Remote Proofing--The Collaborative Proof
Watching the Monitor!
Monitor Calibration & Soft Proofing
Technical tips were provided by Richard Hebert, senior vice president, Pantone.
Soft proofing seems simple enough: A computer monitor is used to display a representation of a design before it is printed. If the representation matches what the printed piece will look like closely enough, it can be used to provide the client with a realistic expectation of how the final piece will look. A hard copy proof need only be created at the very end of the process.
Of the two most significant variables in proofing, mechanical layout and color, depicting the color accurately remains the most elusive. The magic that makes this work is a great deal of digital technology used behind the scenes to make the color of a video image match a printed document.
By considering a few fundamental issues, users can minimize these risks when soft proofing.
- Use a high-quality monitor. As with any hardware device, a monitor's settings will shift over time and need adjustment. At a minimum, it is important that the monitor offer more control than the standard factory settings. Qualities to look for are: high resolution at 1,024x768 dpi or higher and a high refresh rate.
- Calibrate your monitor. For any monitor to be effective as a soft-proofing device, it needs to deliver stable, repeatable results so the display represents color the same way from day to day. This can be accomplished with a self-calibrating monitor or by using a monitor calibration device to create a device profile.
- Foster a color-managed workflow. Designers should work in a color-managed workflow that uses device profiles to describe the color characteristics of all of their specific equipment (scanners, digital cameras, monitors, printers, proofing devices and presses) to properly translate colors between source and destination and back again.