For visual communications companies, precise color matching in hardware and software is crucial. At the same time, it is also important for customers to have no misunderstandings about the color they see on their screen and what they will see in the final printing of their brochure.
Color management was created for this exact reason. It helps us control the viewing of an image on our screen as well as determine the faithful printing of our document. It is also necessary for the proper transfer of images from one software to another and for the quality of color reproduction.
The key elements of color management are profile and color space.
The profile helps the computer and software know what the true colors mean in RGB values of a digital photo. It is compared to a small label attached to each image and imaging device that describes specific colors in RGB and in the specific color management language.
When we convert our photos to CMYK, for example, we also limit the color range. RGB has a wider spectrum (as it is light) than CMYK which is ink. So when we convert a photo to CMYK, it actually reduces its color range, as many colors cannot be attributed to the four-color. But using the right profile removes some of the ink in a way that reduces the color loss due to absorption.
The color space describes the range of colors that an imaging device can process. It describes the average color space that a standard screen can print. The most common color space is sRGB. But there are also larger color spaces, such as ProPhoto RGB, Adobe RGB 1998, Wide Gamut RGB used for higher quality requirements.