International Color Consortium

Last updated
International Color Consortium
International Color Consortium logo.png
MottoMaking color seamless between devices and documents
Type Consortium
PurposePromote the use and adoption of open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management systems.
Headquarters Reston, Virginia, U.S.
Region served
William Li (Kodak), Tom Lianza (X-Rite)
Key people
Kip Smythe (Secretary), Phil Green (Technical Secretary)
Website International Color Consortium

The International Color Consortium (ICC) was formed in 1993 by eight vendors in order to create an open, vendor-neutral color management system which would function transparently across all operating systems and software packages.

In digital imaging systems, color management is the controlled conversion between the color representations of various devices, such as image scanners, digital cameras, monitors, TV screens, film printers, computer printers, offset presses, and corresponding media.

Operating system collection of software that manages computer hardware resources

An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs.


The ICC specification, currently on version 4.3, [1] allows for matching of color when moved between applications and operating systems, from the point of creation to the final output, whether display or print. This specification is technically identical to ISO 15076-1:2010, available from ISO.

International Organization for Standardization An international standard-setting body composed of representatives from national standards organizations

The International Organization for Standardization is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations.

The ICC profile describes the color attributes of a particular device or viewing requirement by defining a mapping between the source or target color space and a profile connection space (PCS).

ICC profile file format that characterizes a color input or output device

In color management, an ICC profile is a set of data that characterizes a color input or output device, or a color space, according to standards promulgated by the International Color Consortium (ICC). Profiles describe the color attributes of a particular device or viewing requirement by defining a mapping between the device source or target color space and a profile connection space (PCS). This PCS is either CIELAB (L*a*b*) or CIEXYZ. Mappings may be specified using tables, to which interpolation is applied, or through a series of parameters for transformations.

Color space standard that defines a specific range of colors

A color space is a specific organization of colors. In combination with physical device profiling, it allows for reproducible representations of color, in both analog and digital representations. A color space may be arbitrary, with particular colors assigned to a set of physical color swatches and corresponding assigned color names or numbers such as with the Pantone collection, or structured mathematically as with the NCS System, Adobe RGB and sRGB. A "color model" is an abstract mathematical model describing the way colors can be represented as tuples of numbers ; however, a color model with no associated mapping function to an absolute color space is a more or less arbitrary color system with no connection to any globally understood system of color interpretation. Adding a specific mapping function between a color model and a reference color space establishes within the reference color space a definite "footprint", known as a gamut, and for a given color model this defines a color space. For example, Adobe RGB and sRGB are two different absolute color spaces, both based on the RGB color model. When defining a color space, the usual reference standard is the CIELAB or CIEXYZ color spaces, which were specifically designed to encompass all colors the average human can see.

The ICC defines the specification precisely but does not define algorithms or processing details. As such, applications or systems that work with different ICC profiles are allowed to vary.

ICC has also published a preliminary specification for iccMAX, a next-generation color management architecture with significantly expanded functionality and a choice of colorimetric, spectral, or material connection space. Details are at

ICC profile specification version

Profile versionAccording specificationNotes
2.0.0ICC 3.0 (jun 1994), 3.01 (May 1995)
2.1.0ICC 3.2 (nov 1995), 3.3 (nov 1996), 3.4 (aug 1997)
2.3.0ICC.1A:1999-04Addendum to ICC.1:1998-09
2.4.0ICC.1:2001-04Minor revision for web of ICC.1:1998-09
4.0.0ICC.1:2001-12Revision of ICC.1:2001-04
4.2.0ICC.1:2004-4Revision of ICC.1:2003-09
4.2.0ICC.1:2004-10Revision of ICC.1:2003-09
4.3.0ICC.1:2010-12Technically identical to ISO 15076-1:2010


The eight founding members of the ICC were Adobe, Agfa, Apple, Kodak, Microsoft, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, and Taligent.

Apple Inc. Technology company; developer of consumer electronics and multimedia platforms

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is considered one of the Big Four of technology along with Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Kodak American company

The Eastman Kodak Company is an American technology company that produces camera-related products with its historic basis on photography. The company is headquartered in Rochester, New York, and is incorporated in New Jersey. Kodak provides packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services for businesses around the world. Its main business segments are Print Systems, Enterprise Inkjet Systems, Micro 3D Printing and Packaging, Software and Solutions, and Consumer and Film. It is best known for photographic film products.

Microsoft U.S.-headquartered technology company

Microsoft Corporation (MS) is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers. As of 2016, it is the world's largest software maker by revenue, and one of the world's most valuable companies. The word "Microsoft" is a portmanteau of "microcomputer" and "software". Microsoft is ranked No. 30 in the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

Since then Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, and Taligent have left the organization, and many other firms have become ICC members, including, as of January 2011, Canon, Fuji, Fujitsu, Heidelberg Printing Machines AG, Hewlett–Packard, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Lexmark, NEC, Nikon, Nokia, OKI Data, Sun Chemical, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, and X-Rite. [2]

Fujifilm Japanese multinational photography and imaging company

Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, trading as Fujifilm, or simply Fuji, is a Japanese multinational photography and imaging company headquartered in Tokyo.

Fujitsu Japanese multinational information technology equipment and services company

Fujitsu Ltd. is a Japanese multinational information technology equipment and services company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. In 2015, it was the world's fourth-largest IT services provider measured by IT services revenue. Fortune named Fujitsu as one of the world's most admired companies and a Global 500 company.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is a German precision mechanical engineering company with registered office in Heidelberg (Baden-Württemberg) and headquarter in Wiesloch/Walldorf (Baden-Württemberg). The company offers products and services along the entire process and value chain for printing products and is the largest global manufacturer of offset printing presses. Sheet-fed offset printing is used predominantly for high-quality, multi-colour products, such as catalogues, calendars, posters, and labels. Heidelberg produces equipment for prepress, press and postpress.

At the beginning of 2014, ICC membership has grown to a total of 61 members, including their founding, regular, and honorary members. Aside from members of the photography, printing, and painting industry, new members from several different industries include MathWorks, Nokia, Sony Corporation, and [3]

See also

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