Most people who have worked with inks and colors know how hard it is to reproduce them just right.
Why is it so difficult to achieve color consistency between the monitor and the final print? And why do they look different on different monitors? Why do color test runs almost never exactly match the final results? We have already discussed some of the most important reasons.
First of all
there is a basic difference between printers and printing presses, on one hand, and monitors and projectors, on the other. The first group uses the CMYK system with inks, while the second group uses the RGB system with light sources. You can’t achieve the same range of colors with inks that you can with light sources, and for this reason you will never achieve a really good color match between the two systems.
there can be differences between two devices using the same color system. An example is the difference between a laser printer and an inkjet printer. Both use CMYK, but the laser printer uses ink powder that is fused onto the paper, and the inkjet printer uses liquid ink that is sprayed on. In the same way, there can be a large difference between printing presses, especially if they use different printing techniques with different kinds of ink. There are also different kinds of paper with widely varying effects on color reproduction.
Last of all
there are differences between two pieces of the same kind of equipment, such as between two monitors or two laser printers. For example, if you go into an electronics store, you will find that images displayed on the televisions will differ in color, although they are all transmitting the same image containing the same color values. One of the reasons for this is that the red, green, and blue light sources of the screens can differ from each other. All this makes it enormously difficult to achieve consistency in colors.
RGB and CMYK are what is known as device-dependent color models because the colors will look different depending on the device used. Because these models don’t allow for inconsistency among different monitors, prints, or processes, they are not appropriate for color management systems. Thus, what is needed is a color management system that can measure and indicate colors precisely, independent of the device the color is displayed on.