Do you have your monitor calibrated? How do you manage your Colour?
The use of a high quality monitor and correct monitor calibration is essential in producing high quality prints from your digital files.
When you calibrate your monitor, you are adjusting it so it’s output conforms to an accepted standard, nominally an ICC specification. This can be likened to tuning a guitar. Once your monitor has been calibrated, the profiling utility lets you save a colour profile. The profile describes the colour behavior of the monitor — what colours can or cannot be displayed on the monitor and how the numeric colour values in an image must be converted so that colours are displayed accurately.
Before calibrating your monitor;
- Allow your monitor to warm up for at least a half hour. This gives it enough time to get up to its operating temperature and ensure a more consistent display.
- Check that your monitor is displaying thousands of colours or more. Ideally, make sure it is displaying millions of colours or 24-bit or higher.
- Set the background of your desktop to show neutral grays. Bright colours and vivid patterns surrounding an image interfere with the ability to accurately perceive colour.
Do one of the following to calibrate and profile your monitor;
- In Windows, install and use a monitor calibration utility.
- In Mac OS, use the Calibrate utility, located on the System Preferences/Displays/Colour tab.
The best quality calibration is obtained by using a colorimeter such as the Spyder Pro by Colorvision. In general, using a measuring device such as a colorimeter along with software can create more accurate profiles because a precision instrument can measure the colours displayed on a monitor far more accurately than the human eye.
It’s important to know, a monitor’s output changes and declines in performance over time. It’s recommend that you recalibrate and profile your monitor at least once a month. If you find it hard to calibrate your monitor accurately, it may be too old and faded or too low in quality.