When images are required for printed and other media we now all expect that a digital image will be supplied; from a photographer, client, picture library etc.
However many are still concerned that they do not view the images accurately on their computer screens. This makes any judgement of digital images very difficult. We all used to feel very comfortable viewing a transparency on a light box and making critical decisions about it’s use, match to proof etc.
So now in this digital world the computer screen has to become the digital equivalent of the transparency and light box combined, and trusted in the same way by all involved in the selection and approval processes.
So how to achieve this? Firstly the computer screen or monitor used must be able to display the number of colours, called a ‘colour gamut’ used by the digital image. Sadly, most of the normal PC screens will not display more then 80 to 85% of the commonly used Abode RGB 1998 profile/gamut used for professional digital photography.
Happy, there are a number of colour accurate high-end colour monitors that will display between 96 and 98% of this Abode RGB 1998 colour gamut. As you would expect these monitors are more expensive then a standard PC screen purchased from a high street store. But weigh the cost of an extra few hundred pounds needed for these monitors, against the cost of correcting images and media later in the production processes!
These monitors still need to be ICC profiled, using their own, or third party software, with colorimeters or spectrophotometers to insure their accuracy and use within the computers colour management system.
But if you are in a colour critical market, these monitors are a small price to pay for viewing, selecting and approving images correctly and accurately. There use is increasing, not just in the professional world of photography, pre-media, publishing and printing. Many brands are using these types of monitors to assure the colour of their images for products and brand colours.
- Paul Sherfield who runs the consultancy is well known in the printing and pre-media industry as having considerable knowledge on digital workflows, with a special expertise on the business reasoning behind such systems.
He has installed some of the most successful digital pre-press and pre media systems in the UK. For 2 years he worked on a number of medium term projects before starting the consultancy in July 2000. Before this he was a partner in what became one of the leading pre-press/printing companies in London.
He is active in a number of industry groups including the BPIF Technical Standards Committee, ISO TC 130 printing standards committees and is chair of the BPIF steering group for ISO 12647/2 UK certification, He is a regular speaker at seminars and conferences.