Color profiles characterize the color spaces for devices such as LCD monitors, printers, scanners, and cameras. Color profiles, also known as ICC profiles, are defined by the International Color Consortium (ICC) and enable the accurate representation of colors as well as conversion between color spaces.
For example, color profiles enable a user to convert an image from an LCD monitor using RGB (red, green, and blue) to a printer using CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). Color spaces include RGB, NTSC, YCbCr, CMYK, and L*a*b*.
For more detail, see Image Processing Toolbox.