Calibrating your monitor

You probably are thinking, if you only design for the web, that you don’t need to have your monitor calibrated, because no one else does, and so everyone will be seeing it wrong anyway. Well, yes, and no. Yes, most people don’t calibrate their monitors, but that is no reason that you shouldn’t. And, if you work in print, you should definitely have it calibrated.

I worked in one office where the main production person always insisted on having the lights off, so that he could get the right color. Never mind that he was only doing black and white recruitment ads, it probably made him feel big and important. It used to drive me crazy. I was very glad when he quit.

At another office, it made sense to have the lights off. I was doing Photoshop retouching work for print, and the colors had to be adjusted on the screen. My computer and monitor were off in a dark office space, away from everyone. It was very cool, however, to have a monitor that was just what you would see in print.

I had my old monitor on my old G4 set up correctly, but realized, the other day, that I didn’t have my new cinema display monitor calibrated. What to do?

Ah, but of course, there are web sites for this. The first one is at JASC, but it’s instructions are sticky for the PC. It talks about going to “File-Preferences-Mointor Gamma” which is not where it is on the Mac, at least no in OSX. It is in the control panel.

At Photoscientia, they explain what gamma is, and explain how to set things up, as well as why, which I think is important.

At CGSD, they explain what gamma is, and why you should care. This site also explains what other computers have for their gamma settings, and also defines certain nuances, so that you learn more about gamma and calibration than you ever wanted to learn. One of the most important points thought is that for web work, at least, Mac files will look darker on PCs and PC files will look lighter on the Mac.


Leave a Reply