What’s a Halftone?

What is a Halftone? By definition a halftone is a group of dots made up of varying sizes of dots that when viewed from a distance give the appearance of different tones of gray. While this is an accurate description, it’s also a simplified one. Halftones are actually a series of ellipses that are rastorized by computer software. Even then there are angles and frequencies to consider along with screen mesh sizes, tension, dot gain and edge definition.  A photo is full of variations in tones ranging from a completely black area to a completely white area. Using halftones is away to trick the eye into thinking it’s still looking at a solid area from certain distances.

Using halftones correctly can bring new life to an existing one color design without adding any significant costs. Your still using one color and still using one screen, but the tones added to the printing can make the image appear more vibrant and give it depth. And halftones aren’t limited to just black ink. Colors can be used in the same way, while the vibrancy will depend on the colors and garments used, halftones can be a great addition to your next order.

There are printers, like Blue Moon that specialize in printing options like halftones so when choosing a printer make sure they know the in’s and out’s of what makes halftones a great printing option. Make sure they can answer any questions you have. Your printer should be able to explain how halftones can give your single color prints that added touch to give you the best quality print, so don’t hesitate ask them what their capabilities are.


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