Understanding  Ben Day Process

Are you familiar with the Ben Day process? It is a printing technique used in various fields of graphic design and the printing industry. In this post, we will explore the basics of Ben Day process, its history and applications, and answer the most popular questions about it.

What is Ben Day process?

Ben Day process is a printing technique that involves using color separation to achieve halftone prints. It was named after Benjamin Henry Day Jr., who patented this method in 1879.

The technique involves printing dots in shades of magenta, cyan, yellow, and black (CMYK) that combine to create the final image. This process is often used in comic books and newspaper printing where large quantities of images are printed.

How does it work?

The process starts with a black and white image that is separated into four colored layers - magenta, cyan, yellow, and black - using filters or software. Then, each color layer is printed using tiny dots that are different sizes to create varying levels of grayscale for each color.

When all four prints are overlaid on top of each other, they create a full-color image.

What are some applications of Ben Day process?

Ben Day process has been used in various industries including comics books, newspapers, magazines, packaging design, and even fashion design. It creates an interesting visual effect that can be achieved with simple tools such as a pen or pencil.

Who uses the Ben Day process today?

While digital printers have replaced traditional printing methods in many industries today, some designers still utilize traditional methods like Ben Day process for their unique effects.

Artists such as Roy Lichtenstein have also incorporated Ben Day dots into their signature style within Pop Art movement during 1960s.

Is Ben Day process still relevant today?

While digital printers have become more popular today due to their convenience and cost-effectiveness but Ben day process remains relevant for creating unique prints that digital print technology might not be able to replicate.

In fact some designers today deliberately use dot screens emulating work done under this technique to give designs an element of vintage style.


In conclusion ,the Ben Day Process has come a long way since its inception by Benjamin Henry Day Jr., but it still remains relevant in certain design industries today owing to its unique qualities. Its benefits play up various aspects such as detail clarity and hue that could otherwise be obfuscated through direct ink treatment or RGB printing at least when applied correctly.


  1. Stewart Carey “The Complete Guide to Illustration & Design”(2017)
  2. Andy Anderson “An Introduction To Digital Imaging With Photoshop 7”(2013)
  3. Richard Harrington “Understanding Adobe Photoshop: Digital Imaging Concepts”(2011)
  4. Roy Lichtenstein Foundation
    5.Benjamin Henry Day Jr (March 10th 1838 - December 31st 1916) Dictionary Of American Biography
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