21 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2008 11:50 AM by Tim Lookingbill

    Matching colors on my monitor to print colors

    Level 1
      I'm not a color management expert, so forgive me if my question doesn't make sense...

      I want to have the colors on my screen match whichever Pantone color chips I happen to be using for a particular illustration. I know it's impossible to do this perfectly--monitors don't have the gamut of the color chips I own--but I'd like to at least get close.

      Will a monitor calibration tool like the Spyder or Huey accomplish this for me?

      (A related question: how can they possibly do this for me, when at least for the Huey, you're asked about whether you want a warm cast on your monitor, a cooler cast, etc.? Shouldn't my monitor confirm to a single standard?)

      Thanks very much.
        • 1. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
          Level 1
          I recommend the Eye-One Display 2 for Monitors
          http://www.xrite.com/product_overview.aspx?ID=788

          any instructions that want you to select warm or cool probably isn't the professional package you want

          if your monitor has a hardware setting for 6500, I would select it BEFORE calibrating

          then target 6500/d65 and 2.2 gamma at around 140-180 luminance on LCD screens...
          • 2. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
            Level 1
            if you are a scientist, a forum search may add more information about optimal lighting sources and fixtures, brand of neutral paint for the wall, clothing, and correct hair dye so they don't reflect unwanted color and bias your evaluation...
            • 3. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
              Level 1
              I do a fair amount of print graphics, especially graphics with a very limited color palette. I want those colors to print in a predictable fashion.

              $259 isn't exorbitant, but there are products on the market that are significantly less expensive (<$100). Are those products truly inferior to this one? How?

              Thanks very much!
              • 4. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                Level 1
                remember, Photoshop and a hardware 'calibrated' monitor profile only allows you to PROOF the source color faithfully on screen

                a correct printer profile only allows you to PROOF the source color faithfully on paper

                success in matching colors between monitor and print will depend on how good your target profiles are (monitor space AND print space), the quality of your proofing hardware and media, and your CONVERSION to those target spaces

                PS

                I don't know about the other calibration packages, I bought into XRite early on because I wanted the best
                • 5. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                  Level 1
                  I'm not sure if I understand what you're saying regarding proofing. Is there a way to explain it more simply?

                  Thanks.
                  • 6. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                    Level 1
                    >> I'm not sure if I understand what you're saying regarding proofing. Is there a way to explain it more simply?

                    Certainly, I spent a lot of time wrapping the concept of color management around my pea brain when I came up with this:
                    >> http://www.gballard.net/psd/cmstheory.html

                    once I got that, a lot of the smoke and mirrors went a way, until you get into the science, that is...
                    • 7. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                      Level 1
                      So it sounds like what you're saying is that the entire proofing process is only good as the 1) monitor profile, and 2) the printer profile. Buying a calibration device will help create a high-quality monitor profile, but it won't do anything to create a high-quality printer profile. And unless you have both, you can't guarantee what your output will look like.

                      Correct?
                      • 8. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                        Level 1
                        Oh, and my previous question, about whether the device you recommended is worth the extra cost:

                        >$259 isn't exorbitant, but there are products on the market that are significantly less expensive (<$100). Are those products truly inferior to this one? Why?

                        Would you mind answering that question?

                        Thanks for your help!
                        • 9. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                          Level 1
                          >> unless you have both, you can't guarantee what your output will look like.

                          Here, I only care about my monitor because it is the easiest for me to get right, and it faithfully PROOFs my Photoshop source file $250 is a good investment if I have Photoshop and professional-grade monitors to follow through.

                          Your milage may vary depending on your printer quality and what you may have on the line if the two proofing spaces do not meet up to your standards...

                          Currently, my Epson 7880 prints close enough using Epson's canned PLPP profiles to satisfy my professional photographic needs.
                          • 10. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                            Ramón G Castañeda Level 4
                            Regarding your question about cheap calibrators: quite simply, you get what you pay for.
                            • 11. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                              (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
                              Are you referring to the Huey? I don't have direct experience of it, but I found reviews at these URLs:

                              Huey:


                              Huey PRO:
                              http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews/pantone_huey_pro.html
                              • 12. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                                Ramón G Castañeda Level 4
                                I'm not going to argue with you. You asked, I replied.
                                • 13. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                                  Level 1
                                  Greg,

                                  Don't get too confused by Ballard's "proofing to your screen" analogy. The way that concept is put forth is often times more confusing to someone struggling to understand how to using your monitor to "proof" your job.

                                  If what you want to do is see on screen as close as possible what your Pantone swatches are going to print like on press, you need a couple of things: 1. A very accurate hardware monitor calibration with accompaning profile, and 2. A very accurate press profile custom made for wherever you're printing. Add to that controlled ambient lighting and print viewing conditions, and you're pretty much there. Viewing your Pantone swatches on screen to predict your final output is called "soft" proofing because you're not making a hard copy proof.

                                  If you want to make an intermediate hard paper proof that is as close as possible to your final output, then you'll want a custom profile for your own printer and not rely on any canned manufacturer profiles. How close you want or need to be will determine the level of "dedication" to getting the job the done - in terms of dollars.

                                  The difference between the most popular monitor calibrators is minor. Until recently, Colorvision enjoyed a somewhat dubious reputation of shipping more units of questionable quality than their competitors from X-Rite and Gretag. That, hopefully has changed with their latest offering, which is getting good reviews. For my money, I lean toward Gretag and use their high end ProfileMaker Professional software for all of my output and scanner profiles.
                                  • 14. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                                    Level 1
                                    Just a general remark:
                                    due to the way actually available (software and hardware) tools for managing color have developed over the last 15 years or so the overall situation is pretty messy, and (not only) for newbies it is very tough to wrap their head around what's really going on, and what to do to achieve what you want to achieve. This mess is not the fault of a single company or person - it just happened, and as of today the pain isn't bad enough yet to make a sufficient number of people passionately long for improvement.

                                    That much said - I can only encourage the original poster to get the most important piece in the whole food chain right: your monitor (and the setting in which you use it).

                                    - It is more important that you have some measurement device than to ponder forever exactly which one is the best for you (it's been mentioned already: in general you get what you pay for; important; you not only buy a piece of hardware, but also software that drives it (my German colleagues have a strong tendency to use an "XRite EyeOne" - the 'bigger' one/not the smaller 'EyeOne Display' - with the "basiccolor display" software)
                                    - learn to handle your monitor profiling/calibration process well so you are becoming the master (not the slave) of it; repeat it every week or so - and be it only to find out how stable (or not) your monitor is over time
                                    - the viewing environment can be more important to control than the computer-monitor-software combo; lighting that is coming from mixed sources or shines directly on the monitor or changes all the time is not good; colorful objects around the monitor is not good; ideally you have constant dimmed lighting, gray walls, only gray objects in the room; but do not worry - if your hair isn't gray yet, just leave it as it is (it's gong to become grayer anyway due to your efforts to learn color management). You'll get the essence of this: avoid bright or colorful stuff around your viewing setup...
                                    - once you are becoming more confident that the color you are seeing is the color you should be seeing, work your way through the setup of the software you are using; focus on getting one or two applications under your control (for example, Photoshop and Acrobat) rather than trying to wrap your head around all the many applications you may have on your computer.
                                    - very important: visually control every file before you send it out to somebody else for further processing, production or consumption (and control it in exactly the format you are sending it out); this control step should always be the last thing you do with a file before it leaves you.
                                    - for very important/expensive production work it may make sense to have some professional service provider produce a hard copy proof or a high quality print. Also if you happen to know someone who is running a professional setup, take some of your files (that you are familiar with in your environment) and go see that person, asking him/her to let you use their viewing setup for a bit (I would even pay for this service).

                                    And just come back to this forum with any questions or issues you run into. Be as specific as possible with regard to what you intend to achieve (this implies: what your own level of expectations is) and what the sequence of steps is you are following so far.

                                    HTH.

                                    Olaf Drümmer
                                    • 15. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                                      Level 1
                                      >> Don't get too confused by Ballard's "proofing to your screen" analogy.

                                      Yes, please don't.
                                      >> The way that concept is put forth is often times more confusing to someone struggling to understand how to using your monitor to "proof" your job.

                                      Er, you just confirmed my point, Peter, in so few words, too.

                                      In any case, can you link me to your less-confusing explanation?

                                      Also, HOW my words are confusing my basic points (so I can make them more clear), if you please...
                                      • 16. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                                        Level 1
                                        Thanks, everybody, for your help. I purchased the x-rite device online; hopefully it will help!

                                        --Greg
                                        • 17. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                                          Level 1
                                          Peter,

                                          This makes at least two threads where you have made such personal innuendos on my posts and then refused to offer any explanation.

                                          If you feel my words are confusing, then I suggest in all fairness you explain why or refrain from posting such useless comments.

                                          Otherwise, I will have to think you are a jealous and insecure person.
                                          • 18. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                                            Level 1
                                            Get over yourself Gary. I'm hardly jealous and certainly not insecure. Look at how so many people get confused over your "proofing to the screen" metaphor. Most of them just don't get it. They're not proofing to the screen in their minds, they're just looking at their images. When you're looking at your images on screen, you're not really "proofing". They're proofing to their inkjet printers. When people read your explanations and go "huh?" it only means that you're not being clear and speaking a language they can understand. That, by definition makes it confusing. Your problem is that while you seem to have spent a lot of time trying to make this stuff easier for people, you get completely bent out of shape when you get a bit of criticism. You also seem to feel that simply because I don't have some sort of equivalent web site to yours with my own explanations, it somehow invalidates my criticism. I'm glad you have the time for that. I don't. I'm busy making images.
                                            • 19. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                                              (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
                                              I don't get it either, Peter.

                                              "Soft-proofing" is a widely-accepted term closely related to filmless, direct-to-plate workflows.

                                              You may call "proofing to screen" slightly imprecise perhaps, but I fail to understand the harsh criticism.
                                              • 20. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                                                Level 1
                                                Your points are take, Peter.

                                                Be assured, I'm over it (and your boorish tone) and I won't be so nice if it happens again.
                                                • 21. Re: Matching colors on my monitor to print colors
                                                  Tim Lookingbill Level 1
                                                  "Note: G. BALLARD prefers a shredding if he is wrong or unclear."

                                                  Been waiting for a shredding from Peter, but I've yet to see it in this thread.

                                                  Gary,

                                                  Take a chill pill, dude. It's all good.