Color Issues

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Posted by Marina Waltz on August 30, 2002 at 23:15:54:

In reply to: A solution to comparing colors posted by Lauren on August 30, 2002 at 14:19:37:

This is a great idea in theory. It works in practice but only to a
limited extent.

This is very similar to the method graphic artists use to standardize
(or try to standardize) color. There are several color matching
systems around but Pantone is probably the best known.
Unfortunately, even with all the colors in the palette, you still
can't always exactly match a color. The type of light makes a big
difference also. For example, the darkest Kimia stain on my hand
right now is somewhere between PMS 504 and PMS 505 under incandescent
light. It's pretty close to PMS 4975 in natural light, but that
color is not red enough under fluorescent light. These colors are
from the Pantone coated list (printed, not on-screen). The uncoated
list doesn't even have a color close enough to be useful.

Inks and dyes also fade over time. The Pantone book I have with me
here is from 1995. The colors I mentioned above might not look the
same in a new book. The same goes for DMC. If everyone isn't using
a new color chart you still might not be looking at the exact color.

If you're lucky enough to exactly match your color on-screen you most
likely won't match it on paper and vice-versa.

Okay, I think I'll stop here. I just deleted everything else I wrote
because I was starting to get too much into additive and subtractive
color theory. (The joys and challenges of working with color for a

I'm on vacation now. For the next two weeks I don't have to think
about inconsistent color. (It's printing purple! Not even close to
PMS 534! :-P )



: I was reading below about the problem of standardizing colors on
: monitors and in photos to make sure that what you see is seen by
: everyone. One idea would be to use a standard color chart like the
: one linked below for DMC embroidery floss. You could go to any
: store and pick up any red, green, and blue for under a buck total
: bring them home to make sure they show up on your monitor as they
: in real life. Now you can adjust photo colors to show what's real,
: not just what your monitor is set for. Also, you can refer to the
: chart and say "Yesterday's henna was a 307 but now it's 842" or
: whatever and everyone who has done the adjustment would know
: what you mean.
: Does this make sense?
: Lauren


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