The International Color Consortium was established in 1993 by eight industry vendors for the purpose of creating, promoting and encouraging the standardization and evolution of an open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management system architecture and components. The outcome of this co-operation was the development of the ICC profile specification.
The intent of the International Color Consortium® profile format is to provide a cross-platform device profile format. Device profiles can be used to translate color data created on one device into another device's native color space. The acceptance of this format by operating system vendors allows end users to transparently move profiles and images with embedded profiles between different operating systems. This permits tremendous flexibility to both users and vendors. For example, it allows users to be sure that their image will retain its color fidelity when moved between systems and applications. Furthermore, it allows a printer manufacturer to create a single profile for multiple operating systems.
The ICC specification is now widely used and has been specified in many international and other de-facto standards. It has been published as an International Standard, ISO 15076-1:2010. The specification continues to evolve and the current version represents a major improvement over the older versions. Profiles conforming to the new specification are called version 4 (v4) profiles. There are many advantages of v4 profiles, and all vendors of color management products are strongly urged to upgrade their products to be v4 compatible.
Most software applications that produce or use ICC profiles are v4-compatible, and there is a summary of the benefits of using v4. However, v2 continues to be supported.
ICC has also developed a next-generation color management profile format and architecture known as iccMAX. This new specification is not a replacement for v4, but adds extra functionality such as support for spectral data and the ability to use different profile connection spaces. iccMAX has been proposed as a new ISO specification and is under discussion by the relevant ISO Technical Committee.
For more information about the work of the ICC, see the ICC Working Groups page.
For details of the ICC's policy on Intellectual Property, see the IP page.
International Color Consortium
450 Rev Kelly M Smith Way
Nashville, TN 37203
Tel: +1 (703) 264-7200
|ICC Technical Secretary:
|Mr Max Derhak (Onyx Graphics)
|Mr William Li (Kodak)
|Dr. Chris Bai (BenQ Corporation)