Screen angle

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Examples of typical CMYK halftone screen angles

In offset printing, the screen angle is the angle at which the halftones of a separated color is outputted to a lithographic film, hence, printed on final product media.

Why screen angles should differ[edit]

In offset printing, colors are output on separate lithographic plates. Failing to use the correct set of angles to output every color may lead to a sort of optical noise called a moiré pattern. These patterns appear as bands or waves in the final print.[citation needed] There is another disadvantage associated with incorrect sets of angle values, as the colors will look dimmer due to overlapping.[citation needed] There are many sets of screen angles such as (15° for Cyan, 75° for Magenta, 0° for Yellow and 45° for Black).[citation needed] The problem is that these angles can only be achieved theoretically (except for 45° angle).[citation needed] Other angles are output approximately, but will produce the desired effect.

While the angles depend on how many colors are used and the preference of the press operator, typical CMYK process printing uses any of the following screen angles:[1][2]

C 15° 15° 105° 165°
M 75° 45° 75° 45°
Y 90° 90°
K 45° 75° 15° 105°


  1. ^ Campbell, Alastair. The Designer's Lexicon. 2000 Chronicle, San Francisco. p 192
  2. ^ McCue, Claudia. Real World Print Production. 2007 Peachpit, Berkeley. p 31.