Historically printers have adopted and used AM or Amplitude Modulated screening which is a halftone screen arranged on a grid. Larger dots render dark tone values while smaller dots are used for lighter values. Viewed from a distance these dots create the illusion of continuous tone reproduction. Common screen rulings range up to 200 lpi. Even though AM screening is a common method for many printers nationwide, there is a better and higher quality method for screening and producing better work.
At iDesign we do our best to maintain the fidelity of your creative intent through the complex process of reproduction in print. While printing 200 lpi may be satisfactory, we have gone one huge step further with the adoption of Staccato (or FM) screening method that brings near photographic quality. Staccato eliminates halftone screen angles, rosettes, and screening moirÃ© while preserving the desirable details in your artwork. Our Staccato screening process employs 20 micron dot size which is equivalent to 500 lpi.
FM screening (also known as Stochastic Printing) is a unique and accurate process that uses a special arrangement of dots in a random pattern with no set frequency or angle. Dark tones are rendered with higher frequency dots and light tones with fewer dots. Therefore industry experts refer to it as Frequency (quantity) Modulated screen or simply FM screen. Random distribution of the dots eliminates screening moirÃ©, subject moirÃ© and AM rosettes. The microdot structure leads to photographic quality, greater tonal stability on press, a larger color gamut, and reduced ink usage compared to AM or XM screens.
Staccato (or Stochastic Printing) is a standard at iDesign. It gives us the ability to produce high quality images that exhibit fine detail without visible dots, rosettes, screening moirÃ©, gray level limitations or abrupt jumps in color tone. Typical printers use a screen frequency of 175-200 lines per inch. iDesign’s Staccato implementations resolve texts and images to 20 microns, equivalent to 500 lines per inch. Staccato improves color and halftone stability on press, making it a perfect complement to consistent high quality sheet-fed printing. When imaging, Staccato screening delivers unmatched quality, a practical tool for iDesign customers.
Increased stability means more vibrant, more predictable color.
Staccato screening brings tonal and color stability to the pressroom by reducing variations in dot gain caused by changes in solid ink density, wet trap, and color contamination from paper. Unique halftone patterns are used in each separation to minimize dot-on-dot printing. The on press stability of Staccato makes it particularly effective for replacing custom colors with process screen builds.