The 5 Best Halftone Photoshop Brush Sets

The 5 Best Halftone Photoshop Brush Sets

Halftones are one of the defining characteristics of bygone printing of the 20th century.

Finding halftone brushes for Photoshop can be easy, but good ones, not so much. That's why we've put together a list of the 5 best Photoshop halftone brushes available on the market.

To understand how we decided which packs to include it's helpful to understand a little about what halftones are.

What Are Halftones?

Halftone is a reproduction technique where the tones or value of an image are made with dots or lines of different sizes or distances (sometimes both!)

They were originally used as a way to reproduce photographs, but have found their way into other areas of printing as a cheap and easy way to print.

Halftone printing became so popular in the early to mid-20th centry that it's become associated with those decades.

Here is our list of the 5 best Procreate halftone packs based on quality, authenticity, and ease-of-use.

Recommended Product

1. DupliTone

Created by RetroSupply Co., DupliTone is a powerful set of 108 dot, line, and shader brushes in both clean and lo-fi texture versions.

Artists will appreciate the full tonal range of brushes. Deal hunters will love the huge amount of tools and bonuses at a reasonable price. Each brush seamlessly blends into the others which means no weird blending or mistakes.

Those just getting started with halftones may find the large number of options overwhelming. However, RetroSupply Co. has provided multiple tutorial videos both within the pack and the RetroSupply YouTube channel to make the most of this product.

Pros:

  • Dot and line halftones available
  • Solid and shader brushes provided
  • Halftones include both a clean and rough version
  • Full 10-90% tonal range
  • Includes bonus brushes

Cons:

  • Only one screen angle
  • May require advance knowledge of tonal ranges for best effects
  • Large number of brushes may be daunting to beginners

2. Beat Tones

From True Grit Texture Supply, Beat Tones is a collection of over 70 textured halftone brushes.

With a recent update, True Grit has largely gotten rid of its most glaring issue, fixing an overlapping problem that was difficult to work around. Now, users can enjoy seamless halftone brushes across the board.

New cross hatch and combination brushes are an interesting addition to the pack, but some might not find it so exciting when the various dot and line halftones can do the same thing.

If there's one thing this pack does well, it's save time. The convenience of not having to resize your halftones, or layer in order to cross hatch could be worth it to some. Penny pinchers may not appreciate that the pack is largerly comprised of the same brushes altered slightly.

Pros:

  • Realistic gritty halftone texture
  • A variety of screentone angles
  • Dot, line, combination, and cross hatch patterns available
  • Premade halftone sizes for easy access

Cons:

  • Majority of brushes are the same, only slightly altered
  • Not available in full tonal ranges
  • Convenience may not be worth the cost

3. Nothing but Halftones

Created by artist and designer Mixegraph, Nothing But Halftones is a small but sweet collection of 9+ halftone brushes meant to imitate a classic retro screen printing look.

Grunge lovers will be impressed with the heavily textured brushes. The pack also includes line brushes that you can layer for unique effects.

Users who are used to more robust brushes may struggle with the sparse options, but those just getting started with halftones will find it to be an easy introduction.

Pros:

  • A unique collection of textures included
  • Brushes allow you to combine them for more options
  • Built in grungy texture adds character
  • Dot and line halftones available

Cons:

  • Limited set of brushes
  • Textured brushes only
  • Full tonal range not available

4. Dirty Halftones Brushset

Sampled from real life examples of halftones in the wild, design studio Shoutbam provides a collection of 42 pressure sensitive, “texturizer”, and sprayer brushes.

The pack includes a unique collection of clean and grungy textures that can be applied in a variety of ways to your art.

Halftone aficionados may not consider some of these brushes to be “true” halftones, but we appreciate the spirit of the pack in creating vintage inspired artwork. Beginners will find this a fun introduction to halftones, with a manageable size of brushes and interesting textures.

Pros:

  • Dot and line halftones available
  • Includes shader brushes
  • Includes unique “sprayer” brushes
  • Brushes provided in various levels of “grunge”

Cons:

  • Full tonal range not included outside of shaders
  • Heavy textures may be limiting
  • Many brushes not halftones in the truest sense

5. Luche Halftone & Crosshatch Brushes

From the design masters at G.A.R.M. Company comes the Luche Brush Set. This collection of 42 brushes includes both dot and line (here called cross hatch) halftone brushes.

A unique quality of this brush collection is the ability to manually build tonal ranges for an etching or cross hatch look along with the classic dot halftone.

Some users may find the limited, out of the box, tonal ranges limiting. While others may appreciate the level of control available through this technique.

Pro:

  • Includes dot and line (here called cross hatch) brushes
  • Includes brushes of varied texture
  • Pressure sensitive
  • DIY tonal layering for more control

Cons:

  • Limited tonal ranges available
  • Brushes require layering which some might find limiting
  • No clean brushes available

Conclusion: Which halftone brushes are best?

Your needs will be unique to you, so it may seem like there's no clear winner. We broke down each option by tonal range, texture, brush types, quality, affordability, etc.

So which is best? We believe DupliTone by RetroSupply Co. is ahead of the pack. Other products offer similar options or have fun, unique features.

However, the full tonal range of the DupliTone halftones, combined with the fact that they are entirely seamless, makes them an excellent choice for Procreate users of all types.

But what do you think? Let us know your favorites!

Other Articles We Think You'll Enjoy

Setting the right tone | The history of halftone printing

The history of halftone printing in design, illustration, and art. This article covers the earliest uses of halftones in wood engraving and metal engraving and finally to etched metal photo plates used in commercial printing in the 19th and 20th centuries.

View the tutorial.

The 5 best Paper Textures for Procreate

Paper textures have become a favorite for new and veteran digital artists alike. The rise in quality makes them attractive for a wide variety of uses. But which one do you pick? We've put together the five best paper textures available for Procreate. No matter your preferences, you're sure to find something you like on the list.

Read the article.

HOW TO DRAW WITH CLIPPING MASKS, LAYER MASKS, AND ALPHA LOCK IN PROCREATE

Learn how to use clipping masks, layer masks, and alpha lock in this easy to understand tutorial for Procreate. Discover the difference between each type of mask and the pros and cons of each type of mask. This article includes plenty of visual examples and animated GIFS to demonstrate concepts.

View the tutorial.