Oftentimes, when you're preparing graphics to be printed by professional printers, the print shop will specify the exact halftone screen settings you should use for your files, including the frequency, angle, and dot settings. And even if you're printing the file on your own printer and giving the print shop or service bureau what's considered "camera-ready artwork," it's common for the service bureau to request certain halftone settings in your printed file. This helps ensure the file is reproduced properly on their press.
In traditional printing processes, halftone screens control how much ink is left in each spot of the paper. For example, a screen with large holes leaves more ink, while a screen with smaller holes leaves less ink on the paper. These different amounts of ink are what control how dark or light the color appears on the page. In grayscale images, a single black screen is used. In four-color process printing, four halftone screens are used—one each for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
Was this article helpful?