Color management is based on profile specifications of the internationally accepted ICC (International Color Consortium), which is the “governing body” for color management (Sharma vii). It has beauty and simplicity because it ensures files are consistent and accurate as they move from one device to the other.
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It is possible to single out some major measures to be undertaken to ensure that color is consistent and accurate between all components. These measures are based on analysis of variables that could impact color shifts.
First, it is important to understand that the color in digital imaging should be controlled using different systemic procedures, hardware and software (Sharma ix). Every imaging device consists of its own personality hence the accuracy and consistency of color imaging depends on personal characteristics of each device (Sharma 46).
For instance, different digital cameras and scanners may capture the same scene somewhat different or different printers may print the same digital file quite differently. Thus, color shifts are depended on scanner variability and printer variability. Therefore, it is important to take into consideration the individual characteristics of every device used in producing images.
There are two methods used to control color: closed-loop color and open-loop color (Sharma 47). It is acknowledged that the closed-loop color method is quite easy to implement as it presupposes that the digital color is a preserve of the high-end systems hence it is quite easy to get the desired colors.
Here the system includes the monitor, scanner, software and other outputs with images destined for printing in one type of printing process. Colors can be matched by calibrating specific types of hardware and software to one another. However, in this case the open-loop color method is used as it is more accurate and consistent.
This method is more effective as it employs the use of a central hub system to communicate the variability of color between devices. Here, images may come from different places; get viewed in varying displays and later printed using different printing technologies. Therefore, it is easy to control color even if different devices are going to be used (which is very common).
We guarantee that every device used has a profile which is the image + profile golden rule of color management. It is easier to add a new device into the workflow, provided, each single device has its own profile.
We also follow RGB (red, green and blue) and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) instructions of every device carefully (Sharma 40). Though, the two are not reliable descriptors of color, we also use CIE (International Commission on Illumination) systems that use instruments that measures color patch to produce numeric results irrespective of the device used to produce it.
The ingredients we used in the recipe do not limit accuracy and consistency in reproduction of colors (Sharma 42). We use color management module (CMM) when converting the color of one space to another (such as a RGB color to CMYK color) using the device’s profile.
We take into account such important details as the fact that the gamut of RGB scanners is larger compared to that of CMYK printers hence when converting an image from RGB to CMYK, we throw away colors that are set in RGB and not in CMYK (Sharma 156).
If colors cannot be reproduced, we replace them using the four-color replacement schemes provided by the ICC including perceptual, saturation, relative and absolute. This is referred to as rendering intents. Thus, we take into account all variables to ensure consistency and accuracy between components.
Sharma, Abhay. Understanding Color Management: Graphic Design/Interactive Media Series. Ohio: Cengage Learning, 2004. Print.