‘Halftones’ is a printing technique used in many printing processes (including offset, flexo and screen printing) that uses a series of small, closely spaced dots to create the illusion of a gradient.
To produce this gradient appearance, the art setup process spaces the dots apart from large to small, allowing a smaller and larger amount of ‘white space’ to show through. This white space, normally the paper color, gives the impression that the color is getting lighter and lighter, the more white space surrounds it.
This is the ideal method of creating a color gradient when printing with just one color.
In the image below, the image on the far left is what makes up the image to the right of it. When viewing the image from farther away, it appears as a gradient. If you were to view it up close, you would be able to tell that it is made up of varying sizes of dots.