Question regarding color calibration at Office

About once a week I tend to work from the office by now instead of HomeOffice. At home I have an iMac screen or Lg Ultrafine 4K (the „Apple ones“) and work with Macbook Pro … typical equipment for a Microsoft consultant :sweat_smile:.

At work we obviously don’t have such nice hardware and I feel pretty spoiled by my Apple gear. Hence every time I catch myself tampering with the display settings of the different monitors we have (mostly Asus or smaller LG) as to me I just can’t stand how bad everything looks my colleagues don’t seem to care … „it displays text, that’s enough“ :smirk:.

As it doesn’t appears reasonable I’ll get a Monitor I like and don’t want to bringt my own, I had the idea to buy a color calibration solution - found some on Amazon and even something using your iPhone.

The questions I wanted to ask if you think this could work? Calibrating the monitor of the day as I start work? At some point I would probably have ICC profiles for most of them :sweat_smile:. Or would you say it wouldn’t make a difference as the monitor is probably too bad and cannot really be improved (made tolerable) this way?

I think it would work. If it bothers you and it’s fixable, why not?

If you’re sitting down to PCs they provide, you could probably get close with the built-in Windows 10/11 calibration tool in Advanced Settings for the display, using the profile on your iPhone app as a consistent reference over multiple days/hot desks.

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Luckily I don’t have to use any PC/Windows laptop at work … it’s all VM/Citrix based with servers or Office365/Azure. So I only have my Apple gear to sort things out :blush:.

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As you probably realise, this opens a lot of very deep rabbit holes to explore. Without going down them (device gamut and characteristics, profiles, colour spaces…) they add up to saying that it is extremely difficult to achieve a reasonable match when you are using different monitors, on different OSs and different video devices. That said, some level of calibration will improve all but the worst systems.

I’d always start with manually getting the brightness and contrast set to sensible levels on the monitor. If that’s good enough to work with, I’d quit while I’m ahead, The idea of creating and keeping ICC profiles for a number of monitors, which my colleagues might well adjust in between my using them, just sounds like huge stress for little real gain.

One of the really great, unsung, things about the Apple Ecosystem is how “baked in” all this stuff is. It (usually) “just works” and very well too - it’s easier to make things worse by adjusting than it is to improve on the out of the box settings for most Macs, iPads and Phones.

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Thank you @chrisecurtis for the suggestions. Yes I already figured it can be a very deep rabbit hole but nothing I wanted to go down into. My wishes are quite modest I’d say: give me a picture I don’t hate looking at during my work hours. I never had any issue with how my Apple devices look like and as I don’t really do graphic work, they are good enough for my needs. Probably biggest point is: I normally like looking at my screens but I can’t seem to stand the look of our office displays in terms of brightness, contrast, colors.

I think untried all the ICC files that macOS offered me - some even for other displays. But even I set the display to let’s say sRGB and choose the sRGB ICC profile that macOS show me the monitor still looks horrible to me.

I admit I have no clue about this topic, but even with the macOS calibration tool I wasn’t able to find a setting that I could stand. Now I wonder if those professional calibration meters would be like a magic pill :sweat_smile:.

But you made a very good point: if my colleagues change settings again for them, I’d have to calibrate the monitor each time I come to the office over and over again, after resetting its settings. Do you know how long such calibration process takes?

When I’ve come across this, there is some small gains to be made, but it’s still going to be annoying.

I ran a hardware calibration device on all my monitors at a previous job, it did make them a little better, but the native resolution, color reproduction, and lack of brightness made them awful to work on. I’m very thankful for my retina life, and I’d have a hard time going back to the $85 Amazon specials for monitors.


Thank you for your insight. I’m also afraid it will not yield the result I am after. There simply is no way to make a cheap Asus display look like a Studio Display :thinking: - regardless of matte or glossy screens.

Maybe I can get used to using my iPad Pro 12.9 in combination with my Macbook Pro screen :smirk:

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