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Three shapes overlaid with different screentone patterns

Screentone is a technique for applying textures and shades to drawings, used as an alternative to hatching. In the conventional process, patterns are transferred to paper from preprinted sheets.[1] It is also known by the common brand names Zip-A-Tone (1937, now defunct[2]), Chart-Pak (1949[3]), and Letratone (1966, from Letraset[4]).

A dry transfer screentone sheet consists of a flexible transparent backing, the printed texture, and a wax adhesive layer. The sheet is applied to the paper, adhesive down, and rubbed with a stylus on the backing side. The backing is then peeled off, leaving the ink adhered to the paper where pressure was applied.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sharon Kinsella, Adult Manga: Culture and Power in Contemporary Japanese Society, Routledge, 2000, p59. ISBN 0-7007-1003-5
  2. ^ Manufacturer-supplied first use date for Zip-A-Tone
  3. ^ Manufacturer-supplied first use date for Chart-Pak
  4. ^ Manufacturer-supplied first use date for Letratone