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Chapter 26. Working with the Computer Screen > Designing for the Real World

Designing for the Real World

Calibrating the Monitor to Balance Colors

Because many readers don't have much experience calibrating their monitors, this exercise will help you do just that. This will improve the way you see color on your screen, work successfully with Gamma, and output colors that are as balanced as possible. This is especially good to do in design shops where people are working on the same projects using different computers, or where people are working on projects remotely. It's important to realize that calibration doesn't affect the output of a design in the context of the Web. Rather, it helps get designers working with greater color consistency.

Mechanical calibration devices are available. Although they are more accurate, they also are fairly cost prohibitive for most people, ranging from $600–$1,200. A number of calibration software packages are on the market which are much less expensive, including Pantone's Personal Color Calibrator. Adobe bundles Gamma software with the Adobe Photoshop software package. For the purposes of this exercise, we'll be walking through the Adobe option. However, your software should be quite similar.


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