How to Create a Halftone in Illustrator

Written by joshua mcgee Google
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How to Create a Halftone in Illustrator
Create live vector halftones using Effect in Illustrator. (Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

A halftone is an effect made up of equally spaced dots that gradually become smaller. Because your brain fills in the gaps, the image appears to become gradually lighter, simulating a gradient effect. Halftones are becoming popular in many designs because they give a digital appearance to the object. Adobe Illustrator allows you to quickly apply pixelated halftones to any colour. Using the live trace feature, you can maintain the halftone in vectors.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Select the object that you want to add the halftone to.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Effects" menu and hover over "Pixelate" in the "Photoshop" section. Select "Color Halftone."

  3. 3

    Set the desired radius size in the "Radius" box for the largest halftone circles.

  4. 4

    Click on the "Object" menu and select "Expand Appearance."

  5. 5

    Click on the "Object" menu and hover over "Live Trace." Select "Tracing Options."

  6. 6

    Select "Color" from the "Mode" drop-down menu. Then, change the "Max Colors" to "256."

  7. 7

    Select "Trace." Then, click "Expand" in the control panel. The halftone dots will become individual vector circles.

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