A device color profile (DCP) represents the behavior of a specific digital color device, such as a flatbed or film scanner, a computer monitor, or a printer. Each DCP specifies device color appearance under a specific set of conditions (for example, lighting type, media type, and so on). Because device behavior tends to change over time, calibration software may adjust a DCP whenever its device is calibrated. Calibration fine tunes a specific device's color response by bring it back to normal using lookup tables. Typically calibration changes the profile data so that it can be color managed to produce the same color response as other devices of the same make and model. In other cases, depending on the device's method of calibration, the device itself is changed to match the profile.
The ICC specification separates DCPs into three categories: input, output, and display. This separation can be confusing when a device, such as a printer includes input device data. The data can be considered an input profile, an output profile, or both. This occurs in print simulation where the printer is an input device to a display or other output device.
Conceptually, it may be easier to separate profiles into these three categories only in terms of how data can and cannot be sent from and to the profile connection space (PCS). The PCS is the common junction where profiles are connected together.
KCMS does not make this syntactical separation. Rather it considers all input, output, and display profiles as device profiles and makes no assumptions about what profiles can and cannot be connected together. The connection of the profiles is then evaluated at connection time based on the data contained within the profile.