Most run on paper offset newspapers have not shown the capability of producing color reproductions without having the prints subject to a darkening or a muddy look. This problem is basically caused by the absorbency of the newsprint. Since the newsprint is so absorbent, the ink can only be printed to a low solid ink density and coarse screens must be used so the dots do not fill-in. To eliminate this problem, it is believed that if the midtones are reduced on the gray scale during the separation process, and then the wanted colors' dot areas are restored to their normal values, a reduction in the unwanted colors will occur. This should produce a cleaner, less contaminated looking print. To test this theory, a control separation was made using a normal newsprint tone reproduction curve. Then, variations in the separation process were performed to both under and over correct for the amount of contamination in the reproductions. These separations were printed on a Solna four-color 25-inch press while manipulating this press's printing characteristics to make it similar to a Goss Metro, a widely used offset newspaper printing press. The reproductions were shown to 30 randomly selected newspaper observers who rated each printed separation on a scale from 1 (totally unsatisfactory) to 9 (most satisfactory). The results of this experimentation proved that newspaper observers preferred a print with a lightened overall reproduction from the normal newsprint reproduction curve while keeping the apparent visual saturation in the colored areas constant. This is based on the fact that the prints where the midtones were reduced by 10 percent and 5 percent were rated by the observers as being their first and second choices, respectively. The observers' third and fourth choices, however, were reproductions with the midtone values being the normal newsprint tone reproduction or slightly increased, while the least preferred prints were the ones with the midtones lowered the most. This would therefore seem- to imply that there is a limit as to how low the midtones can be reduced from the normal values and still be preferred. From this study, however, the exact location of this limit can not be stated.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Color printing; Offset printing of newspapers

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Media Sciences (CIAS)


Southworth, Miles

Advisor/Committee Member

Silver, Julius


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: Z258.A87


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