Dot patterns used in photomechanical reproduction of images.
Printing machines used for newspapers, magazines, books, etc, cannot produce images of continous tones. They have instead just a few colours of ink - typically cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Tiny dots of each colour are printed onto a page in halftone patterns. When the image is viewed from a typical reading distance the dots are too small for the human eye to resolve as dots and the image looks instead like a continuous tone picture.
Black and white images can also be printed this way - newspaper photos being a typical example. Here one colour of ink (usually black) is printed onto white paper using fine halftone patterns. The result is simulated grey tones.
cf. continuous tone, CMYK.
Entry last updated 2002-04-03. Term 585 of 1487.
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