Calibrating with Eye-One

ImageEye–One Share and the Eye–One measurement device contain a treasure trove of options for any designer or prepress professional who is working with colour. Using this application, you can transfer colour measurements from or to any source with ease. For example, a client may give you a paint swatch and ask you to match its colour on press, on the web, and on a large format device. With Eye–One Share, all you have to do is measure the colour and save the colour as an Illustrator or Photoshop palette. You can then email the palette to your client and everyone on the design team.

The best part of Eye–One is that it’s available for free from GretagMacbeth’s website at
I know firsthand how challenging it can be to introduce new methods to the creative process. Nevertheless, traditional colour–matching systems are often inaccurate, and typically involve much trial and error before you get your colours exactly right. A tool such as Eye–One Share, which uses measurement devices and ICC profiles to make colour decisions for you, will both eliminate a lot of guesswork and increase your speed and accuracy.

In my experience, using a device to take measurements of paint samples or printed brochures is about 95% accurate, so you must still fine–tune a bit to get it extremely close. For example, the software may evaluate a swatch that is 100% magenta as 97 Magenta. But the real power of the software is exhibited when you read colours made up of multiple colours (CMYK), such as a beige. 95% accuracy is significantly better than the accuracy of testing and guessing in Photoshop, and it only took 5 seconds to take a measurement!

Options available in Eye–One Share:

  • Create custom colour palettes and import them into any Adobe application or email them to a co–worker or client. Eye–One Share lets you save and distribute your colour palettes, so you no longer have to rebuild palettes for each application.
  • Create, evaluate, and convert custom colours.
  • Evaluate colours and determine how they will change under various lighting conditions.
  • Find an average colour from three standard colours supplied.
  • Determine shades of a colour.
  • If you have an Eye–One device, you can capture colours from printed material and determine CMYK, RGB, or Lab builds.
  • Measure the colour temperature and quality of light in light booths or any working environment to determine the quality of any light source.

Evaluating the accuracy of a printed piece is at best a subjective art when using our eyes alone. With Eye–One Share, you can easily measure two colours and determine how closely they resemble each other. You can also objectively determine how closely a printer matched your proof or a previous printed sample. Eye–One Share produces Delta E values to compare two colours; a value between zero and three is good, values between four and six need improvement, and values above 7 are unacceptable.

GretagMacbeth has a great online Flash tutorial to assist new users in fully exploiting Eye–One Share. It is available at: Eye–One Share offers a huge advantage over traditional colour–matching methods for those who take the time to learn the software.  

 Angus Pady is the president of Digital Solutions. Complete colour control from desktop to press. T: 905-764-6003