go! Halftone Yourself!

go! Halftone Yourself!

What are halftones, you ask? Well, the answer is simple.

Half•Tone /ˈhafˌtōn/ -n. A reproduction of an image in which the various tones of gray or color are produced by dots and various patterns.

Badass right? Now follow me down the halftone path, dear readers. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

We’ve all seen halftones, but do we really notice when we’re looking at a halftoned image? Are we looking a pattern of dots or a smooth gradient of color?halftone_eye

From a distance, we  see this image as a smooth gradient of white to black; but up close in your grill, you start to notice a dot pattern.

Do you still have your socks on or were they blown the eff off yet? Well, if they are still on your feet…buckle up. This crap is about to get heavy.

Here is a halftone that we are all familiar with. I first starting noticing this type of imagery when I was in high school. I always wondered why McDonald’s used these images and once I got into the graphic design program it kind of hit me like a sack of bricks.


mcd_cup1Learning the Halftones.
I am assuming your mouth is watering to know how to do some halftones for yourself?

It’s fun, it’s simple and it can totally dress up some designs as well as these could easily be a good solution bridging a rough mental designing gap.

Open that Photoshop and let’s go!
Let’s start with this image:

Cat Open this image into photoshop and do the following:

Convert to Grayscale and adjust the Levels to get some rich blacks and sweet highlights of white.Screen-shot-2012-05-15-at-4.53.10-PM

After you have your picture looking pretty nice, go to IMAGE > BITMAPScreen-shot-2012-05-15-at-4.54.23-PM
Here is where we can really have some fun with enhancing the image.

Depending on what dpi your image is in, the bitmap process will output this “that number” per inch. Ex. 72dpi – pixels/inch or 300dpi – pixels/inch.
In this case, I have this image set at 300dpi.Screen-shot-2012-05-15-at-4.58.03-PM1
You will also see a drop down menu for the Method. One method we are all pretty familiar with is the “50% threshold” It will knock out all other shades of grey and will only leave white and black. It will look something like this:threshold

Yes, that looks like crap…so let’s dress it up…let’s pick “halftone screen” this time around and go from there. Now you will see a menu like this to further your amazing cat halftone.Screen-shot-2012-05-15-at-5.09.02-PM
This is where you can have some fun. The lower the frequency the larger the pattern. The Angle will determine what degree the pattern will be running. The shape will determine what object will be the repeating pattern of your halftone. Round, Ellipse, Line, Square or Cross. If your frequency is too high and it will look like balls and you will know you have done something wrong because it will totally look like crap.
Frequencies between 15-45 generally get some cool dot gains. So let’s set this up.Screen-shot-2012-05-15-at-5.22.38-PM
Screen-shot-2012-05-15-at-5.22.44-PMWOW! Look at that…good job…since this is a halftone…this is only one color graphic…you can use this image as a 1 color print on a shirt. No more vector crap. Screen-shot-2012-05-15-at-5.30.27-PMCheck it out.
Thank you for your time.

Enjoying our insights? Enter your email below to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.