Don't allow your images to become untagged!

I frequently field questions from people who are worried that the photos on their website aren't the right colour. And very often, when I check their photos, I discover it's because they don't have their colour profiles attached to them. In Adobe parlance, these images without profiles are called "Untagged".

Untagged Untagged

A long time ago, in the days of dial-up internet, it was common practice to save web files without profiles. Profiles add a few kilobytes to file size, and in those ancient times every kilobyte mattered to website loading speed. But now we have amazing speeds, and extra kilobytes don't matter.

What matters is making your website, or social media page, look as great as possible. A large part of this is making your photos look exactly the way you edited them; and a large part of that is ensuring that the colour profile from your editing program is carried over to the web page.

Untagged images aren't just a problem for internet images of course. It would be a catastrophe to send a file with no profile to your print lab, or to your client if you sell digital images.

So remember the golden rule. Every photo you save, for any purpose, must have the profile included in the save. And even though every interface in every program will look a little different, it's always a simple checkbox:

tagged1.png tagged2.png tagged3.png tagged4.png tagged5.png

And don't forget, your images must always be in the sRGB colour space.


If you have a question about this article, please feel free to post it in Ask Damien.