2.1. Calibration Versus Profiling
Calibration refers to setting up a device in a centered state or known condition, where it can then yield the best performance within given parameters. For example, you might calibrate a device to a color temperature setting of 6500 degrees Kelvin and a gamma setting of 2.2 (don't worry, those settings will make sense after Chapter 4). Once you've established a few parameters, the tool to calibrate the monitor can position the color temperature and gamma for proper viewing during calibration.
Profiling is measuring the capabilities of a (calibrated) device and then saving this information in a file known as an ICC profile. The ICC profile is used as a color space that your file can be converted into in order to manage the color while you view an image on a properly calibrated display.
Device calibration can be achieved using sophisticated tools or software that is packaged with the device. For instance, an ink-jet printer might include a utility that allows you to establish print head alignment and nozzle cleaning for calibration. A monitor or display is best calibrated using a device known as a colorimeter. In either case, there is always a "proper" way to calibrate a device, given a type of workflow or objective.
We'll get to that in Chapter 4, but for now, understand that calibration of a device goes hand in hand with creating an ICC profile of the device in its calibrated state. If results suddenly become inconsistent in a workflow, recalibrating a device will bring back the consistency.