Color Management Overview


Color Management for Better Prints


Lesson Info

Color Management Overview

Why color management, why is color management important? Well the term color management really relates to managing color from device A to device B to device C. And as I'll say here in a few minutes, color management is all about devices, all about getting data translated from all of these different devices so that what you see is what you get. WYSIWYG, this is an old term, WESIWYG what you see is what you get, wouldn't that be nice? You buy a car, there's the price on the window. I see that price, is that the price I actually get? Well no because there's all this hidden stuff that you didn't see. So in printing I like what I see to be what I get and that maybe in nature, when I see it in nature I'm like oh that green is beautiful. I want to print up that green 12 steps down the road after I capture it, after I process it, and I have printer profiles and calibration. I want that final print to be awesome. Scott Robert Lim had a vision when he made this print or when he made this photo a...

nd he wanted that vision to be represented very well in this final print. Just like this one we made, right. He wanted the detail in these subtile shadows to come through just like it did. He wanted the vibrance of that red dress and the texture. He wanted the text overlay, the texture overlay he put some type of texture overlay on this. He wanted that to come through. So he has this vision of what he thought in his mind is what he got in the real world. Alright, you understand that, you get conceptually why that is important. Another reason why color management's important because you can save money. I can't tell you how many times I've been at my local big box retailer where I sometimes make prints and I'm standing at the desk and there's someone in front of me and they're looking at their print and they're like I want my money back. The store's like sorry this is what you sent us. She's like nu-uh, I did not send that to you. It was beautiful red, this looks brown, you guys screwed up. Well guess what, they didn't screw up. She messed up because she didn't have a good color management work flow. Also when you print on your own inkjet printer you know this, ink is not cheap. Paper is not cheap, a typical letter sized piece of paper, let's say something like this Hahnemuhle photo paper, I think what is this I actually have the price on there. You see it's $16 for, what is it, 25 sheets. $16 for 25 sheets, so what is that 60 cents a piece 70 cents a piece somewhere around in that range. This Hahnemuhle Smooth Fine Art, this was $40 for 25 sheets. So that's over a buck a sheet for these relatively small kind of eight by tenish size prints. This big papers like this here, Hahnemuhle these larger. That 42 bucks so that's a little over a buck a sheet and then the big stuff you're paying a dollar to two bucks, two dollars a sheet. So you don't want to mess up when you're inkjet printing. Color management's going help you save money there. It's going to save you time, you don't have to keep repeating your prints and repeating your mistakes because again what you see is what you get and the most important one, you're going to save your sanity. To be completely honest with you guys, I was really nervous before this class because printing at home is stressful enough but printing live to a studio audience and broadcasting across the world it's really stressful because there's so many things that can go wrong. And one of those things that can go wrong is just your colors ar all messed up so you're going to save your sanity by doing this well. What's the bottom line? What do you really need to know if this is the only slide that you saw today this is probably the most important. Number one, Calibrate your monitor. So I was joking in the previous class I was going to make a t-shirt that said prints matter. The other t-shirt that I would make would be calibration matters, truly it matters. We're going to talk a lot about calibration but what do I mean by that at a high level. We're going to use a tool like these, these Xright products like the I1 display pro or the color monkey and it looks like this. It's like this little puck that goes onto the screen and looks at the colors on your monitor and tells you that red is actually red and gray is actually gray, so that's number one. Number two, set your color space. Thou shalt know thy color space. Where are you coming from and where are you going to and soft proofing is going to help you with that process. And then number three with color management is you need to set your reference medium. What, English, English Mike, use English. Well just specify what your paper is and what your printer is, that's the reference medium. Guess what else is a reference medium, your computer monitor, you know the internet. That's a reference medium. A cell phone, that's a reference medium. A TV, an HDTV, maybe you us Apple TV at home or Chromecast or any of those things that allow you to get stuff from your computer to a big screen like this, that could be your reference medium. So if you want your colors to look good in the output stage you have to understand well what is that output stage? So calibration, color space, and printer and paper for this class. If you set all those and all of those are lined up then WYSIWYG, what you see is what you get.

Class Description

Knowing how to control and see color is essential in making quality prints. Mike Hagen will walk through the entire color process for getting prints to look the way you envisioned. He'll discuss the techniques for calibrating your monitor, color management and color space.


Cheryl Tarr

I enjoyed watching this. Mike is an engaging instructor. Very clear and easy to follow. I was somewhat familiar with the various color spaces but this solidified my understanding. I now have some 'next steps' to improve my printing, thank you!

user 0d6f29

It was good but as others said incomplete. There needs to be several more segments on the printer dialog boxes and color management.