CT&D #45. Color Management

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 screen to a printer or from one monitor to another, etc. In other words and in most cases, we work in RGB via a program like using the Adobe Creative Suite when creating graphic design projects on a computer but printers mostly work in CMYK (both of which are two completely different coloring systems).

As a result, specific color values must be sent to a printer so that the new values (in CMYK) can correspond to the old values (in RGB) and thus can become the “same” when printed out (where all such 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 printer’s 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 directly altered by me at all. Specifically, I’veĀ 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), another tidbit to be mindful of in being mindful of proper color management.

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