How can the same image look different on the same color monitor depending on whether I chose RGB/Windows or RGB/Macintosh and also look rather different on the actual mugs

June 9, 2022 0 Comments


Because of the way the two computer platforms handle color, the same image is “seen” differently on either a PC or a Mac monitor. You can very easily “see” this difference if you open an image, for example, with 2023 Nude Calendars , and then from the Menu select >View  >Preview and then alternate between the >Macintosh RGB and >Windows RGB formats.

The numerical values of the colors do not change at all. They are identical in both views, yet the images display completely differently. The RGB/Macintosh appears to be “lighter” in appearance, and “darker” in RGB/Windows mode. And while we’re at this, you might also want to take this opportunity to check on the “printability” of your image by turning the Gamut warning on:  by going to View >Gamut_Warning. Immediately you’ll see which colors cannot be printed as seen on your monitor so that you can change them to colors that can be printed. (See also an expert’s opinion on this.)

Based on this fact – and many others mentioned elsewhere in this web site –  it is impossible for us to print images/colors exactly as they are “seen” on any monitor – this on top of all the other reservation and limitations that exist on this topic.

The color decorations on our coffee mugs will thus either be “lighter” or “darker” from what the original creator of the digital art work file “sees” on the color monitor. You should also expect color shifts.

Furthermore, images seen on a monitor are similar to slides in traditional photography. Slides – which are backlit, just as images seen on your monitor – are much more brilliant than any print will ever be…and mug decorations are just like prints. A monitor can display over 16 million colors while only a fraction of these colors can actually be printed by any means.  Hence, it is important to also check the gamut of your digital art to actually see on your monitor which colors cannot be printed and for which the printing process will substitute other colors which can be printed.

Since we’re PC-based you might want to consider turning the  “Windows RGB” mode on when creating your digital images for our sublimation, full-color mug decorations to keep the color differences you actually see in your monitor to a minimum. See also here.

We prefer that all our customers prepare and send in their digital files in the RGB format … whenever possible.

In conclusion, we’ll not be able to print your images with the same brilliance and luminance as you see on your monitor. Our mug decorations are only print copies and reproduction that will never equal the images seen on your screen and you should and cannot expect them to be like images seen on any screen…maybe someone will invent a better printing process in the future but for now we can only use the technology available today with all its limitations and short comings.

Why is the full-color reproduction of my digital art work on your coffee mugs different from what I see in my monitor?

There are many reasons why the reproductions on our white photo coffee mugs differ from what you see in your monitor. Here are just a few of them:

Images seen on any monitor are in the RGB color mode while all printed images are in the CMYK mode. There will always be a “loss” change or “deterioration” generated somewhere in the translation process. (Consider: The basic color of your monitor is black and that of paper is white);

All spot colors are converted to process colors as our composite printers can only print with process colors (still more “translations”);

Colors out of gamut will be automatically “replaced” by printable, similar colors available to our composite printers. Hence the reproductions cannot be the same as those you see on a monitor. (Consider: Your monitor can theoretically display up to 16.4 million different while that many colors can never be printed by anyone.)

Diversity of devices used to create and print an image:

Each device that is used in the creation of a digital drawing, photo, etc., has a range of colors, or color gamut, that it can reproduce. For example: a monitor displays a different range of colors than a printer can reproduce. This means that a drawing might contain colors that display properly on a monitor but cannot be printed properly.

Different monitors, scanners, printers, digital cameras, and other devices might all have a different gamut.

There is no way that all the components/settings you use in creating a digital art work will correspond to the settings we use in the printing process of your digital art work files.

There will always be differences in what you see in your monitor and what you see on our coffee mugs – sometimes they are minimal and sometimes they are rather very pronounced, even unacceptable. The reproductions can never “look” the same in a monitor as they do on paper or our white coffee mugs.

If color fidelity is of importance, Sample Mug decorations are a MUST so that the digital file can be adjusted to what the final outcome on the coffee mugs should be. In other words, you have to work “;backwards” – from the final mug decoration to the digital art work as sometimes color shifts are unavoidable. More on this can also be found here. You might also want to read question # 40.

For an independent view on this aspect of digital decorations we are offering you here the opinion as expressed by the world-renowned CorelDraw expert, Foster D. Coburn, in a recent article entitled: Secrets of Color Management. This article is partially re-printed here with the express permission of the author.

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