktop for more work area. The external monitor and laptop monitor each use their own custom-generated profiles, since Mac OS properly handles that. I do color-critical viewing on the external monitor, which displays far better quality than the laptop's LCD, of course. I use the laptop LCD for palettes and non-color-critical applications.
christy18, as far as whether another party will see the same colors, you can calibrate as precisely as you can and embed the profiles in the graphics you send to them, and at that point you've done all you can. From then on, the results on the other end are going to depend on how well they've color-managed their own systems and displays. If they haven't, then there can't be any guarantees.
Steps to caliberate notebook's monitor:
step 1 - take an empty beaker, add water in it and boil at 100 degree celcius.
step 2 - break your LCD screen as how maggie noodles are broken into 2 pieces and then dip this broken LCD screen into hot beaker...
step 3 - boil it untill the LCD screen is dissolved.. and later purchase a brand new HP Compact Presario...