Photoshop CC 2015: Visual Quickstart Guide
Problems with color inconsistency can arise due to the fact that hardware devices and software packages read or output color differently. If you were to compare an image onscreen in an assortment of imaging programs and Web browsers, the colors might look completely different in each case, and worse still, might look different from the picture you originally shot with your digital camera. Print the image, and you’d probably find the results were different yet again. In some cases, these differences might be slight and unobjectionable, but in other cases such color shifts could wreak havoc with your design or even turn a project into a disaster!
A color management system can prevent most color discrepancies from arising by acting as a color interpreter. The system knows how each particular device and program interprets color, and if necessary, adjusts the colors accordingly. The result is that the colors in your files will display and output more consistently as you shuttle them among various programs and devices. Applications in the Adobe Creative Cloud adhere to standard ICC (International Color Consortium) profiles, which tell your color management system how each specific device defines color.
Each particular device can capture and reproduce only a limited gamut of colors. In the jargon of color management, this gamut is known as the color space. The mathematical description of the color space of each device, in turn, is known as a color profile. Furthermore, each input device, such as a camera, attaches its own profile to the files it produces. Photoshop uses that profile in order to display and edit the colors in your document; or if a document doesn’t contain a profile, Photoshop will use the current working space (a color space that you choose for the program) instead. Color management is important for both print and online output, and when outputting the same document in different media.
On the following pages, we give instructions for choosing color management options, and we strongly recommend that you follow them before editing your images in Photoshop. The steps are centered on using Adobe RGB as the color space for your image-editing work in order to maintain color consistency throughout your workflow. We’ll show you how to set the color space of your digital camera to Adobe RGB, give guidelines on calibrating a display, specify Adobe RGB as the color space for Photoshop, acquire the proper profiles for your inkjet printer and paper type, and assign the Adobe RGB profile to files that you have opened in Photoshop.
You’ll need to focus on color management later in the production cycle if and when you prepare your file for printing. In Chapter 24, we’ll show you how to create a soft-proof setting for your particular inkjet printer and paper using the profiles you have acquired, and then use that setting to soft-proof your document onscreen. The same profile will also be used to output files on a color inkjet printer. Finally, we’ll show you how to obtain and install the proper profiles for outputting either to the Web or to a commercial press.
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