Ensuring consistent colours in workflows is extremely important

If the same digital data is used consistently in a workflow, it can be assumed that the same colour data is present in the individual processes. In practice, however, differences arise as devices render colours differently. This also applies to different monitors used in the individual processes. The colours therefore need not necessarily look the same at each stage of a workflow.

Device-specific color information
Colour spaces of the individual devices in the workflow

Why do colours not match on different devices?

One cause of this is that input and output devices, such as scanners, monitors, and colour printers, use different methods to generate colours and are different in terms of their colour rendering ranges. So it may come to pass that the colours shown vary from device to device, despite having the same data. Theoretically, it is almost impossible to match colours "perfectly" to one another on different devices. For example, monitors have their own colour rendering properties and other unique features, such as aging. Given these influencing variables, colours are often rendered differently on different monitors.

In professional workflow environments, in which strict colour management is required, differences in the colour rendering of the devices used mean that it cannot be predicted whether the desired colour will actually be achieved in the end product. In addition, differences in employees' understandings of colour may amplify this problem and impair the end result.

When working with a shared colour space, uniform colour management is possible from the first work step. The most important challenge for a colour management system is to balance out the differences between various workplace settings (customer, designer, prepress, and printer) and differences between the devices used and to create an environment in which identical data always look the same.

Subject overview

Ensuring consistent colours in workflows and why colours do not match perfectly on different devices in practice.

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Comparison of hardware calibration and software calibration. Why does calibration have to be performed regularly?

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Adobe RGB covers a wider colour rendering range than sRGB in some areas, for example in the area between blue and green.

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