There are multiple instances where the color on the screen does not match with the color on the print. The images look much dissimilar. This is the reason why the monitor should be calibrated. If this is done, then the color printed is exactly the color seen on screen. Calibration of the printer is required as multiple prints must be consistent with each other and also on what is being seen on the screen. Both calibrations are extremely important.

RGB, CMYK, And Calibration

There could be a number of reasons as to why the display of the monitor and printed results are not alike. One principal reason is monitors use the additive RGB color. Printers, on the other hand, uses the subtractive CMYK pigments. Both are different methods of color reproduction. Another reason is that the ink overlapping and layering results in subtle color shifts. These are not to be found in individual pixels making screen image. Yet another reason is that printed images do not have the monitor's contrast, range, and saturation. The colors are thus less vibrant and darker when printed. The texture of the substrate and its brightness affects the printed image.

When it comes to calibration, the monitor must be calibrated first. It must be made sure that the printer is paired with the correct printer driver. Controls are available in the latter to fine tune overall color appearance from the printer. For most, this is enough to get the needed color. Two techniques are available for printer calibration- the mechanical calibration and the visual calibration. A better way to calibrate- but a more expensive way too- is to opt for the hardware device which can read printer output. Adjustments can be also made as required. For a majority of users, usage of generic color profiles or visual calibration is sufficient.

Visual Calibration

Simple visual calibration can be had with using the test images which have a broader tonal value range. This will consist of color blocks, color bars, and photographs. These will assist to visually match the screen to the print colors. The tester should display and also print the test image. Gray-scale should be adjusted and also color output. The controls are available in the printer itself. The digital test images can be had from software makers and also from the Internet. Colors can also be calibrated with ICC profiles. Such files are particular to the individual device on the system.