Color gamut mapping and the printing of digital color images


Principles and techniques useful for calibrated color reproduction are defined. These results are derived from a project to take digital images designed on a variety of different color monitors and accurately reproduce them in a journal using digital offset printing. Most of the images printed were reproduced without access to the image as viewed in its original form; the color specification was derived entirely from calorimetric specification. The techniques described here are not specific to offset printing and can be applied equally well to other digital color devices. The reproduction system described is calibrated using CIE tristimulus values. An image is represented as a set of three-dimensional points, and the color output device as a three-dimensional solid surrounding the set of all reproducible colors for that device, called its gamut. The shapes of the monitor and the printer gamuts are very different, so it is necessary to transform the image points to fit into the destination gamut, a process we call gamut mapping. This paper describes the principles that control gamut mapping. Included also are some details on monitor and printer calibration, and a brief description of how digital halftone screens for offset printing are prepared.

Maureen C. Stone
William B. Cowan
John C. Beatty
Publication Date: 
Saturday, October 1, 1988
Publication Information: 
ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), Volume 7 Issue 4, Oct. 1988, Pages 249-292