Creating a viewing environment for color management

Your work environment influences how you see color on your monitor and on printed output. For best results, control the colors and light in your work environment by doing the following:

• View your documents in an environment that provides a consistent light level and color temperature. For example, the color characteristics of sunlight change throughout the day and alter the way colors appear on your screen, so keep shades closed or work in a windowless room. To eliminate the blue-green cast from fluorescent lighting, consider installing D50 (5000 degree Kelvin) lighting. Ideally, view printed documents using a D50 lightbox or using the ANSI PH2.30 viewing standard for graphic arts.

• View your document in a room with neutral-colored walls and ceiling. A room's color can affect the perception of both monitor color and printed color. The best color for a viewing room is polychromatic gray. Also, the color of your clothing reflecting off the glass of your monitor may affect the appearance of colors on-screen.

• Match the light intensity in the room or variable lightbox to the light intensity of your monitor. View continuous-tone art, printed output, and images on-screen under the same intensity of light.

• Remove colorful background and user-interface patterns on your monitor desktop. Busy or bright patterns surrounding a document interfere with accurate color perception. Set your desktop to display neutral grays only.

• View document proofs in the real-world conditions under which your audience will see the final piece. For example, you might want to see how a housewares catalog looks under the incandescent lightbulbs used in homes, or view an office furniture catalog under the fluorescent lighting used in offices. However, always make final color judgments under the lighting conditions specified by the legal requirements for contract proofs in your country.

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