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Specialty Graphic Imaging Association

Overview of Color Management

What is Color Management?

Color management is the process of translating how a color is initially depicted (in a proof or in a digital image/file), to how it is reproduced by various output devices. With color management, the unique color characteristics of  the output devices are "fingerprinted." That is, the output devices unique color range, when printed on specific medias are mapped into a profile. Color management software performs the translation between the initial color depiction or sample and the "fingerprinted" colors of these output devices.


Color Management

While color management doesn’t assure a color match between devices, it can allow more control over the color reproduction method when process changes occur. While output devices and printing systems can benefit from color management methods, what is the return on investment for a printing company and its workers?

One of the benefits of managing color output is to lower the cost in achieving “good color” in a production environment. Inaccurate color usually results in a higher rate of job rejection and requires costly reprinting. This raises production and labor costs and lowers profit margins. There are added benefits to color management with production personnel who need to make fast and accurate color changes to a job, based solely upon what they see on a computer monitor. With proper color management, timely corrections can be visualized on the monitor and printed with a high degree of confidence.

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