Continuous-Tone Copy

Continuous tone copy refers to images or illustrations that have a full range of tonal values from the darkest shadows to the lightest highlights, with smooth gradations in between. This type of image does not rely on distinct dots or patterns to convey shades and tones, making it ideal for photographs and other detailed artwork.


Full-tone copy


  1. Photographs: High-quality photographs where every detail and gradient is preserved without noticeable pixelation or dot patterns.
  2. Artwork Reproductions: Fine art prints that capture the subtle transitions of color and light in a painting or drawing.
  3. Magazine Prints: High-resolution images in glossy magazines that show intricate details and smooth color transitions.


  1. Use High-Resolution Scanning: When converting continuous tone copy into a digital format, use high-resolution scanning to preserve the tonal range and detail of the original image.
  2. Select Appropriate Printing Techniques: Utilize printing processes that can handle the subtleties of continuous tone images, such as offset printing or high-quality inkjet printing.
  3. Color Management: Implement proper color management practices to ensure that the tonal values and colors in the continuous tone copy are accurately reproduced in print.
  4. Calibration and Proofing: Regularly calibrate your monitors and printers and use proofing techniques to check that the final print matches the desired tonal quality and detail of the original continuous tone copy.

To learn more about this or other print industry terms, contact AP&B today!