Spyder5 screen calibration

3 Important Steps to Prepare for Monitor Calibration!

Do you have your monitor calibrated? How do you manage your Colour? Here’s 3 important steps to prepare for monitor calibration!

The use of a high quality monitor and correct monitor calibration is essential in producing high quality prints from your digital files, which is why you need to prepare for monitor calibration.

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 behaviour 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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Set the background of your desktop to show neutral greys. 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;

  1. In Windows, install and use a monitor calibration utility.
  2. 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.

What do you use?

Comment below or contact me.

4 thoughts on “3 Important Steps to Prepare for Monitor Calibration!

  • I have a question….I use a Dell and I calibrate with Spyder4. But… what preset mode should I be using with my monitor? It has a variety of modes (Standard, warm, cool, game RGB etc) and I currently have it at Adobe RGB but should I have it as Custom?

  • Hello! I'm glad you asked. Firstly, the quality of your monitor will govern your ability to calibrate. So, if your Dell allows calibration like an Eizo, then you're on the right track.The calibration itself basically puts you on the road, or in the ball park so to speak. From there, you need to colour correct to your lab's recommendations. Nulab in Melbourne use sRGB and they offer colour correction on prints as a service if you would like to compare.So, should you use Adobe RGB or Custom? Let's go back to the top of this response… Is your monitor of a standard that will allow a true calibration?

  • I have a Dell also and calibrate with an xrite i1. I recommend setting the monitor colour space to Adobe RGB (known colour space target) and profiling with your Spyder as normal. This will create the custom ICC profile for your monitor and apply this to your monitor with the chosen Adobe RGB preset.

  • I have an xrite i1 Display 2. I couldn't believe the difference it made to the end product after I calibrated my monitor. AMAZING. Editing is a pleasure now!! Things just look right.

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