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Photoshop Color Settings for web design


Question

What color profile settings should be used in Photoshop for web design? Does monitor calibration effect save for web images?

I keep my monitor calibrated with a colorimeter and want to make sure my colors will be consistant acros all major browsers.

I use my calibrated monitor profile for my workspace, color management off and don't embed a profile for save for web and try to use .png 24 whenever possible. Is this the best practice?

Color settings

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Save for web

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2011/05/26
1
9
5/26/2011 5:09:00 PM

Accepted Answer

"Color Management" and "web development" should never be used in the same sentence, unless qualified with "don't bother," "waste of time" or "fuggedaboudit." The reasons lawndartcatcher outlined are correct. I have yet to see an office (other than a graphic design studio) where any two monitors displayed the same colors. Home computers are at least as bad.

If you work primarily on the web, then sRGB must be your default, because that is the standard for the Internet, and is what all user agents (browsers) are built to display.

DO NOT embed a color profile in images for websites. They add size to the image, but don't add any useful information, so all you do is make your pages heavier. When you Save for Web and Devices from Photoshop, be sure to uncheck "Embed Color Profile." As a safety measure, keep "Convert to sRGB" checked (in case you're dealing with an image that's in some other color space and you forget to convert it).

To answer your other questions: Monitor calibration does not affect SfW images except when you use you monitor profile as the color profile for the image (which you should never, ever do for any reason or for any purpose other than perhaps personal desktop wallpaper).

PNG-24 is useful for images with transparency. If there's no transparency involved, jpeg usually gives a smaller file for the same image quality, and for simple images with few colors, and especially if they have hard edges (logos being the classic example) .gif is often the best choice.

2011/05/26
5
5/26/2011 7:26:00 PM

Well, the big problem is that you're going to be spending a lot of time and care in calibrating and choosing colors (good for you!) and they're most likely going to be viewed by folks who can't even work the "Brightness" buttons on their monitor. My (non-design) coworkers all have two screens, and none of them even match each other. So if you're asking "Is there any way this particular red that my client requested will always look correct based on the painstaking calibration I performed?" the answer is sadly going to be:

No.

But (and this is a pretty big but) all of the care you take is important. By keeping a consistent profile all of your pages / colors will look the same on the same monitor. Just remember that not everyone's not using the same monitor you are, so it won't always look the same.

By not embedding a profile it may leave the door wide open for a browser to override the current profile. If you can get the major browsers to agree on color handling there's probably some kind of Nobel prize in it for you.

Long story short, yes - all the care you're taking is important and the settings you are using are good (although I would personally look for a little more generic RGB profile). But there's only so much control you're going to have once your design leaves your machine and goes out into the great wide world of unknowing web users.

2011/05/26