Color Management

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 277

       Course Name: Color Management

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ART 216

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course focuses on the use of Color Management to get consistent color from input through editing through output and color correction techniques.  Topics include creation and use of .icc color profiles for scanners, digital cameras, monitors, and inkjet printers; choosing hardware, types of ink, using art papers, proofing, and related techniques.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Explain color management and its importance to photographers and graphic designers.    
  2. Demonstrate calibration and profiling skills by creating and using ICC color profiles for all equipment in the workflow.
  3. Configure Photoshop to effectively use color management.
  4. Use methods of tonal and color adjustment available in Photoshop.
  5. Use flatbed and film scanners to obtain the best results.
  6. Use printer drivers effectively, including for wide-body inkjet printers.
  7. Combine color modes, profiles, and editing techniques in Photoshop to produce excellent color and tonal range in a digital image file.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. A Short History of Giclee Printing
  2. Light and Color: The Foundations of Photography and Color Management
    1. Definitions
    2. Description of color
    3. Color perception
    4. Color models/modes
    5. Primary colors and their relationships
    6. Metamerism
  3. Introduction to Color Management
    1. Definition
    2. Overview of color management plan (Workflow)
    3. Color profiles and how they work
    4. Devices and color profiles
    5. Software and color profiles
  4. Color gamut: Creating a Color Managed System
    1. Setting up a color-managed workflow
    2. Calibration and profiling
    3. Calibration methods for monitors
    4. Color management control panel and system preferences
    5. Calibrating and profiling a monitor with Monaco Optix-XR Colorimeter
    6. Photoshop’s Color Setting dialog box
    7. Creating a printer/paper profile with MonacoEZColor software
    8. Creating a profile for a film scanner
    9. Profiles for digital cameras
  5. Equipment: Monitors, Scanners, Printers
    1. Printer specs and options
    2. Scanner specs and options
    3. Choosing monitors, scanners, printers to purchase
    4. Mac or PC?
    5. Cropping and straightening scanned images
  6. Scanning: flatbed and film (slides)
    1. Scanner driver options
    2. Scanning at the optimal resolution for desired output
    3. Embedding the profile
    4. Scanning high bit images
  7. Using Color Profiles in Photoshop
    1. Assigning scanner profiles
    2. The working space profile
    3. Decisions about profile mismatch or missing profile dialog boxes
    4. Converting to profile
    5. Printer/paper profiles
  8. Printing Using Color Profiles
    1. Assign v. convert to profile
    2. Printer driver options
    3. Editing color profiles with MonacoEZColor software
    4. Printing with different art papers
    5. Pigment v. dye-based inks
  9. Proofing with Profiles
    1. Soft proofing
    2. Using the inkjet printer as a proofing device for a printing press
  10. Techniques for tonal and color adjustment
    1. Levels
    2. Curves
    3. Channels
    4. Layers
    5. Hue and saturation adjustment
    6. Replace Color command and tool
    7. Selective color
    8. Shadow/Highlight
    9. Match color
  11. Color Correction Process
    1. Highlights and shadows
    2. Neutral tones
    3. Contrast
    4. Converting a photo from color to black and white
    5. Sharpening
    6. Editing in Lab mode
    7. Camera RAW
    8. Color on the web

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures
  2. Tutorials
  3. Demonstrations
  4. Projects

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Attend and participate in classes.
  2. Complete assignments/projects.
  3. Attend and participate in critiques.
  4. Take a midterm quiz and final exam
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in the techniques explored

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. Recommended:Color Management for Photographers-Hands on Techniques for Photoshop Users by Andrew Rodney
  2. Course handouts
  3. Supplies: Blank CD-R’s, Flash Drive, Printing Papers, Mat Board

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The final grade will be based upon the following elements and their weights:

A. Projects: 10%
B. Formal Critiques: 10%
C. Printed output with complete notations of settings: 25%
D. Mid-term Quiz: 25%
E. Final Review Exam: 25%
F. Participation: 5%

XI.   Other Course Information

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

Open lab hours will be posted each semester.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.