Color Intelligence - Who needs to Calibrate?

Who needs to Calibrate? When and how often?

Any designer with an integrated design workflow that incorporates digital and physical components must calibrate with a consistent cadence.

i1Photo Studio Designer Edition Calibration Tool

Calibration is key to reducing waste associated with color inaccuracies in the designer workflow. Any designer who toggles between digital and physical workstations needs to have their design integrity maintained by controlling the color. Calibration closes the gap with digital specification by allowing designers to eliminate inter-instrument waste caused by flawed color translations between the initial design and those producing the final product.

All designers must first identify the intersections of digital and physical within their workflow by determining the points of color translation between physical and digital design elements used in the creative process. Some designers don’t believe they need to worry about the digital since they design entirely using physical processes, however, in our mobile-first, digital content consuming world, the ability to represent physical items attractively and accurately in a digital purchase environment can be the difference between "on sale" and "sold out."1

When you connect digital designs and physical product creation the need for color accuracy is intensified. Therefore increasing the importance of calibration. Not only should all designers calibrate, they should calibrate consistently. With every use, design tools shift their ability to showcase color, frequent calibration allows the designer to identify these shifts and then re-align the device eliminating costly wastes that are associated with inaccurate color translations.

Calibration has become widely adopted in the past decade allowing the designers to take more control over the calibration process. Calibration instruments are now more affordable and easy to use, no longer limiting the use of calibration to only large design agencies. Calibration instruments can be used to align color on multiple devices in your workflow, including monitors, printers, projectors, scanners and mobile devices. The type of calibration instrument you need is determined by the tools in your workflow that you intend to control color on. There are a two popular device types that help achieve consistent color accuracy; colorimeters and spectrophotometers. The use-case for each device depends on the end use. Colorimeters are mainly used to calibrate display monitors only, while spectrophotometers can be used to calibrate multiple devices including display monitors, mobile devices, printers and projectors.

Once your device is calibrated, it is recommended that you continue to calibrate on a consistent basis. Most monitor calibrations take, on average, only 5 minutes. Calibration is a low cost maintenance task that improves efficiency and reduces waste associated with color inaccuracies, print re-runs, etc.

The frequency with which your device should be calibrated is closely linked to the stability and quality of the device. Additionally, the frequency of use dictates how often a device should be re-calibrated. Most color experts recommend calibrating your display monitor every two weeks for optimal results. Some calibration software also has embedded timers that will remind you when to re-calibrate your device.

Learn more about the i1Studio spectrophotometer here >

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