black tonal printing

Black Tonal printing

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Black Tonal printing – Extra tones and textures can be created by printing dots derived from a main block colour…eg the dots around a solid black area in a design, will create a grey, in fact a multitude of varying greys. They can be a little grainy onto a textile which in print terms is a relatively rough substrate, so we like to start with very high resolution images where possible, with high contrast…so plenty of white areas, and plenty of black areas, especially around key features in the image. For example, if the tonal area is just a background texture, and  a little dot is lost in printing it won’t be a massive issue; but in our example here, we see great detail in the main facial features of our old friend Mr S. Vicious (probably not his real name), around the time he specialised in pissing off the authorities.

Further advantages of Black Tonal Printing

As well as a very effective and low cost option for producing high detail black and white photography, here are a few more tonal dot advantages:

They can be quite marvellous when attempting to produce a vintage look.

They can create extra depth and colour in a design all from the same single artwork film and screen = no extra film and screen costs = bonus!

Because they are tonal rather than solid, there is more negative space within the ink, more shirt poking through the design. This means you can opt for all the blackness and longevity of a solvent based print, but minimise the amount of ink going down, thereby hanging onto a softer feel. Solvent ink is never quite as texture free as  the water based inks which we often use for tonal work, but if you want a combination of the print lasting forever, while still feeling nice when you rub it on your face, then it’s a good compromise…which the world is always in need of.

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