One of the major challenges in the prepress environment consists of controlling the electronic color reproduction process such that a perfect match of any original can be realized. Whether this goal can be reached depends on many factors such as the dynamic range of the input device (scanner, camera), the color gamut of the output device (dye sublimation printer, ink- jet printer, offset), the color management software etc. It is obvious that the reliability or, rather, the reproducibility of a particular device is of extreme importance in order to have a permanently correct color characterization. A technique which is often used to ensure this reliability is to carry out a local 1D calibration. Through this 1D calibration the particular device is brought into a reliable and generic state. Applying 1D calibration curves is not only useful to create reliable devices but can also be used to model devices more accurately, at least, if these calibration curves are carefully selected. In this article, we will discuss the overall suitability of applying 1D precompensation curves before applying colorimetric characterization. More specifically, we address problems related to the reliability of devices and the quality of the color characterization. The use of precompensation curves for calibration purposes is merely restricted to output devices. For input devices, precompensation curves are mainly used for quality purposes. Indeed, the careful selection of so-called input luts (lookup tables) is very important to have good-quality scans. In addition, we discuss how the so-called gamma curves relate to these precompensation curves for both scanners and monitors. This article is organized as follows. In the first section, we discuss the benefits of 1D precompensation curves for modeling output devices. We will cover both topics related to the calibration and the mathematical modeling of output devices. In the second section, we address several issues related to the characterization of input devices. We point out how the choice of suitable input luts (gamma curves) and the dynamic range affect the quality of the scanned image. As a case study, we discuss some results we obtained in applying color corrections on scanned negative originals. In the third section, we discuss how the gamma curves used during scanning relate to the gamma characteristics of the monitor and will try to remove some confusion which currently exists in this area. In the fourth section, we summarize the discussed topics and discuss them from an application's point of view.