Margana at An Inkophile’s Blog is one of my very favorite bloggers. She always tells it like it is, and her most recent post is no exception.
We can all get a little obsessed about finding/doing something perfect, but perfection is out of our reach. Humans are fallible and our machines are even more so.
It simply is not possible to create a perfect computerized image of any color sample. The way the human eye sees color only confirms this. Our vision, lighting, alertness, and so on all affect the way we see a color. The line width, wetness, flexibility, paper type and so on affect the way ink looks on the page. And then there’s the fact that many of us (and this is especially true of men) suffer from some degree of color-blindness! Not to mention the inability of computerized images to capture the vibrancy, depth and so on of any given color. There are too many variables of which only a small fraction can be controlled.
So, even if we could get an ink color to “look perfectly accurate” on the screen it is still more likely than not to vary greatly from the color we see when we put ink to paper.
We all see color differently image quality aside. This is why one person might see J. Herbin 1670 ink as red-orange while another sees it as blood red while yet another see it as a true red. Just look at any three ink reviews and you’ll see everyone describe the color differently.
The best we can do is approximate a color. Anyone looking at an online sample as perfect is setting themselves up for disappointment, and anyone claiming to have a perfect scan is setting themselves up to field complaints about how people feel they were misled.
As Margana says, you really do have to see an ink on the page in order to know whether or not it is the one for you. Please take a carefully look at what she says. She’s right on the money so far as I’m concerned.