CT&D #45. Color Management

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Why is color management important when creating a document and what issues may arise if color management is not implemented?

Color management holds utmost importance when creating a document because without it, you wouldn’t be able to have a printout or screen shot that captures the same (or similar) color values from a computer to a printer or from one monitor to another, respectively. In other words and in most cases, we work in RGB via Photoshop when creating documents but printers mostly work in CMYK (both of which are two completely different color systems). As a result, specific color values must be sent to the printer so that the new values (CMYK) can correspond to the old values (RGB) and are thus become the “same” when printed out (where all this work being done is a process of color conversion involving algorithms to adjust receiving color values to ones that match with what is stored in the system).

The issues that arise without implementing color management are obvious: I’ve gone through many instances of seeing my documents slightly change color, both in print and on other computers even though the colors I used were not physically altered by me. Specifically I’ve noticed Photoshop and even InDesign documents change color between different operating systems (Windows and Mac) since they have different color management systems altogether (Windows Color System and ColorSync respectively).

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