Web Design Tips, Tutorials & More!

Your equipment and Color Calibration

As a designer, there will for sure be moments, when you would want to share your profound digital creations.  To remove any surprise elements when you see your work printed is to make sure that your computer screen has been calibrated.  If it is not, you may notice a tremendous difference between what your work looks like on the screen, compared to how it looks printed.  There may be drastic differences with respect to saturation, brightness or contrast.  Your images, when printed, may look too dark, too bright or saturated.

The gamma settings of your computer screen should also be adjusted.  Make these adjustments by setting the 50% gray-scale to look like the 50% dithered gray on the screen.

What is Calibration?

Basically, calibration is a procedure where you correct the color gamut of your computer screen.  You make these corrections so that images are displayed properly when sent to another piece of equipment, such as a scanner.  For basic calibration, all that is required is adapting the contrast and brightness settings on your monitor.  Depending on how refined your design work is, there are well-defined methods of calibration.  As well, other gadgets should be calibrated like your scanner, printer and camera.

How to Calibrate For Refined Design Work

If your design work is more exclusive, you will need software in order to calibrate your equipment.  The basic methods will not come close to what is required.  There are many brands to choose from, one example is Syder3.

Although you are using software, this does not mean that it is only required once.  You will constantly have to maintain the color calibration, as they have a tendency not to stay the same.  Make calibrating part of your regular maintenance.

Mac Users and Calibration

Mac computers have a built-in utility for color calibration.  To access the calibration, go to system preferences, display, and color.  Once there adjust your screen’s color, brightness, and contrast.

How to Calibrate Other Equipment

Calibrate Your Printer

To calibrate your printer you need to refer to the manufacturer’s manual.  There you will find the instructions on how to calibrate for the specific model that you have..

Calibrate Your Scanner

If you are scanning photos, or hand drawn work, it is very important that the colors all match up.  After you have completed the calibration of your monitor and printer if your scanner is off from the others it is time to calibrate it too.  Your scanner will come with software, become familiar with how it works.  To make changes, scan a picture and make the required adjustments until they all correctly display the same colors.

Calibrate Your Camera

A good way to tell if your camera needs calibration is whether or not, you continually adjusting or editing settings.  This step can only be performed if you have completed the calibration of your other equipment, named above.
Purchase a neutral gray card and camera profiling chart, compatible with your screen software.  Take a photograph of the camera profiling chart using the gray balanced settings.    Use the software that contained the camera profiling chart.  Take a photograph, touch up in Photoshop, if required.  Save this file and all these settings will be saved and used for future photos.


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