Color Management for Creative Professionals

Ben Greiner -

Objective

Obtain more accurate and consistent in-house color proofs. Develop a color-managed workflow that can extend to external designers and printers.

Understanding 

Color management is about controlling color. Although getting the most accurate color is often the reason to start color managing, getting consistent and reliable color across devices and applications is the realistic goal. 

Everyone perceives color, and color shifts, differently. It is not possible for color from a light-emitting RGB display to perfectly match reflective, CMYK ink on paper. However, it is possible to get these colors to more closely and consistently match. 

It is also important to note that color management is an ongoing process. Scanner and monitor bulbs dim over time, printer hardware wears out over time. Ink levels, temperature, humidity and lighting all play a role in making color management a moving target. How often a scanner, display or printer is calibrated or profiled varies dramatically from office to office. 

That said, color management is a very beneficial solution for any office dealing with digital content creation. Color Management is an investment that will improve turnaround time and reduce paper/ink/toner waste because it allows content creators, and clients approving content, to see more accurate and consistent color throughout the workflow — from screen to proof to delivery. This builds confidence and trust in all parties involved and makes color management worth the investment. 

To control costs and help our clients most effectively learn how to color manage, we have developed a "Shared Responsibility" Color Management system:

  • Client ongoing color management responsibilities (after training) will be to periodically (on a recommended schedule or as-needed) calibrate and profile displays and linearize the color printers.
  • Forget Computers’ responsibilities will be to get clients started and provide ongoing support, either reactively (as-needed), proactively (Pro Support plan) or as part of our color management refresher program.

Note About Lighting

Because color management is all about controlling variables, it’s important to note that lighting (and the color of the walls) in an office plays a large role in how one views color. If you have great sunlight in your office, then beware that the ideal viewing environment for color management is a dark room with a light-box (remember those? Every design office once had them.) A new light-box today starts at $750 (11x16” viewing area). If there’s no viewing booth available, the next best condition (closest to 5000 Kelvin) is indirect sunlight.

Note About Displays

Visit our Display Choices for Creative Professionals Knowledge Base for current information on displays.

  

Color Management - Get Started Today!

Color management solutions for one, two or three days (depending on the size of your office) are listed below. Please note that the color management hardware and software we use to get your office started cost $3,000 and we spend about $2,000 per year in training to remain current with the latest techniques in color management. A single individual will need to invest a minimum of $3,000-$5,000 just to get started at this level. Our plans are much more affordable and the experience we bring to your office is invaluable. In addition, all plans include our 30-day guarantee. Contact us within 30-days of our visit and we’ll correct any problem or answer any question related to our implementation, free of charge. In addition to a color management package below we strongly recommend purchasing an i1 Display Pro for $269. You may also need RIP software like the ColorBurst RIP or the 64-bit ColorBurst Overdrive (prices vary).

 

One Day: 01 – 05 Users, $1,600

  • Profile one scanner. Profile and calibrate up to 5 displays 
  • Configure Adobe Creative Suite for color management 
  • Profile and linearize one color printer with up to two paper stocks
  • Basic Color Management training and instruction 

 

Two Days: 06 – 10 Users, $3,000

  • Profile one scanner. Profile and calibrate up to 10 displays 
  • Configure Adobe Creative Suite for color management 
  • Profile and linearize one color printer with up to two paper stocks
  • Basic Color Management training and instruction

 

Three Days: 11 – 15 Users, $4,400

  • Profile one scanner. Profile and calibrate up to 15 displays 
  • Configure Adobe Creative Suite for color management 
  • Profile and linearize one color printer with up to two paper stocks
  • Basic Color Management training and instruction

 

Color Management Add-ons

Ongoing Color Management

Ongoing color management support (for at least the first year) is recommend for offices that are new to color management.

  • Biannual onsite visits to maintain and monitor color management workflow
  • Unlimited remote support (email/phone-only unless VPN access is available)
  • Fees: $100/month

 

Color Management Refresh

If you’ve completed our 1, 2 or 3 day color management program within the past 12 months then we can provide you a color management refresh. During the refresh we confirm your color workflow remains intact and accurate while training (or retraining) new and existing users.

  • 01 - 05 users: $1,000

  • 06 - 10 users: $1,800

  • 11 - 15 users: $2,700

 

Conclusion

To get started we need to verify that your current equipment is ready for color management, then we can schedule an install date. Contact us with any questions.

Have more questions? Submit a request

0 Comments

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Powered by Zendesk