Join Jim Krause for an in-depth discussion in this video What you see is what you get, part of Color for Design and Art.
- No discussion of color in the digital age would be complete without talking about ways to help make sure what you see on your monitor is what you'll get when your works of design, illustration and photography are posted and printed, or WYSIWYG, as they call it. Before we dive into this whole WYSIWYG thing, just know that I can't be super specific with all my advice since I don't know what kind of computers and monitors you're using. But that won't stop me from trying to help you out here as best I can. Starting with this solid piece of advice: calibrate.
The point of calibrating your monitors and desktop printers is to get various machines to conform to the same standards of color, as much as possible anyway. How do you do this? It all depends on what kind of computers and monitors you're using. Look at your user manuals and/or go online and find the information there. Here are five specific things to keep in mind when calibrating whatever monitors you're using. First off, make sure you save your current calibration settings before you start anything. That way you can go back to these settings if things start looking weird.
Second, calibrate your monitor under exactly the lighting you normally work under. Lighting conditions have big affect on how color shows up on computer monitors. Third, if you use both a laptop and a desktop computer, know that the two probably show color a bit differently from each other. Do you best to calibrate both so they agree with each other as much as possible. Personally, I trust the color on my desktop monitor more than on my laptop. Even though I might work on layouts and illustrations and photos on my laptop, I'll always do my final color work using my desktop monitor.
Fourth, ask around and look around. Ask experienced designers, illustrators and photographers how they calibrate their monitors. Also, look around and see how your web-posted layouts and images look on other people's monitors. This is one way to really quickly find out if your monitor, for whatever reason, is out of sync with the rest of the world's monitors. And fifth, if color accuracy is especially critical in your work, as it is for many photographers and illustrators, then consider looking into a professional-level monitor calibration device.
These can be pricey, but you just might need one if you want to maximize the accuracy and consistency of your color output. You can search for the latest information about these things online. When I'm working on print jobs, I use a high-quality inkjet printer. The great thing about better-quality inkjet printers is that many are able to print CMYK and spot colors. These are the colors of the print industry, very much in line with the way commercial inkjet machines and printing presses print those colors.
So now, even when my monitor isn't quite telling me the truth about the colors I'm using, which does happen especially with certain colors, I can confidently double check my work. If you can't afford a good-quality inkjet printer, you'll need to rely on the proofs your print vendor gives you; proofs like this. You'll always need to be willing to make adjustments to your documents until you're satisfied with the way those proofs look. In fact, and this is important, even if you do have a good-quality inkjet printer, you still need to remember that your print vendor's proofs are the ones to take most seriously.
That's because those are the proofs the printing press operator is going to be trying to match when your job is being run. Most print vendors that I know, they're more than willing to help designers like us set up our documents for printing success. So don't be shy about asking these people for help if you need it.
Primarily aimed at designers and illustrators, the course leans heavily toward digital tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, but concludes with some challenges using real-world media (inks and paints!), so members can get a solid understanding of mixing colors and what tools and combinations work best.
- Navigating the color wheel and color vocabulary
- Why a color's value is so important
- RGB vs. CMYK vs. spot
- Finding the perfect color
- Working with grays and browns
- Building a color palette
- Borrowing hues for palettes
- Establishing color hierarchies
- Fixing color problems
- Altering color in photos and illustrations
- Using texture with color
- Painting for learning and fun