Redcliffe Imaging

Why Doesn't My Card Match My Screen?

Have you ever wondered why an image you have printed sometimes never quite matches what you see on your screen? If you have spent time editing your images and you want to reproduce them with some degree of colour accuracy, then some form of screen calibration is required.

Quick Monitor Check

Is your monitor set too dark or too light? Look at the middle square and you should just make out the dark grey oval set on the black background.

screen check, too dark screen check, correct screen check, too light


If you want to ensure that what you see on your screen will be reasonably close to what you have printed, then a quick check with the images below will give you some reassurance that the monitor you use is close to aim or not.
  1. The first thing to look at is the greyscale, do you see the steps from 0 to 100, which represents pure white to pure black. You should barely see the break line between steps 95 to 100.
  2. The Red Green Blue spectrum should be visible without any steps, if you can see stepping rather than a continuous tone then you are not viewing with the maximum colour available. You can adjust the number of colours that your screen displays to show from 256 to millions of colours.

screen check


Finally just do a quick visual check on the skin tones and contrast range of the photographic images in the calibration print below, do they look OK to you?

colour calibration print

If you have done these visual checks and you are happy with the result from your monitor then you can be reasonably assured that what you see on your screen will be close to what you have printed at Redcliffe Imaging.

Remember that your monitor can show a much larger range of colours than any print can achieve. For example bright reds and deep blues often get clipped and will print less saturated than they appear on your screen, this is because certain colours may be out of range for CMYK printing.

For more information or advice on any of our card printing services please call Adrian or Thomas on 0117 952 0105.

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