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Desktop Publishing Terminology

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The way printers reproduce images, simulating continuous tone images by printing lines of halftone spots is measured in LPI. The number of lines per inch is the LPI, sometimes also called line or screen frequency. You can think of LPI as the halftone resolution. LPI varies by type of printing from as low as 35 LPI for screen printing to 300+ LPI for some high quality offset printing (such as glossy magazines). 85 to 133 LPI is the typical range for most offset printing.

See LPI Chart and LPI Formulas

LPI and How It Relates to Other Measures of Resolution

LPI (lines per inch) is an important measurment related to the way printers reproduce photographic images. The LPI is dependent on the output device and the type of paper. Countries using the metric system may use lines per centimeter (L/cm).

To simulate shades of gray using only black ink a printer prints varying sizes and patterns of halftone spots (spots are made up of many dots of ink/toner). Small halftone spots (fewer dots) create the visual illusion of a light gray while larger halftone spots (more dots) appear darker, blacker.

The printer uses a halftone grid divided into cells. The cells contain the halftone spots. How close together the cells in the grid are is measured in lines per inch. This is the LPI or line screen.

Continue reading How SPI, PPI, DPI, and LPI relate

Also Known As: line frequency | screen frequency | halftone resolution

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