One of the most frequently asked questions by Blurb book makers is, “How do I ensure that color reproduction in my book will match what I see on my screen?” The answer is both simple and complicated.
Let’s get the complicated bit out of the way: What you see on your screen can’t and won’t exactly match what you see on the printed page. Why not? Well, your screen is backlit and the pages of your book won’t be. (Okay, ebook pages are. We get that, but we’re talking about printed pages here.)
Secondly, your brightly backlit screen displays images in the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color-space. Once you submit your files for a printed piece, like a book, those images are printed on paper in the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) color-space. In effect, you’re working on your images in one medium and submitting them for use in another.
So, given that, how can you be sure the images you see on your screen match as closely as possible with those printed in your book? Easy. Calibrate your monitor.
This single step will reduce a ton of frustration and lessen the chance that your images will print “too dark.” And calibrating your monitor is neither hard nor expensive to do. Color calibration kits cost about $100- $150. Any one will do and all are definitely worth that investment in terms of time savings and potential book reprint costs.
The kits are comprised of easy-to-use software packages that usually include an installable application and a colorimeter. Simply run the color calibration software, and it will guide you through the steps of attaching the colorimeter properly to your specific monitor. Results are then saved and you are all set to go.
For more information on color management, take a look at our online Color Management Resource Center.