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Generic Profiles

Today, most color devices come with device profiles created by the manufacturer. These are known as generic, or canned, profiles because they represent averaged data from a particular device model as it behaved at the factory. Manufacturers typically follow the process described in the preceding section and in other chapters in this book to create profiles for their devices.

While generic profiles are convenient, the challenge is that they're, well, generic. Each physical unit of any given make and model of device is going to be slightly different from the others, and environmental factors and the age of the device also affect the device's color reproduction capabilities. Generic profiles do not factor in such unique characteristics. In some cases, generic profiles aren't bad, particularly those for some desktop printers that are linear in response (they perform as you expect them to) or have built-in calibration utilities. Some printer manufacturers include different profiles for the various types of ink and paper combinations they manufacture. Using these profiles will definitely improve the predictability and accuracy of color reproduction. But for other devices, such as displays, generic profiles will have minimal impact on the results.


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