Do you need color management?

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Without a color management system, your color specifications are device-dependent. You might not need color management if your production process is tightly controlled for one medium only. For example, you or your print service provider can tailor CMYK images and specify color values for a known, specific set of printing conditions.

The value of color management increases when you have more variables in your production process. Color management is recommended if you anticipate reusing color graphics for print and online media, using various kinds of devices within a single medium (such as different printing presses), or if you manage multiple workstations.

You will benefit from a color management system if you need to accomplish any of the following:

  • Get predictable and consistent color output on multiple output devices including color separations, your desktop printer, and your monitor. Color management is especially useful for adjusting color for devices with a relatively limited gamut, such as a four-color process printing press.
  • Accurately soft-proof (preview) a color document on your monitor by making it simulate a specific output device. (Soft-proofing is subject to the limitations of monitor display, and other factors such as room lighting conditions.)
  • Accurately evaluate and consistently incorporate color graphics from many different sources if they also use color management, and even in some cases if they don’t.
  • Send color documents to different output devices and media without having to manually adjust colors in documents or original graphics. This is valuable when creating images that will eventually be used both in print and online.
  • Print color correctly to an unknown color output device; for example, you could store a document online for consistently reproducible on‑demand color printing anywhere in the world.
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