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Color standards

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Eight color-focused companies—including Adobe, Agfa, Apple, Kodak and Microsoft—joined forces in 1993 to develop and promote the standardization of identifying color across platforms.

The International Color Consortium, based in Reston, Va., is already on version four of what it calls an ICC profile: a method for providing color management systems with information necessary to convert color data between input, display and output devices. Algorithmic models describe the transformation between color spaces. The specification has been published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 15076).

“What the ICC is trying to do is come up with a scientific means of representing what in technological terms is color meta data or kinds of instrumentation to measure, most commonly with spectrophotometry, so the spectral values can be represented,” says ICC chair Tom Lianza.

The consortium’s website ( offers information on profiles, white papers and resources.

A comprehensive source for color management information, including free downloads, glossary, product evaluations and links can be found at While color terminology and technology may seem daunting to the uninitiated, there are numerous resources to help businesses build a color management system. Manufacturers of various tools typically offer consultation, on- and off-site training, webinars and customer support.

Sigrid Tornquist is editor of InTents, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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