Dot gain

Dot gain refers to the extent to which the tonal values change from the print compared to the corresponding tonal values in the digital file. The output tone value must be defined smaller according to the dot gain.


The dot gain results from the change in the screen dot during plate exposure and in offset printing due to the widening of the screen dot during blanket transfer and the paper's impact behaviour. Experts also discuss the light trapping phenomenon as the cause for the increase in tone value.

Related Terms

See also tonal range.