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Halftone a printed picture that uses dots to simulate the tones between light and dark. Because a printing press cannot change the tone of ink, it will only print the ink color being used on press. This works well for printing text or line art: the press simply puts a full dose of ink for each letter or line on the paper, creating small solid areas of ink. But black-and-white photographs are continuous tone images, and printing a photograph this way would have the same result: large solid areas of ink. White areas of the photograph would have no ink; black areas would have black ink; and gray areas would have black, not gray ink. The halftone mimics the continuous tone of a black-and-white photograph by converting the picture to fine dots. Photographing a continuous tone image through a screen creates a duplicate image made of dots. Darkers areas of the photograph have bigger dots and lighter area of the photograph have smaller dots. To the human eye, the black of the dots blend with the white of the paper to create shades of gray. The result is strinkingly similar to the continuous tone of a photograph.

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6y ago
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13y ago

Because there's only one shade of ink. Printing is a lie: we are using small dots and lots of white space between them to lie to your eye and make it think black ink is gray. If we didn't use halftones we couldn't print continuous-tone art.

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Q: What is a halftone?
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