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Why the web can look wonky on a Mac

By February 15, 2007April 5th, 2019No Comments

I read a great article this morning explaining an issue with the way colours can display on Macs while surfing the web. Heres the example from the article.
mac vs pc gamma

The image on the right is infact closer to: #EC9546;

If you are on a Mac with Safari take a look for yourself.

Apparently the issue all stems from the fact that Macs use a gamma setting of 1.8 where as PCs use 2.2.
However the Mac doesn’t simply brighten up everything, or there wouldn’t be a problem. One could simply counter this with the monitor or system gamma settings.

The problem is that OSX will infact render different parts of a web page with different gamma settings.
HTML, CSS and other rendered graphics will follow one gamma setting, while images and in particular photos with embedded colour profiles, will render differently.

Achieving consistent complimentary colour for your web viewers might be more of an issue than you think.

While even Apple recommends users change their system gamma to 2.2, like that of the PC, not everyone has photoshop or can download a colour profile and install it onto their Mac.

Apple touts the most effective print media computing system with default gamma settings deeply rooted in print media history, but its the PC that maintains some colour uniformity in the chaotic world of the web.

All of these resolution and colour issues that have continually plauged computer use should be on the way out in the next 10 years with the advent of better displays; but until then its another battle over technical restrictions and backwards compatibility to just get it to not look WONKY.

 

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