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Chapter 1. Color Management Fundamentals > Color Management Fundamentals

Color Management Fundamentals

There are a few basic concepts to understand when working with color and color management systems. These will help you understand why color discrepancies exist and how color management works.

Device Gamut

Every color device is capable of reproducing a range of colors, better known as its gamut. Each device, such as a display or printer, has a unique gamut that is dictated by the characteristics of that device—the types of inks it uses to print, the type of technology a scanner uses to capture images, and so on. When the gamuts of two devices don't overlap, the colors that do not overlap can't be reproduced consistently across the devices. It's as if the devices speak different languages. Even devices of the same type (say, two color printers) may have different gamuts—or language dialects. The colors seen on a display are typically much brighter and more saturated than the color that comes out of a printer. The reason for this is that the color on a display is in gamut for the display, but it is not in gamut for the printer. The printer simply cannot reproduce all of the colors contained in the image. In this case, the color is said to be device dependent—whether the desired color is produced depends on the capabilities of a particular device.


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