I have a bit of a problem, I'm just starting out on a new redesign of our website and I notice a huge discrepancy between the way my site looks from one monitor to the next. My monitor shows the colors vivid and crisp while on another few they are washed out.
I have tried using Adobe Gamma calibration and I notice that they make you put the contrast at maximum level and keep it there. Once i did this my monitor showed my colors all washed out.
I guess my question is, do you reckon that most people have their contrast at 100%? I never put it that high, i simply find it too bright and harsh. But obviously I will design my site for the majority and if I'm the minority i will conform.
thank you for your time
I'd say they don't. I'd say it's safe to say that about 95% of computer users keep their monitor settings at the default, which is about 50% everything (usually).
Most computer users do not know what colour calibration is and will therefore have their screen set on its default settings - possibly adjusting the brightness and contrast if they have difficulty with the defaults. Adjusting was probably more common with older computer screens where there were actual brightness and contrast knobs that could be turned to do the adjustments.
Someone else from SitePoint recommended this to me: http://www.photofriday.com/calibrate.php
Eventually I managed to get my monitor to display as close to that as it should, and what do you know? I have brightness on about 40% and contrast on about 25%!!!! And I really did spend some time working those sliders...
If you follow this set up for your own monitor, then at least you will be seeing the correct contrast and tones. It may not be the case that all your website visitors have their monitor calibrated correctly, but that's something we just have to live with :)
Color calibration is specially important if you work for print, but if you work for the web is a completely different thing. My monitor is calibrated, but after that I changed the contrast to a lower value. Most monitors do not have a contrast of 100%.
In the print world, you do need that extra constrast if you want your monitor to get close to the colors that will printed and therefore you would need to have your monitor properly adjusted and calibrated every 3-4 months.