What's the best monitor for print?


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What is the best monitor to get for to ensure colour accuracy of print jobs? I work on a mac - is an Apple monitor best? Or are there better alternatives?

Does it all depend on how much you've got to spend? Some ideas on the various options would be welcomed.


Yep I had a look but the advice seemed to mainly be restricted to a certain price range. Some professionals I work with are saying stick with Apple monitors if you're not sure, but I'm not convinced. Apple monitors seem to be geared alot towards video and I'm only interested in the accuracy for print.

I'll assume the advice in the other thread still stands but I'd like a few more people's opinions.

many thanks.
Hi Juwlz

I'm no expert in monitors but my colleagues can talk you through the info you need for colour accurancy for print. 08701 420430 speak to James (option 2) about what to look for in a monitor, then ask to be put through to Ian who will talk to you about calibration.

My company, Mulberry Square is set up to offer digital colour proofing to FOGRA 39L colour standards which forms the proofing element of the recently introduced ISO12467-2 Colour Management standard, alongside print production to these standards by our partners in print.

Hopefully we can be of some help to you.

ATB, Craig.

Both of these guys are now members of this forum if you prefer not to call: IS-James MS-Ian
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What monitor?

It's common thinking that the old Apple style (on G4 range) monitors are the best. Whether it was for photo retouching, illustration or video, these displays are still top notch.

They came in 15" , 17" and 22" , the latter still fetching £800- £900 on eBay when they do occasionally come up.
I still run 2x 15" displays side by side on my old G4, it has crisp lines, no frozen pixels, true white & black points. My MacbookPro screen is nice, but no match for the previous generation Apple monitors.
Print Colours - A minefield

Hmmm can we really rely on any monitor to show us print colours?

I think it's risky in terms of making any guarantees to clients.

Personally I'd stick to disclaimers that specify that if a Pantone colour chart hasn't been consulted in 'the flesh' that no colour accurancy can be guaranteed.

I'd read http://www.trulyace.com/technicalinformation.htmll which explains about the risks inherent in trying to use a computer to pick print colours.

Best Wishes

It's common thinking that the old Apple style (on G4 range) monitors are the best. Whether it was for photo retouching, illustration or video, these displays are still top notch.

They came in 15" , 17" and 22" , the latter still fetching £800- £900 on eBay when they do occasionally come up.

I would be wary of buying screens second hand, apart from them being out of warranty the colour reproduction can suffer over time. With LCD screens the backlight tends to wear out over the life of the screen and this can have an affect on the brightness and colour of the picture.

Good quality LCD screens using S-IPS panels offer the best for graphic design at the moment and there are plenty out there to be had without breaking the bank. Avoid anything that uses a TN or S-PVA panel as they are not as accurate for colour, especially when being viewed from different angles.

If you are buying from Apple then their cinema displays use quality S-IPS panels, but if can live without the Apple badge then equivalent screens from Dell tend to be cheaper and use identical panels. Just make sure you check the panel type and read reviews before you buy as often screens that look and sound identical use completely different panels which can massively affect the accuracy of the picture.

Some people prefer to go for 2 or 3 smaller screens opposed to one massive one. This is because larger screens (24"+) can have problems with uneven backlighting as well as costing more than multiple smaller screens.
I'm also looking into the best monitors for print colour reproduction...

Apparently Lacie displays are really good (if expensive). Any thoughts on these screens?

We've got 1 old and 1 newer (but not new) 22" Apple cinema displays, and 1 24" Lacie in the office at the moment and the senior designer swears by it. It is a lot better than the Apple screens, but a lot of money (especially when she doesn't calibrate it anyway). Would spending less on a 30" other brand be a better investment for productivity do you think?


A regularly calibrated one (and a Pantone deck in your back pocket).

I am currently using a relatively crappy LG (MG203WA), I calibrate with a Spyder2.
This is only until I can order a new one - currently looking at the BenQ LED ones - BenQ United Kingdom - Computing

But no matter how well your (the designer's) monitor is set up, if you send a PDF through to a client for approval, you are relying on their monitor being calibrated to show them a true representation of colours etc.

So, from this angle, always get the client to sign off a printed proof - and even then is it printed on the same machine that the final print run will be done on??
To be honest I would never get a client to sign off on colours!

Just like monitors are difficult to calibrate so are humans, and everyones eyesight is different!

The only proof is a wet proof, monitors and everything else can only get you in the ball park.

I would go in order of preference - Eizo or NEC Spectraview and an i1 PRO if you are serious about colour.

These guys really know their shizzle:

Colour Confidence > Colour Confidence - Colour management, ICC profiling, X-Rite, Pantone, ColorVision, DataColor

and these are their 5 star rated monitors:

Colour Confidence > 5 star LCD monitors - colour accurate monitors from Eizo and NEC