Color Matching: Why can’t you match the color on my screen?

By: Naomi J. Myrick, Staff Writer

Color is an essential aspect of design and visual communication. Anyone who has worked with digital media knows that the same color can appear differently on your different device monitors. This phenomenon is primarily due to variations in color matching across different devices. These differences can be a real pain in the color printing process, but they can usually be remedied with color matching. 

In this article, we'll explore the reasons behind these discrepancies. We’ll also explain how the color matching process can ensure consistent and accurate colors across different displays. Let’s get started!

The RGB Color Model

To understand color matching, we must look at the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color model. It is the basis for all digital displays, like a computer screen. In this model, colors are created by mixing different intensities of red, green, and blue light. The combination of these three primary colors produces a wide range of hues.

The CMYK Color Model

In the world of print and graphic design, the CMYK color model is the standard color palette. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black). Unlike the additive RGB model used for digital displays, CMYK is a subtractive color model. It works by subtracting colors from white light to create a range of colors suitable for printing.

Color Matching Across Devices

RGB is used for digital, CMYK for print, but the actual colors we see can differ across devices and monitors. This happens for several reasons:

Variations in Hardware

Different monitors have varying levels of color accuracy and quality. Factors such as the type of display (e.g., LED, OLED, or LCD), panel quality, and color gamut can all affect how colors are displayed.

Color Profiles

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Proper monitor calibration is essential for achieving consistent color representation. Calibration ensures that a monitor displays colors accurately according to established standards. Un-calibrated monitors can display colors inaccurately and inconsistently.

Ambient Lighting 

The lighting conditions in which a monitor is used can impact color perception. A display that appears accurate in a well-lit room may look different in dim or excessively bright environments.

Gamut Differences

The gamut differences of colors, can potentially cause colors to look different on displays with smaller gamuts.

Color Management Solutions

To address these discrepancies in color matching across devices, consider the following solutions:

Monitor Calibration:

Regularly calibrate your monitor using specialized hardware and software tools. Calibration ensures that your display adheres to industry standards and displays colors consistently.

Color Profiles:

Use color profiles that are specific to your monitor and device. Profiles help ensure that colors are accurately interpreted and displayed as intended.

Standardize Lighting Conditions:

Maintaining consistent lighting conditions in your workspace to reduce the impact of ambient lighting on color perception.

Choose a Color-Accurate Display:

High-quality monitors with good color accuracy, wider color gamuts, and strong color management capabilities will produce more consistent results.

Integration of CMYK

When working with designs intended for print, it's crucial to convert your RGB color schemes to CMYK. This can help ensure accurate color reproduction. Design software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator offer CMYK color profiles and conversion tools for this purpose.


Color matching across different device monitors is a complex challenge. Factors like hardware variations, color profiles, calibration, and lighting conditions all contribute to this. To achieve consistent and accurate colors in your digital designs, we implement color management solutions.That way declas, stickers and even shape cut business labels will look great.

Our goal is to provide you with the best color match and color intensity that your design deserves!