What was Duo-Shade, Craftint?
Ohio Graphic Arts Systems was founded in 1963, then became The Craftint Manufacturing Company, then Grafix in 1990. The product was officially called “Doubletone Drawing Board”, but was more commonly referred to as Craftint (company name) or Duo-Shade (the 2-tone paper, as opposed to their single-tone Uni-Shade). The most popular pattern was Doubletone #214 (diagonal lines and crosses), though Howard Chaykin used #269 (mezzotint dots) on American Flagg!.
Duo-Shade had two hidden tones, made visible with separately-purchased developer fluids. Dark tone developer (No. 21/31) revealed the darker tone, Light tone developer (No. 22/31) revealed the lighter one. Masters of this technique include Roy Crane, Alex Toth and Wally Wood.
Graphix discontinued Duo-Shade and Uni-Shade in 2009, citing obsolescence from digital media.
Emulating Duo-Shade with Photoshop
I tried matching Doubletone #214, which wasn’t as easy. The most common solution was to make a masked layer for each tone, “brushing” the mask away to reveal the tones. I was determined to use a pattern instead, eventually landing on this process:
- Make a Photoshop document, grayscale square at 400ppi (matching resolution of my work. Your resolution may be different.)
- Fill entire square with 20% black.
- Temporarily convert document to Bitmap: resolution 400, method Halftone Screen, frequency 25 lines per inch, 45 degree angle, with shape of Line.
- Define a pattern of this screen. To keep track, name the pattern with the style, tint and resolution (example: 20% crossed 25dpi 400ppi)
- Repeat process for 30%, 40%, 50% and 60% black.
- Make a new Photoshop test file , 7.5 x 10 inches, 400ppi grayscale. Apply your new patterns in flat squares. Print.
- Compare print test to original art (ideal) or printout of high-resolution scan of pages with Duo-Shade/Craftint.
I tested my print tests against Duo-Shade pages of Wally Wood EC Stories Artist’s Edition. My first tests were at higher line frequencies (85, 65, 50 and 30) didn’t look good. Trial and error eventually lead me to 25.
— Dave M!, emulating obsolete techniques with modern technology.
20 Notes/ Hide
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- j33zits said: If you have access to a vector program you can make a pretty decent ziptone pattern simply by creating a transparent square, putting a circle on top of it, and combine the two into a pattern. tl;dr tut to make that clearer incoming…
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