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Color and Your Computer

There are so many different kinds of monitors, scanners, printers and all kinds of other devices that it's almost impossible to have the colors accurately depicted on your screen. Color it turns out is a really really complicated subject.

Lets start with your monitor. It cannot display all the possible colors that are available in a print or piece of artwork so it has to use the closest colors it can. Thus the real artwork will have many more subtle shadings and colors than you can see looking at it on your monitor. Also it will depend on whether you are using a PC or a Mac monitor. These two systems show slightly different colors.
Most importantly it will depend on how well calibrated your monitor is. Have you ever gone through the simple calibration setup for your monitor? Most people have not done so. Even if you do it won't necessarily give you the correct results. If you have ever tried to take a picture using your digital camera or camera phone, put in on your computer and then printed it out you will know what I am talking about. The colors are never really quite the same at any stage, and what comes out the printer might be totally wrong!

To combat this color problem you can get colorimeters and color monitoring systems. These include little devices that you stick on your screen to check the colors, plus color profiles to scan and check against your printer and scanners and even profiles for camera imports. It's quite a tedious process, and if done really correctly can take over an hour to complete. Also if you want everything to stay correct you have to do this at least once a week! These devices are not cheap the most affordable one that works well starts around $3,000 and they go up from there. You can get devices to check your monitor colors only which are a lot less expensive, however if you are intending to use scanners and printers it's not much point just calibrating one device and leaving the others.

We calibrate all our devices: scanners, printers and monitors, at least once every two weeks, more if we have time to ensure that the colors are correct and consistent. However as you can now see we cannot guarantee that your system is calibrated correctly and thus you are seeing the correct colors that we have created.


 
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