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Dot Gain

Where did the fear/misunderstanding of Dot Gain come from?

Lack of education is the “hard” truth. Improper explanation by others is another reason.

Printers that claim to have come up with their own “special” and “secret” angles when printings to eliminate moiré are just flat out wrong. These Printers really printing a moiré anyway, just one they feel is “acceptable”. Now that you have this straight, forget it and we can all have a good laugh at ourselves.

The facts:
Modern day printing would not exist with out the “halftone”. This was the single greatest advancement in printing history so when someone tells you to avoid halftones I would just avoid that advise instead. Tonwertzuwachs is German for “Tone Value Increase” or in today’s term Dot Gain. Tonal Value Increase is not a good thing; it’s a great thing! Very needed to achieve advanced colors on press. Don’t avoid it – embrace it.

Simply put, “dot gain” has an undeserved stigma. While “Tone Value Increase” sounds so much better, but means the same thing.
Getting more colors from a limited set of colors is what printing is all about, and the reason these systems were invented as a replacement to Chromolithography used by such printers are Currier and Ives. Lets not go backward by thinking that indexing is at all comparable to halftone printing in any way. Printing in the Flemenco style accepts up to 40% press gain without the loss of detail or the corruption of color. The reason is that there is a lot more room between each spot (halftone) allowing for the “physical” gain of the ink that eventually increases tonality and color. With a Rosette pattern the space between each spot is greatly reduced due to the angle shifting. Since screen print presses are high saturation devices that top out around 33% Flemenco style printing never over gains allowing for very deep clean runs with little to no downtime. Rosette printing has trouble with as little as 15% dot gain. Presses have for along time been able to hold tight registration and printers of all fields should have converted back to Flemenco but they followed old thinking with out asking why? The proof that Flemenco is as proper today as it was back then is that, with today’s new high tech “digital” presses print using single angle (continuous) configurations and not rosettes. Mystery solved, pass it on.

Do things right and get better results. Stop using multiple angles and use only one angle (22.5 is advised) for all styles of printing. “Don’t run from what you don’t understand, learn it and advance.”


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