If your goal is to have a print precisely match what you see on your screen, it’s important to understand that a monitor screen and print on a sheet of paper (created by either a desktop printer, digital press or an offset press) have different qualities. We will never mistake one for the other, so an exact, indistinguishable match is impossible. There are three broad reasons for this mismatch.
First, the image you see on a monitor is viewed in RGB, desk top and digital presses print in CMYK and offset presses print in spot colors or CMYK.
The second set of reasons relate to the color inaccuracy of the screen (monitor) which typically has five causes:
- A monitor that has not been calibrated and profiled.
- An old and/or low quality monitor incapable of displaying a neutral gray from edge to edge.
- A room with bright fluorescent lights such as an office cubicle.
- Direct sunlight hitting your display.
- Working with the monitor tilted up or down at extreme angles.
The third set of reasons relate to the color inaccuracy of the print device (desktop printer, digital press and offset press), which also have five causes:
- The print device has not been calibrated and profiled.
- Printing an image with rich, vibrant colors on matte paper.
- Neglecting to soft proof the image before printing.
- Viewing the print in light that is too bright or dark.
- Incorrect application and print driver settings.
That is why what you see (on a screen) is usually not what you get when it’s printed.
Post by Brian Bodnarchuk