Have you ever experienced disappointment when receiving your new premium fine art print, only to find that it looks quite different from what you saw on your computer monitor? You're not alone. This discrepancy can be attributed to a couple of reasons, primarily rooted in the fundamental differences between backlit computer monitors and reflective printed images. Fortunately, there's a solution to this problem: monitor calibration. In this article, we'll delve into the importance of monitor calibration for achieving the perfect print.

Why images look different printed versus on a monitor.
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Monitor Calibration

When delving into the world of home printing, many enthusiasts face the frustrating challenge of their prints not matching the vibrant colors displayed on their computer monitors. In a previous blog post, we discussed how monitor darkness contributes to this issue. However, the colors themselves are equally crucial. Fortunately, there's a solution that can transform your printing experience - monitor calibration. In this article, we'll explore the concept of monitor calibration and its role in ensuring accurate colors for your prints.

The Colors Conundrum

One of the common hurdles in home printing is the disparity between the colors on the computer monitor and the final printed output. Colors can appear off, leading to disappointment with the overall quality of the print. To overcome this challenge, it's essential to address both the darkness issue and the color accuracy.

The Science Behind Calibration

At the heart of monitor calibration lies the spectrophotometer. The term "spectrophotometer" is a combination of "spectro" - indicating a range of colors, "photo" - pertaining to light, and "meter" - representing measurement. Essentially, this ingenious tool measures the light emitted from the computer monitor, capturing its color range.

Benefits of Calibration

True Color Representation: With a calibrated monitor, the colors you see on your screen will be a true reflection of the final print. No more surprises or disappointments when your prints match your expectations.

Consistent Results: Calibration ensures consistent color output across different printing sessions, giving your artwork a professional touch.

Preservation of Creative Vision: As an artist or photographer, preserving your creative vision is paramount. Monitor calibration allows you to stay true to your artistic intent, bringing your imagination to life in each print.

Why a calibrated monitor is essential for printing images.
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Do You Need A Calibrated Monitor?

Calibrating your monitor can be a transformative experience, bridging the gap between your digital world and the physical prints you produce. However, it's essential to consider your specific needs before investing in calibration tools. While photographers, illustrators, and graphic artists benefit significantly from monitor calibration, those who primarily work with spreadsheets and word documents may not require it.

A Match Made in Calibration

For creative professionals like photographers and graphic artists, the importance of monitor calibration cannot be overstated. Once calibrated, the prints accurately reflect what is seen on the computer screen, resulting in vibrant colors and deep blacks. Calibration empowers artists to maintain their creative vision and ensures consistency across their work.

Text-Based Users and Fine Art Prints

However, for individuals whose work primarily involves spreadsheets, word documents, and other text-focused tasks, the need for monitor calibration is relatively minimal. While the fine art prints they order may appear slightly different in person compared to their computer screen, the good news is that the prints often exceed expectations, showcasing more vibrant colors and depth.

The Image Background Dilemma

It's not uncommon for creative individuals to use their artwork as computer backgrounds to add a touch of personal flair to their workspace. Calibrated monitors enhance this experience, as the background image looks strikingly accurate to the original creation. Conversely, those using uncalibrated monitors may notice a stark contrast in the appearance of their beloved artwork.

Why a calibrated monitor is important for printing.
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Older Monitor Issues

While many computer systems come equipped with built-in color monitoring programs, these tools may not offer the level of precision and accuracy required by professionals. A professional calibration tool, however, is required for achieving optimal color monitoring. Over time, monitors and screens experience natural wear, leading to contrast loss, color shifts, and alterations in white and black levels. These changes can significantly impact image editing and print outcomes.

The Limitations of Built-in Tools

Built-in color monitoring programs provided by computer systems may serve casual users well, but for professionals seeking impeccable color accuracy, they often fall short. These tools lack the precision and customization that calibration experts like SpyderX can offer, making them less suitable for critical image editing and color-sensitive tasks.

The Importance of Printing Accuracy

The true test of color accuracy comes when you send your files to the printer. With SpyderX-calibrated monitors, you can trust that the colors you see on your screen will match the prints delivered to your customers. This consistency strengthens your professional reputation and leaves a lasting positive impression on clients.


In conclusion, monitor calibration is a valuable investment for creative professionals who seek color accuracy and consistency in their work. For photographers, illustrators, and graphic artists, calibration is a must-have tool that ensures their artistic vision shines through in their prints. However, for text-based users who occasionally order fine art prints, the disparity between the computer screen and the print may not be a significant concern, as the final result often surpasses expectations. Understanding the purpose of your monitor usage and weighing the benefits of calibration will guide you in making an informed decision about whether to embark on this calibration journey.

When purchasing one of my Premium Fine Art Prints You can be sure the colors and contrast will be correct when the print arrives at your home or office. If you have any questions about my premium fine art prints, please use the Contact page and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Why your monitor needs to be calibrated for fine art prints.
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Crashing waves at Cape Disapppointment State Park with the lighthouse.

As the waves of Cape Disappointment State Park reflect off the wall, they get hit by incoming waves and create massive columns of water. During the big storms in winter, Cape Disappointment will never disappoint. You have to be careful because as the high tide comes in, the waves can crash over the rock wall and cause severe injury if you are too close. The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse creates a perfect backdrop for the large waves. The Lighthouse became the 8th active light on the west coast when it was first fired up on October 15, 1856.