In the mid 90s a group of the big IT companies came together and agreed on a standard (yes for real) for colour profiles and display.
sRGB v2.1 was set as the baseline standard that all devices should try to include the colours and intensities of.
This is a standard feature in most Operating Systems web browsers and image viewers and editors.
Introduction to the ICC profile format by the International Color Consortium.
The idea is that if your computer knows how the colours are displayed in your capture, viewing and printing stages, you won’t have to worry if the colours in the screen or print match the source material.
The “gamut” of a profile defines what the maximum and minimum values of everything it can handle are.
This will affect the possible rage in the histogram display of your software or device.
I call this the Holy-trinity of colour. If you have a colour profile for your camera/scanner, monitor and printer, everything is a lot easier.
Less wasted money, ink, paper and time.
Users of olde XP can see an interactive 3D plot of the range in a profile using the colour management control panel power toy.
The version we later got by default lacks the graphical display and ability to compare the gamut of each profile. A real shame.
However… that is in the wonderful utopia we call the ideal world.
What we mostly have is Windows, which for years has never reliably forced the correct profiles when installed, and people relying on plug and play for monitors, and everything falling back to sRGBv2 and fails to work.
Your camera/scanner and printer software has a good chance of coming with profiles that match your device, though some manufacturers seem to think colour profiles are only useful for business users. This means some consumer grade printers and scanners have no way to tell the computer how they perceive colours (Epson Good. HP Bad)
Most people never use the disk for their monitor, or never had one.
If you are lucky you will find support on the manufacturers website.
With a monitor this is easy as the make and model is usually displayed somewhere.
With laptops if there is no support on the laptop makers site, you need to use a tool that can interrogate the monitor directly, instead of looking at the installed PnP info.
Hopefully you can then find the actual manufacturer of the display and a support section with downloads.
The so-called drivers for monitors are not really drivers like regular device drivers.
They are actually just a text file with install info and a universal colour profile.
You can manually put the profile where you want for any OS.
If there is an install file it is worth using it, as sometimes it will add missing speeds or resolutions that are outside the standard PnP combinations.
My old Lacie CRT monitor gets much higher speeds and sizes available if I use the inf file, and one of my flat-screens gained 75Hz at a size it did not match with before.
Now lets get back to colour profiles.
The v2 standard was defined in the 90s and in 2001 was superseded by v4.
According to the site OS vendors have been updating, so what will we expect to see in Windows 10, the most modern and constantly updated desktop OS ?
What will we see from the company that has not updated the midi or MP3 libraries since Win95 ?
Yes that’s right what we will see when we look in the colour management tool is a lack of v4 profiles.
I have no idea of the status of Mac and Linux.
Is your system V4-ready?