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Halftones and Grayscale

In Chapter 26, “The Printing Process: A Primer,” you got a brief overview of offset printing in general. In this chapter, you'll delve into the process in more detail. Specifically, you will look at the halftone and its place in printing.

Why Halftones?

As you saw in Chapter 26, halftones exist because an offset press cannot print continuous tones; in other words, it can't print shades of gray. There is only ink or no ink; you can't vary the amount of ink at any given point. (It's kind of a “binary” process, if you think about it.) That's fine if you're printing only text: black type, white paper, what more do you need? When you want to print photographic images, which are nothing but continuous tones, things can get a bit trickier, however.


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