An instrument for measuring and characterizing the color of reflective, transmissive, and emissive samples has been developed and its application to electronic prepress and desktop publishing is described. Total color control throughout the process requires the measurement of color at each step: Reflection or transmission spectrophotometry is needed to accurately measure the color of the original. Spectral radiometry is used to measure the color of the CRT to assure that the color that is scanned in will be displayed on the monitor correctly. The printed proof is measured with a reflection spectrophotometer to assure that the color is the same as the original, or if changes have been made on the CRT the printed output will appear the same as the CRT. Spectral radiometric measurements of the controlled lighting is needed to assure that the ambient lighting is the same when evaluating originals against the CRT display and the printed copy.