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Tracking LCD Display Trends

(September 2007) posted on Wed Sep 12, 2007

Bigger is in, wider is better.

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By Molly Joss

Mayer explains that LaCie’s monitors for the graphic arts are outfitted with special touches the company feels work well for the industry. For example, the hood is a single piece with hinged flaps and the inside is lined with a dark velvet material to cut down on light reflection as much as possible. There is a slot in the hood so the colorimeter can be used without removing the hood.On some monitors, such as LaCie and some Samsung models, you can also create a profile on one monitor and move it to another without recalibrating. If you use more than one monitor for the same project, this feature would be useful. It can also be useful for remote or soft proofing.

Swiderski says that one of the biggest features that graphicarts professionals look for beyond color-management tools is the ability to set and lock a monitor’s controls. Some locking systems, though, are little more than a lock/unlock toggle in the software. If locking the adjustment controls on a monitor-either through buttons on the monitor or software-is important to you, this is a feature that you will have to ask about and make sure the locks work the way you want them to work.

Time to buy or go wide?

If you’ve glanced at the new wide-screen monitors with more than a bit of interest or the new CS3 software is on your upgrade list, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the latest LCD monitors, especially as the fall tradeshow season approaches. If you want to wait until 2008 when all the new fall models are available, you mayfind that prices have dropped a few percentage points and your money will buy a few more inches on a display.

Going wide will put you on the leading edge of the way of technology adoption, but not so far out you will find yourself on the bleeding edge. You’ll pay a little more for a wide-screen monitor than you will for a standard-format one, but that money can buy some much appreciated elbow room on screen. You might even find that you can work without squinting or sitting hunched over the monitor.

Molly Joss (, Gilbertsville, PA, is an experienced publishing professional with knowledge of printing, graphic arts, and magazine and newspaper publishing. She is the author of seven books related to the media industries and graphic-arts software.