[scribus] Colour management (mis?)understood

Peter Nermander peter at nermander.se
Wed Jun 25 12:43:15 CEST 2008

The way I try to think of color management is this:

A digital image only contains numbers. A number like 255,0,0 means nothing
unless you tell what colorspace it is from. Sure, it's most likely a red
color, but it can be many different red colors.

To print a digital image each number must be translated to ink amounts
(or, to show in a monitor, it must be translated to RGB values for that
monitor). To do that TWO translations are needed, first from the image
numbers to a "virtual" color in a very wide and high resolution
colorspace, then from that colorspace into the colorspace of the output

The problem is that the output device sometimes can not produce the color
needed, it is "out of gamut". No matter how you mix the C, M, Y and K inks
of the printer will you be able to get this color.

The same thing goes for creating digital images (from a camera or
scanner). The "analog" colors must be translated into numbers using a
color profile.

But the input device might not be able to translate every color of the
image into numbers within the colorspace used. Using a wide colorspace
makes the problem smaller, but they will still exist.

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