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How To Calibrate Your Monitor (for the best print results)

You’ve spent hours in Photoshop getting your colors perfect on your custom label, and your order is ready to place - but before you send your hard work over to us, let’s talk about the differences between the way your monitor displays your colors and the way printers take that color and translate it to paper.

Believe it or not, the way monitors use color is different than the way printers do. Monitors use an additive process, and printers use what is called a subtractive process.

In our blog post titled "CMYK vs RGB: Which Color Format Should You Choose?", we talked about the two different color settings for digital or print. CMYK is used primarily for print, while RGB is used for anything that will be displayed digitally. These two color settings, if used incorrectly, can really have a negative impact on your finished artwork.

So how do digital artists produce artwork that is to be printed in CMYK if they have to work on RGB? The answer is Monitor Calibration! Both Mac and Windows operating systems have settings for exactly this process. Mac users should look in “System Preferences > Displays > Color” and click the “Calibrate” button. Windows users search “Calibrate Display Color”, and that will bring up the program to calibrate your monitor.

You also have to calibrate your printer. All modern printers have included calibration software that is easily run, and will produce a test sheet for you to approve. The methods for doing this vary between manufacturers, so consult your user manual (or Google) for the specific instructions for your printer.

Performing your monitor and printer calibrations doesn’t take too long, and is essential in making sure your colors arrive to you exactly the way you envisioned. At GrogTag, we calibrate our huge, commercial printers once daily, sometimes multiple times a day to industry color standards, ensuring that everything we print for you matches the CMYK color format as closely as possible.
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