ColorMunki Design Review

Unzipped from its protective pouch, the ColorMunki Design will, at the very least, have inquisitive minds guessing its possible usage. Among colleagues, designer egg timer, sonic tape measure and iPod accessory were all a little wide of the mark. The Swiss-engineered device is, in fact, several colour tools in one, born from the pairing of two great colour specialists, X-Rite and Pantone. Built around a straightforward but rather awkward dialling mechanism, the ColorMunki Design sensor can be adjusted to suit a selection of tasks by simply turning the dial. Monitors, printers and projectors can all be calibrated, along with ambient light and spot colours from any surface. The accessories that often come with comparable spectrophotometers are all built in, potentially offering a compact, portable, one-stop solution for colour calibration and capture.

The accompanying software is very user-friendly; in easy mode it’s free of the often-complex settings associated with colour calibration. The actual device needs to be calibrated first, but this takes less than a minute. On-screen prompts and the aforementioned easy mode make monitor calibration comparatively simple. A supplied padded pouch offers both protection on the move and a way to hang the device across a monitor.

A Velcro weighted strap acts as a counter weight, which can be adjusted to suit the screen size, placing the ColorMunki over a clear onscreen guide. The process can be repeated for printers and projectors. Capturing colour requires you to select the measurement mode and unlock the target flag flap. Again, ease of use is paramount and the process is both simple and effective, measuring anything from photos and magazines to clothes and skin colours.

You can create and manage custom colour palettes and export them to your favourite creative applications. The supplied PrintSafe function checks to ensure your chosen colours will print correctly and a range of options, including colour harmony tools and access to your own images, are provided onscreen.

OUR VERDICT

Billed as the first solution in its price range that actually reads spectral data rather than merely emulating it, ColorMunki Design offers several useful devices in one fairly neat package. While adding value for money, it does so at a premium price that may exclude many attracted by its ease of use and all-in-one benefits.

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