In Photoshop 6, Adobe vastly improved the color-management features introduced in version 5 and made them much easier for mere mortals to understand. However, even with the enhanced, more user-friendly implementation of color management, some people remain suspicious of this area of Photoshop. At the forefront of this group are those working primarily in Web design and multimedia. Because their designs are intended for onscreen display, they can't control the monitors that their work is viewed on anyway, color management just doesn't seem to make much sense.
This article is a brief overview of which Photoshop 6 color settings are most appropriate for Web or multimedia design. And because some designers are working on print jobs in addition to their Web projects, I'll also cover which settings make the most sense in those situations.
The Good Old Days?
First, here's a little background just to set the scene. Before version 5, Photoshop and other applications that did not use some form of color management simply transmitted the color numbers in a file directly to the monitor, where they were interpreted according to the individual RGB gamut of that particular monitor. Essentially, your RGB working space was whatever your monitor's RGB was. With this arrangement, the image you viewed on your monitor would appear the same in other applications on your system, but because no two monitors are exactly alike, it would almost certainly look different when viewed on another monitor.