Color Reproduction

When I first starting using the computer for art, I had a PC, Photoshop, and an Epson printer. Printing out my color-intensive portfolio illustrations involved multiple tries to get the color close to the original piece. There was no global color correction formula I could apply to all pieces (I tried!), because each piece had a different proportion of color. Even though Epson printers were known to be very accurate for color, as they are now, they were still far from perfect.

Since then, Epson has improved its color reproduction accuracy. Photoshop has made significant advances to improve the communication of color from monitor RGB to printer CMYK. Lastly, I now have a MAC instead of a PC, which even further improves my on-screen color accuracy, without the added color correction software that a PC requires, which can be very expensive.

Color remains an important element to be aware of. Now that I have a beautiful Macintosh LCD monitor, colors appear brighter, lighter, and more intense; in short, better! But the colors I see on this monitor don’t translate completely to PC monitors or to CRT monitors, so I test my website designs on different monitors to check things, like making sure a red background doesn’t turn to brown or that there is enough contrast to see white text against a tan background, etc.

I try to make colors in print pieces with enough contrast so that a subtle shift won’t cause text to be unreadable or so color fields don’t look muddy. Before producing say, 1,000 brochures, our printer vendors send us one color proof, which we review and then send to the client for approval because, even for professional printers, accurate color reproduction is a complicated art.