He says: “Please be aware these screens will come with calibration and profiling software, but not with a measuring instrument such as an X-Rite i1 Display Pro or a DataColor Spyder. In addition, they are not supplied with a hood, which you may need in certain working environments.”
Switching over to printers seeking a solution for high-end colour editing, there is one more key factor to consider: the size.
For this sort of work, you need be looking at monitors measuring 27, 30 or 32 inches, complete with a hood and often with an integrated measuring device.
Monitors from EIZO, NEC and BenQ range from £1,300 to £2,600, but for companies that require a 4K, 32-inch monitor, you could be looking at up to £4,000
According to Sherfield, these monitors will also offer greater stability, at least 10-bit or even 14-bit colour and greater uniformity. Monitors from Eizo, NEC and BenQ range from £1,300 to £2,600, but for companies that require a 4K, 32-inch monitor, you could be looking at up to £4,000.
So we’ve established that these monitors can set you back a fair bit and, for this reason, it’s probably fair to ask if the investment is worth it. Is having a basic monitor better than none at all?
Sherfield seems to think so: “It’s better to have a calibrated and profiled screen, even it the monitor is has a basic sRGB colour gamut. The latest monitors from Apple have a P3 colour gamut based on DCI- P3 but with sRGB transfer values, a digital cinema gamut.
It is a wide gamut similar to Adobe RGB, but not a perfect match. But given this, even with these glossy monitors, they are worth profiling.”
Certain monitors offer a higher colour gamut than others, and it is down to the printer to establish the level of solution they need for their business
At this point, Sherfield highlights a number of other options for companies that are seeking a higher-quality solution at a lower price. Dell has its UltraSharp PremierColor range, all of which are Adobe RGB and start from as little as £500 for a 27-inch model and £1,200 for 32-inch monitors.
Casting the net a little wider, HP, well known for its high quality and powerful print technology, offers the DreamColor 27-inch monitor at a cost of around £1,000. In addition, ASUS has the ProArt 32-inch 4K option for just £1,200.
Some of these high-end monitors can validate themselves to these standard automatically after each calibration
Setting the standard
New investment offers PSPs the chance to reach the next level of standardisation and, as Sherfield explains, having a high-end monitor in place will help them meet the monitor requirements of ISO 12646:2015. This is so long as the monitor is accompanied by hardware based-calibration, a hood – and sighted in the appropriate working environment.
He explains: “Some of these high-end monitors can validate themselves to these standard automatically after each calibration.”
However, Sherfield also warns that a number of other requirements in the standard must also be met to fully comply. These include a defined colour-managed soft proofing workflow, file type, a certified colour-viewing booth and lighting conditions.
The question as to whether monitors are worth your investment seems to have been answered quite clearly. Yes, a high-quality monitor can offer you a number of key advantages over the competition – something that almost all PSPs are seeking in today’s crowded market.
However, as set out here by Sherfield, PSPs do not necessarily have to spend the earth in order to secure such advantages. Establishing exactly what you want out of your monitor and carefully researching the options available on the market to see how they will fit in with your own targets can allow you to invest in the most suitable solution and help drive up accuracy in your printed work.
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