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Color management for several computers

New Here ,
Oct 24, 2019 Oct 24, 2019

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Hi all,

 

the company I work for has recently purchased an i1Studio to calibrate our tools. It was purchased for several uses, but in my department (design) we had two goals for this tool. I have little knowledge of color management and before I start working on this project I'd like to get some expert opinions. We work with the colors established by our clients, usually Pantone Coated or TCX, in Illustrator to create our sketches. We use a lot of different mediums, like silk screen, embroidery, heat transfers, and we need to match them all as close as possible, and we figure this should start by looking at the right colors on our computer screens at the start.

 

Our two goals are:

1- Calibrate screens to match with each other - we are about 30 people in the departement with a bunch of different screens, and some of the colors chosen by our clients look vastly different going from computer to computer, so we'd like to establish some consistancies. We realise we won't be able to get a perfect match, we just want to improve the situation.

 

2- Calibrate screens to match with Pantone - I understand that between digital, print and dyes, I'm dealing with different mediums that all have their own particularities and I'll never get an exact match between all of them, but I'm tired of looking at a very bright canary yellow in my Pantone chart, and this dull, green-ish yellow on my computer screen.

 

Are these two goals possible? What realistic results can I expect from using the i1Studio in regards to these two goals?

 

Thank you in advance for your help!

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Community Expert ,
Oct 25, 2019 Oct 25, 2019

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Hi,

I'm unsure of the capabilities of i1 Studio, it may rely on a somewhat basic sensor for use in a critical sitation like your own. I hope others here may have positive experience with it and be able to help you.

In simple terms, calibrating monitor display screens is done to "standard" They are not calibrated "to pantone".

Once the displays are calibrated and profiled correctly (i.e. to the suitable target values) using good tools they should match each other and a certified proof as well as matching Pantone resonably well (always bearing in mind that differing panel technologies may affect inter display matching).

Only you can tell us how well this is working for you with i1 Studio?

 

There are pro level sensors in the marketplace. Also pro screen calibration softwares (such as basICColor display) that allow for display cross matching better, in my opinion. (simply, with basICColor display one screen becomes the target for whitepoint for others which helps with the match, I am unsiure whether iit supports your sensor though).

 

I hope this helps

if so, please "like" my reply

thanks

neil barstow, colourmanagement.net

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New Here ,
Oct 25, 2019 Oct 25, 2019

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Thank you Neil, this helps a lot! I will do some tests with the i1 Studio to show what is possible and we will work from there, but this is very helpful to know how realistic my expectations are.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 27, 2019 Oct 27, 2019

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Just getting a basic calibration / profiling of all units - to more or less the same calibration targets - this alone should improve the situation dramatically. As long as your monitors are of good quality suitable for graphics work, you should have consistency for most practical purposes.

 

I haven't used the i1studio spectrophotometer (I use an i1 display pro colorimeter), but it's highly regarded and should work well. Spectrophotometers aren't quite as accurate reading shadow values off screen - but the big advantage is that they can be used to calibrate printers as well.

 

The big variable is calibration parameters (white point, black point). For very critical work you may need to set monitor white and black to visually match the substrate/paper. This means you may need different calibration targets for different output, in order to arrive at the holy grail: what you see is what you get. But again, for most practical purposes a generic setting will be vastly better than nothing.

 

Do you have icc profiles for different media? Do you work in CMYK, and which one? It sounds like gamut clipping may be your issue regarding the "dull yellows" you describe. Maybe that bright color is just not reproducible in that particular CMYK target - it's out of gamut. You need to always be very conscious about the gamut limitations of the output color space.

 

 

EDIT: I wrote printer calibration above, but what I actually meant was printer profiling. My bad. Calibration and profiling are two different things, and it's important to keep those two concepts separate. Monitor calibration software usually rolls them both up into one seamless process, which causes a lot of confusion. We just call it "calibration" for convenience, but in reality it is calibration and profiling, and that's what we really should call it.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 28, 2019 Oct 28, 2019

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Check all monitors and their environments for 2 factors.  The same ambient light color temp and levels, and the same monitor brightness.   Both will affect the perception of color on the screen.   Many use 100cd/m2 for a good minimum monitor brightness.  Then use ICC Version 4 profile choice for each display.  What will help is comparing the monitor profiles in a tool like ColorThink Pro to make sure the monitor white points are the same and the gamut sizes of each display are closely matched.   

ICC programmer and developer, Photographer, artist and color management expert, Print standards and process expert.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 28, 2019 Oct 28, 2019

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I don't doubt that version 4 is a better specification - but there are countless examples of people getting into trouble with v4 , probably because the calibration software doesn't write the profiles correctly according to spec. Version 2 may be technically less sophisticated, but it's always safer. Very often changing to v2 solves the problem.

 

In any case, the OP doesn't have any problem with the monitor profile. They haven't started the process of calibration / profiling yet.

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