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ICC Profiles

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  • ICC Profiles

    What are ICC Profiles? How are they important?

  • #2
    Re: ICC Profiles

    The basis of ICC profiles is CIELab - a mathematically defined, objective color model based on observations of human color perception. Think of it as Esperanto for color (remember the "universal language").

    An ICC profile contains a description of the colors achievable by a device, and ways to translate into and out of some variant of CIELab. So, if we go back to the language analogy, an ICC profile would go from say English to Esperanto and from Esperanto to English.

    "How are they important?"

    ICC profiles allow us to communicate color to one another in an objective manner.

    That's a very short description. You might take a look at

    There are also some good books on the topic:

    Principles of Color Management by Abhay Sharma
    Color and Its Reproduction by Gary G. Field (GATF)
    Real World Color Management by Fraser, Murphy, and Bunting



    • #3
      Re: ICC Profiles

      > Principles of Color Management by Abhay Sharma

      Don't you mean +Understanding Color Management+ by Abhay Sharma?

      ctp-key, colour management isn't easy to understand at first; and worse to try implement successfully. You need to get hold of at least one of the books mentioned (I'd recommend Sharma) to get the best intro. Although, what are forums for... maybe we should try build this thread into a good intro that anyone can use for free to get a good answer to the question of "what is an ICC profile?"


      • #4
        Re: ICC Profiles

        > Don't you mean +Understanding Color Management+ by Abhay Sharma?


        Thanks, Nicolas.

        At least I can spell c-o-l-o-r :-)



        • #5
          Re: ICC Profiles

          You can find all you will ever need to know about ICC profiles at That's the URL of the International Color Consortium which is what ICC stands for. I note in your user name ref to 'CTP'. If you are in CTP you can't live without profiles (there are other native ones apart from ICC), but ICC is the most widely recognised.
          One you find out all you need to know from ICC, you will probably find you still need to know more 'cause colour isn't coming out right!!
          That's when you call in one of those geeky color guys with a fancy spectrophotometer and a language all of their own. They stay up late in bars drawing color gamut spaces on the backs of beer coasters and arguing why: 'you can never get the same visual appearance space in Flexo as in Offset' etc etc.
          My advice is don't feed them after midnight but if you are having color problems and want them sorted out, try
          But as soon as you hear 'Metamersim'!


          • #6
            Re: ICC Profiles

            >At least I can spell c-o-l-o-r

            I believe the correct spelling is c-o-l-o-u-r.
            Now if you'll excuse me, I have some cognac-sipping and beard stroking to do.


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