Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Create great profiles, part of InDesign: Color Management.
- In the last movie I explained how profiles were probably the most important part of color management. Without good profiles you're sunk because the software will have no idea where the color is coming from and where it's going to. But, where do you get these profiles? Well, fortunately, some generic profiles are installed automatically by Adobe InDesign. But there's one profile that you absolutely have to create yourself. And that's your Monitor Profile. Your screen is yours. It's your view into your images and documents.
And it's like a fingerprint. You need a custom profile that describes just your screen. And if you work with two monitors on your desk you need two custom profiles. Even if they're the same brand and model. And the way you get those profiles is to use hardware device such as the Datacolor Spyder or the Xrite ColorMunki. Now, I'm not going to get into the details of how these work, but basically you plug them in, you put the device on your screen, you run the software, and five minutes later you're done. Yes, these devices do cost about $150, but you simply cannot trust the colors on you screen if you don't get one.
By the way, I should point out that a lot of people call these monitor calibration devices. Now technically, calibration changes the colors on your screen. And profiling simply reads the colors that your screen is displaying. These devices actually do a little bit of both. Now there are a few rules. First, you generally want your monitor to warm up for about 20 or 30 minutes before you take the measurements. You also want very low ambient light in the room. And, once you run the calibration or profiling software you want to avoid changing the monitor or the lighting conditions.
You know, if you reach over and bump up the brightness on your screen ten minutes after profiling it, well, you've changed how the colors look right? So the profile is no longer accurate. Anyway, once you make your profile it gets installed in the proper place on your computer. And InDesign, and Photoshop, and Illustrator all start using it automatically. That means instead of just throwing colors up on you screen and hoping they look right, the programs know how colors look on your monitor. So they can make the color appear far more accurately.
So, by making a Monitor Profile you've solved the first step of the color management problem. You've told your computer what you're looking at. But there are two more steps, finding a document profile and an output profile. Let's look at those next.
- Understanding gamut and out-of-gamut color
- Creating great color profiles
- Working in InDesign's transparency blend space
- Using sRGB color settings
- Dealing with profile and policy mismatches
- Preparing RGB and CMYK images
- Importing images in InDesign
- Proofing design on screen
- Printing documents
- Exporting PDF files