Digital Issues….

One of biggest problems I run into using digital medium are color discrepancies. I never really worried about it too much before, but just this last year I bought a second monitor for my main work computer… and wow, the difference between the two is painful sometimes. My work computer is a 5 year old 1680×1050 Mac desktop, so yes it’s a bit outdated but it’s still a decent screen. The new monitor is a 1920×1200 SyncMaster 243T that I bought second hand and only a little broken… haha, I have an old bandaid tin propping it up, but other then that it works great.

When I bought the second monitor I was really just looking for more “real estate”, so I could use one screen for photoshop while I draw, and the other for reference images or browsing so the extra crispness of images was nice, but not really what I was paying attention to. I first noticed the problem with the Festival Anonymous logo I did. It looked great to me when I finished it so I sent it out for approval. The response I got was along the lines of, “Wow! It looks amazing, but can you brighten the colors a bit?”. I thought this was a little odd since the colors were already pretty vibrant, but I brightened them up anyway then sent it off again. Again they thought it looked great, but said they were hoping for the colors to pop out a little more, so you could see it from a distance. I had this same problem after sending them two more previews of the image and by now the colors were off the charts bright, so I was getting a little confused. Any brighter and this thing would make your eyes bleed.

Finally and completely by accident, I saw the logo on my original Mac screen and I nearly fell out of my chair. The colors were mud! They all blobbed together and nothing popped at all. I had no idea that the color difference between the two monitors could possibly be that dramatic, but there it was. Granted this particular image was difficult to color balance anyway because of the dots and black background, but I really should have been more aware of something like that..!

I’m sure there is a way to adjust the colors on my two screens to match each other better… but I’m hesitant to do that. I love being able to see the beautiful colors and clarity on my nicer screen, but I still need to balance that for less high res screens, otherwise all of my colors turn out too dark to even see on regular computer screens.


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