UPDATE: New Version available (1.4.1) with up / down arrow and scroll support. The ANTETYPE Color Picker…
This article deals with some of the upcoming changes to ANTETYPE with regard to Color Management, the rationale behind them and the consequences of these changes.
A new version of ANTETYPE will soon be released that supports consistent displaying of colors across devices, displays and Operating System. The core of the changes are that all images and colors are only stored with values in the sRGB color space and it will only be possible to export assets in the sRGB color space.
When ANTETYPE was first built we decided we would allow our users to specify the color space with each color when selected using the standard OS X Color Picker. This seemed a way to give users the greatest flexibility, but this had lead to problems matching colors as atype files are moved from computer to computer and also when the output images are rendered on different devices and web browsers. We have realized that in order to create the best and simplest user experience we would need to store all color information in a single consistent color space so that colors would be guaranteed to match.
For an application such as ANTETYPE, which is not primarily used to author printed assets or photographic images, using the Adobe RGB color space does not make sense as this is not the color space that is used by mobile devices and web browsers currently. The major web browsers interpret a CSS or inline hex color using the sRGB color space and will assume that images that have no color space data are in the sRGB color space. Mobile devices using Android, iOS and Windows Mobile do not have the processing power to convert between color spaces and on these devices the expected color space of images is sRGB. For more reading on this topic read: Web browser color management tutorial
It is for these reasons that we have chosen sRGB as the only color space that is used within ANTETYPE. All color data that is passed to ANTETYPE is immediately converted to the sRGB color space: imported images, picked colors etc. All data that is exported from ANTETYPE is exported in the sRGB color space: CSS snippets, screen images, web viewer data etc.
When images and colors are rendered within ANTETYPE then OS X converts all colors to the color space used by the user’s display.
What have we had to change to get this all to work? A lot of areas have been affected by the changes to color management here are the larger changes:
Version 1.1.8 is undergoing final internal testing before a public release in the next weeks, look out for a blog post and email to notify once 1.1.8 is released.
We have tested these changes extensively and believe that you should not find any issues with the automatic conversion of your files and the updated processes for importing images, picking colors or exporting assets. As ever though please contact us if you do find an issue.
Have we missed any issues relating to Color Management? Will the new version of ANTETYPE (1.1.8) meet your Color Management needs?