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Getting the most out of an image to be printed on a calibrated printer, or displayed on a calibrated and high quality monitor, has been amply discussed.

Such processing also seems a good way to pessimize images for display on run down meeting room projectors, random web terminals, DSTN laptop displays, color laser copiers, and televisions.

Is there good practical advice how to get the maximum impact from an image while making it maximally robust against the color space being bent, spindled, nicked, stamped and mutilated? Either in postprocessing, or in exposure and choice of color profile, or both...

Could be related to Developing for non calibrated devices?, which however seems to have no clear advice - it seems that seasoned web and downloadable brochure designers etc do have that kind of robustness down to an art form...

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    Both answers to the other question mention targeting sRGB. Seems like that's the best you'll be able to do if you're expecting output devices to be uncalibrated. Images won't look the same as on a calibrated display, but end users usually won't notice or care. Their brains will adjust so that the display they're using will look right to them. (It's not the image that's robust, but the users who will be viewing them.) Is there something else you're looking for? – xiota Jan 22 at 4:26
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    Rather than optimize for a given image, it is better to choose images that are more robust. Use bold simple images, avoid images that rely on subtle effects. Don't use a snow scene that will be ruined when the whites blend with the almost whites. Don't use a dark scene that will be ruined when the blacks blend with the almost blacks. Don't use a cold (high color temp) image that will be horribly blue if the color shifts to blue. Instead, use a warm (low color temp) image that will be neutral if the color shifts to blue, and really warm if the color shifts to warm. – Mattman944 Jan 22 at 7:08
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    @Mattman944 One could argue that the first step of the (post)processing workflow is image selection and culling. – Michael C Jan 24 at 7:51
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A drunk man is driving on a highway and listen on the radio: "one driver is on the wrong way of the highway" And he says... one? There are a lot of them!

The point of calibrating your monitor is just to be sure you are not the drunk man.


  • Do most people look at the images on a phone? on an i-Phone, z-phone, you-phone or this-is-not-a-phone?
  • Do they look at them in a dark room or on a bright sunny day in the Caribbean, or in Siberia?
  • Do they want to save battery and choose a low-light mode?
  • Do they simply like to pump contrast all the way because they like contrasted images?

There are questions you most likely can not answer.


Stop focusing on what other people are doing and focus on your work. If your target audience wants to see a calibrated image, let them calibrate their gear.

Here is one example. The only probably practical advice would be that non-calibrated devices tend to be more contrasted, probably more saturated. But do not undersaturated your images to target on that assumption, because you will be ruining your own images tossing a coin to a different place.

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The first step should be to choose images that are more immune to poorly calibrated monitors. For example, if you are creating a website, you normally have a lot of images to choose from. Rather than optimize for a given image, it is better to choose images that are more robust.

Use bold simple images, avoid images that rely on subtle effects. Don't use a snow scene that will be ruined when the whites blend with the almost whites. Don't use a dark scene that will be ruined when the blacks blend with the almost blacks. Don't use a cold (high color temp) image that will be horribly blue if the color shifts to blue. Instead, use a warm (low color temp) image that will be neutral if the color shifts to blue, and really warm if the color shifts to warm.

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  • I don't like much the idea of not using something... let people use whatever they want to use. – Rafael Jan 24 at 17:16

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