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Halftone

A grayscale image or other object whose (unprintable) continuous tones are down-sampled via screening into a pattern of various-sized printable dots barely visible to the eye. There are different types of screening (e.g., dithering), each with their own pattern.

Their nature is why scanning a halftone illustration from a printed source gives a far inferior result as opposed to scanning the original photographic illustration; because the path of the scan cannot follow/match the pattern of dots, you get a blotchy rather than a smooth result.

This definition is extracted (and expanded on) from the book Getting Published: A Companion for the Humanities and Social Sciences by Gerald Jackson and Marie Lenstrup.

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