Halftone printing has its origins in classic photography, rendering a whole canvas worth of imagery in an expert layout of gradient dots. Shadows, dimensions, depth, and full color are all achievable through this intricate process of image making.
In the pre digitally-dependent world, images were captured on film through the chemical marriage of silver halide “dye clouds” and photons, resulting in a granular representation of the real life thing. Upon close inspection of a developed image, one notes the silvery sandy meat that comprises the photo. (Pardon the Spec Shop Interruption: Evoke the glossy look of lustrous photo paper from a golden age gone by with premium Chromolux Hi-Gloss stock for the ultimate in Hi-Glam printing; or treat your custom print run to a Spot UV Gloss bath for glassy shiny details that are sure to stun.)
In parallel to the arrival of film-grain, Impressionism was raging in Europe, with Van Gogh’s individual-emotive brush strokes & Seurat’s dreamy-precise Pointillism sharing the 1880s with the inception of celluloid film and the first-ever Kodak camera. One can only conclude that humanity was riding a special wave & forging a formative moment for dots.
A moment that continues to reign supreme! Evolving from the method of layering pigments developed by intaglio & lithographic printers, Henry Fox Talbot would patent the Halftone process.
Breaking up a solid rendition of an image into scores of dots and carefully arranged into lines per inch (LPI), Halftoning allows for an image to be built up with multiple overlays of positive/negative space Black & White, as well as CMYK. The layering allows for boundless results in scintillating colors and unbeatable dimensional printing. Further, Halftone printing lends itself with astounding resonance to Offset Printing, Letterpressing, Digital Printing and more! Just this February, we were lit ablaze by the UK edition of Cat Marnell’s memoirs featuring a halftone Gold Foil Stamping of the author’s face on the cover. The adaptability of Halftone Printing is the true marker of its superiority.
We struggle to find a limit to this print method. Halftoning is ubiquitious in commercial printing, as anyone reading this can recall primitve pre-k escapes into comic strips, or all-night adolescent collaging furies. If you’ve looked into a newspaper or magazine image, it was likely in Halftone. Even as our civilization makes every motion to slip away from the corporeal and into he virtual, we cannot abandon the Halftone. Our latest selfies owe a debt to this method–each square pixel marks a digital translation of the original dot. It’s fair to say, the world as we have seen it–and the world as we are only beginning to see it–exists in Halftone.
Check out some of our favorite Halftone Prints contemporary & modern art has to offer.
Make sure to check out our fine Book Printing capabilities
and call us for your next specialty run of NYC Monograph Printing
Cut ahead of the pack with iconic
Custom Commercial Printing