Color profiles & color management

Hi all,

I’ve been having some issues recently with how my designs are appearing online versus how they appear in Photoshop. I notice a fairly big saturation difference most of the time. I think it may have something to do with my color profile assignment in Photoshop/Illustrator. Im really not very knowledgeable about color managing, but I find I have to use it from time to time.

Do any of you use special color profiles or color management on your documents? (examples: Adobe RGB, Apple RGB, etc) Any wisdom or help would be very appreciated! Thank you!

EDIT: You might be able to see the difference in my colors via my submission for this derby. On my monitor, the thumbnail in my sig is way brighter than the actual comp image.

I don’t know if this is the same thing but I notice that when I used the save for web the colors took a huge hit in saturation. So I just saved the file as a jpeg and maximum quality and I cannot really tell the difference from the original.

I do the same with my signature but I think that that either the photo host or woot might compress the image because I can definitely tell the difference in colors.

I just use sRGB. I think it’s generally better and less complicated when viewing stuff on a monitor. Right? I am not a color management expert (obviously), but I don’t have too much trouble just sticking with the standard. I wouldn’t use Adobe RGB unless I was a color management expert.

Thanks guys. Boots, I also use sRGB on most of my work docs. I wish I knew more about color profiles. I did some reading on it today and it was like information overload. @_@

I’m always disappointed with how my comps look after I sub them. The colors always seem dulled out compared to my actual working file. Blast you eyeballs/monitors/spectrum/profiles!

Mine always look the same. If you want to try to copy what I do (in Photoshop), I have sRGB set as my working space color, and I have “Preserve Embedded Profiles” set. When I save a jpg, I have the sRGB ICC profile checked. (this might be like the blind leading the blind, but I’m doing my best)

i’m always disappointed with how my comps look, too, but it’s just pebkac in my case.

Thank you for sharing your profiles, Boots! I will give it a shot just to see what happens.

I work on a mac for my job, and a PC at home. I’m finding I have some real problems getting colors to work for me between the two, plus the web. Snarl, complications.

Hm, I’d like to continue this conversation a bit, Tgentry has been commenting on some of the entries this week that the shirt templates don’t quite match the color swatches of the provided woot templates. I’m convinced it has to do with save settings or something to that effect. I always save my composition images with “Save for web and devices” in photoshop on jpeg setting. I’d like to know what other things people are doing to seem to be having color shift issues.

Hi all,
I wanted to give this topic a bump because I am still dealing with this color profile business. I had a very odd thing happen today that is a perfect example of why it’s so important.

This last weekend I had a friend view my current derby shirt. She said my colors were very dull, and I mentioned that for the past year Ive had a lot of trouble getting my colors right. She messed with my settings a bit and it was better, but still dull. >_<; I work on a Dell PC with a wide-gamut Dell monitor at home.

At work I use a Macbook and a Dell wide-gamut monitor. Since I began the job, I noticed my colors were very drab and weird. I just figured I was losing my mind and couldn’t color anymore ^^;. It seemed like no matter what I did, Pshop just wouldnt give me nice, bright colors. It was as if everything was being displayed in CMYK. Blehk.

Today, I found myself at my wit’s end with the color trouble. When I asked a friend, she said she had a coworker with the exact same issue. Turns out it was a hardware conflict that is specific to Macbooks outputting on a Dell monitor. 9_9 Long story short, we ended up changing our displays to show less pooptastic color. The upside is everything looks way nicer. The downside is…is that right, or is it just a unicorn? (i.e. pretty but not real) I do most of my work for games, so if work looks super bright it’s ok. But shirt art is intended for print, not to look pretty on the web. Am I fooling people with my bright colors, or will the nice brightness also translate to print? <–mind thoroughly boggled

Anyhow, I wanted to reopen this topic. Ive read multiple articles on this today and it all just kind of leaks out of my ears. @@ Id like to encourage some of our resident shirt experts to chime if possible. Please tell us what type of machine you work with, and what type of monitor you use (PC or Mac, doesnt need to be specific brand or numbers or anything). What do you use as your color space setting on both the monitor, and your paint program of choice. This is actually very important stuff and can drastically affect how your artwork is being seen around the web, and in print format on a tee. @@;

Thanks guys!

EDIT: We ended up changing our displays at work to a specific setting called “Game” or “Multimedia”. This shows a much brighter, more saturated screen. Here at home Ive set my display to Adobe RGB, and my colors are now rich and bright again. In Photoshop, Ive left the default space of SRGB. I have no idea if this is going to burn holes in my retinas or not, but it sure looks prettier. :slight_smile:

The way different monitors and programs show the same exact file in completely different ways drives me nuts.

Most commonly I’ll have a jpg that looks great in Photoshop or ACDSee, then looks terrible in Firefox. No matter what color settings or exporting methods I go with, Firefox and IE handle the colors in their own way. I remember I used to get strange horizontal bars across my derby submitted art when I would use certain background colors, like cranberry and navy. There was no exporting method or file format that would get rid of them.

When I was investigating why there were so many shirt color variations in the derby, I noticed even Illustrator and Photoshop can’t show the same colors consistently – and they’re made by the same company! I made sure the programs had the same matching color profiles, verified that the colors shared the same hexcode and RGB information, and they still displayed differently on the same monitor. Imagine how thousands of other people (all on different monitors), must be seeing your colors. Ugh.

Colors are just a hot mess. I don’t think even Pantone has their act together completely, and they’re the color people. I ran some free color calibration software on my work monitor and I feel like it began to match up a little more to what I expected when comparing colors to the PMS book and my own home monitor. I’m working on some digital illustration in my spare time and I make sure to occasionally check it on different monitors to catch anything that might be off. Beyond that, I imagine there’s just some element of hoping for the best.

Glad to hear we’re all in the same crappy boat here. Plz link the free software you mentioned?

Are you compensating for ambient light? I know a lot of calibration system (spyder and huey) have a small light sensor that tweak the profile to deal with the tint of the surrounding light.

It was called Calibrize. It puts you through a series of tests that help you calibrate your monitor.I don’t officially recommend it simply because I’m not entirely sure how it compares to similar software. It certainly gave me an improvement from what I had before, but that wouldn’t have been hard to do considering how far off the mark my monitor was when I got it.

I would love to eventually run that kind of setup. Any recommendations?..

I have the Huey (by Pantone, grr) that woot sold a year or two ago, and it worked great for a long time. But I had to build a new computer…and now, it makes everything look pink! The monitor is the same.

This is a common ‘bug’ with the woot-vintage Huey, apparently, based on the comments, but I couldn’t get it to fix, and now it seems to be too old for support. :^(

Thanks for the posts, guys.

Travis, Im glad Im not the only one who’s wanted to Hulk out over Adobe’s colors. They can’t seem to make the same colors appear consistently in all their own programs 9_9. It used to be significantly worse before the CS suite. I used to use AI 10 and PS 7. Anytime I imported art from AI to PS, I would have to color correct each hue and value all over again. It was maddening. Even now when I do shirt art, if I work between the two programs, I always end up with color mistakes.

I have also had the same issues with my derby entries showing up all gross in browsers. I think my colors are great, then when I see it go up, Im confused. Bah. I wish the world, and it’s software and monitor producers, would just go with a handful of set standards. Then again, the profile system is supposed to be just that, but it still doesnt work. ^^;. Even Apple and Adobe have their own “special” versions of RGB 9_9.

Ive thought about picking up a Spyder, but I dont do enough print work to warrant the cost. I think the recent changes to my hardware have cleared up the bulk of my problems. I can only hope!

You might want to try the Spyder display color calibrator:

I have a Spyder2Pro. Holler if you want to try it out.

BTW, I have been back and forth with woot! over bad color on reprints. You’d think that with computer produced reprints (i.e. not paint/screen printed artwork) they could make gross color corrections, if not fine tuned ones. But look at this mess!

I am a perfectionist, but I don’t expect absolute perfection here. This is WAY more than “different contrast”. I just want reasonably similar colors on reprints of my favorite woot! shirts! :frowning:

Well, PM me if you want to pursue this further with my help. I don’t monitor threads here, and there is no “subscribe” function.