A very basic calibration puzzle (to me)

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Egidius Forum Member • Posts: 82
A very basic calibration puzzle (to me)

There’s a basic thing that I absolutely can’t grasp concerning monitor and print calibration:

The (main) purpose is to make the print and the screen look the same as much as possible, right?

But: When you go calibrating your printer with equipment like the X-rite i1Studio or the SpyderX, you will be printing out testfiles and measuring them. After that, the printer-calibration-software will make a printer-profile which will make your printer print the colors the way the printer-calibration-software thinks the colors should look like on print. For example, the testfile contains a red patch. You print it. You measure it. And then the printer-calibration-software may think something like,”I see, the red is a bit too yellow, I’ll correct that”.

So far, so good. However: How does the printer-calibration-software know what red (or any other color) looks like on my monitor? En if it doesn’t know that, how can it make my printer print red like red is shown on my monitor?

You could answer: The printer-calibration-software assumes that you monitor is well calibrated. But suppose it is calibrated in a perfect manner, using a high-quality device etc, then there will still be some variables, being the settings I chose during the monitor-calibration. E.g. with the i1 Studio monitor calibration you have to choose White Point, Luminance and Gamma. How does the printer-calibration-software know which choices I made? Does the printer-calibration-software look at the currently used monitor-profile and does it adjust its operation accordingly? I mean, suppose I calibrated my monitor at 5000K, will the printer-calibration-software notice that and will it think, “right, in that case I’ll make the red on the print a bit warmer”?

I hope someone will enlighten me on what I consider to be a very basic matter.

Thanks in advance.

Egidius

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