How to Calibrate a Monitor
With an i1Display 2

Part 9 - Lets Recap

In order to get your monitor to display accurate colour you have performed a two part process:

First, you Calibrated the monitor hardware which was a process of adjusting it’s controls until they were optimized as far as possible.

Second, you created a Display Profile which characterized the behavior of the display (following the calibration) and calculated precise correction curves, to make it colour accurate. 

The Display Profile was installed into your operating system so that any Colour Managed software knows how to adjust colors for visual representation on your monitor.  Its important to understand that the display profile does not change image files, it just changes how the display system represents them on your monitor.  That is to say, it makes sure the colours in your image are shown correctly on the monitor.

Remember, once you have calibrated a monitor not to further adjust the controls until next time you re-calibrate.

The result of this calibrating and profiling process is that you can trust the accuracy of the colours you see on screen. To give practical examples:

When editing a portrait a photographer might think, ‘Those skin tones look a bit blue or cold to me’.  He can trust that he really is seeing cool skin tones and not arbitrary colour output from the monitor, so he can warm them up by adding some yellow.

An illustrator, will be thinking, ‘I want a nice pastel blue for this part of my image’ so she will open her colour palette and start searching for that perfect Pantone colour.  She can then paint with that colour knowing what it will look like when printed.

Trying to create or edit images with a non colour managed monitor is like trying to work wearing 'rose coloured glasses'.  You feel pretty good about your colour choices at the time but as soon as the shades come off.... what the!  Printing is usually the ‘shades off’ moment!

Be aware that your display is only part of your workflow and if you are printing for yourself you need also to colour manage your printer or if you are using a commercial printing service they need to have a properly colour managed process.  Finer Image of course has a colour managed service that is industry leading.