Cross-media colour management really works

Video by Peter Jäger Pro2Media: 3 minutes for simple cross-media color management

My Swiss friend Peter Jäger is an advocate of colour management that works reliably across the boundaries of printers and monitors, computers and colour systems, web and print products: In short, cross-media. And since more and more companies and software from the media industry, such as the products of Colorgate from Hanover, support open systems like the freieFarbe CIELAB HLC colour atlas, cross-media colour management is becoming simpler, more transparent and: Simply more consistent. After all, it is good if it works and achieves accurate, transparent and replicable results.

In his new video, he shows how he lives cross-media in the everyday life of brand colours, which tools he uses, and how good the results are.

3 Minuten Zeit für ein simples Farbmanagement? (tranls.: Do you have 3 minutes for some simple colour management?) by Peter Jäger on Vimeo.

If you want to learn more about colour management and user software, you can access Peter Jäger’s entire training series on pro2media.ch and dokumaster.ch: From free Adobe Bridge videos to individual colour management training to PDF output for cross-media or archiving purposes, there is something for everyone.

Layout in RGB, print in CMYK. Problems?

Especially in larger companies today the layout in RGB is the rule rather than the exception. The advantages are obvious:

  • The layout takes place in a large, almost media-neutral color space
  • All Photoshop filters are available without restrictions
  • The process of color space conversion to CMYK is shifted to the production process as late as possible

In practice, however, there are two potential problems in particular.

Problem 1: CMYK conversion in the last step.
The catalogue is designed in InDesign, all data is perfectly matched, the last step before printing and proofing is the export to a printable PDF in CMYK. Usually this is done via a preset in InDesign, which defines the exact specifications for the color space conversion. In practice, however, this color space transfer can hardly be monitored. The problem: Even if you check the color values in Acrobat in the exported PDF file, for example, Acrobat does not really display the colors it contains. Acrobat brav would show you CMYK values even if the RGB images are still wrongly contained. However, other CMYK values can occur during printing when the data is processed again. Lately it looked like this:

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