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Adobe RGB (1998) color image encoding

ICC-based color management workflows are becoming the standard for ensuring reliable color reproduction from screen to print. Many professional workflows are built around the Adobe RGB (1998) ICC color profile first introduced in Adobe® Photoshop® 5.0 software and now available across the Adobe product line.

Every device for capturing and reproducing graphics and images — be it a scanner, a digital camera, a monitor, or a printer — has different capabilities for reproducing color, resulting in color inconsistencies. In an ICC-based color-management system, color profiles are created for each device, so that the colors in an image can be modified throughout the workflow to compensate for the differences in each supported device. The goal is to maintain the visual appearance of the image to the greatest degree possible.

Effective color management requires that a color profile be attached to every image or graphic to indicate the "native" color conditions — also known as the color space — under which the file was created. Adobe applications introduced the idea of a "working" color space, one that is not necessarily tied to a specific device but that represents the ideal conditions for image reproduction. The Adobe RGB (1998) profile has been widely adopted as a working space because it provides a relatively large and balanced color gamut that can be easily repurposed for reproduction on a variety of devices.

Adobe's own ICC profile for the Adobe RGB (1998) color space is included with all Adobe color-managed software applications, including Adobe Acrobat 5.0 and later, Illustrator 9.0 and later, InDesign, GoLive 6.0 and later, Photoshop 5.0.2 and later, and Photoshop Elements software. With the appropriate legal agreements, it is also available for distribution by third-party hardware and software vendors. Find out more about the Adobe RGB (1998) color image encoding (PDF: 551k) used for the Adobe RGB (1998) color space.

Legal note regarding color-space naming: Only the Adobe RGB (1998) ICC profile created by Adobe Systems Incorporated can accurately be referred to as "Adobe RGB (1998)." ICC profiles created by other vendors, even if they conform to the color image encoding described in the Adobe RGB (1998) color image encoding document, cannot be referred to as "Adobe RGB (1998)." If vendors choose to create their own profile according to this specification, and they want to indicate to their customers that this profile was written in accordance with Adobe's specification, then an alternate phrasing is required, such as "compatible with Adobe RGB (1998)."


Download the Adobe RGB (1998) ICC profile

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