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Rendering Intent
Last Updated: 08/14/2008

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Rendering Intents let your color management engine know how to convert color from your source space to your destination space.  They play a critical role in determining how colors are rendered upon output when using ICC Profiles. 


Using the correct rendering intent depends upon your output needs:

Types of Rendering Intents
Perceptual: Compresses the color gamut of the source space into the gamut of the destination space to preserve the overall appearance of the image. Colors may change using this intent. Used for photographic printing when a color match is not necessary but pleasing color is wanted.    

Saturation: Moves the color gamut of the source to the outer edge of the destination space resulting in saturated, more vibrant colors. This rendering intent should never be used for photos or color matching. Mainly used for corporate logos and bright designs where an exact color match is not necessary.

Relative Colorimetric: Colors that are outside of the destination gamut are clipped or forced to the edge of the gamut boundary. Colors within the gamut of the source and destination are not changed. Allows the white point of the source space to change to the white point of the destination substrate. Will allow a close match from original to reproduction and can be used for photographic images.

Absolute Colorimetric: Creates exactly the colors that were in

the original. Similiar to Relative Colorimetric but will NOT allow the white point to change and will clip colors. This intent should be used for side-by-side or spot color comparisons from different output devices printing on different substrates (i.e. an inkjet printer with bright white paper emulating a 4-color press

using newspaper stock).








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