Skip to the good stuff!


ISO: Ben Day Mechanical Tinting Method

My research concerns the printing and colour separation of US comics from their origins in New York newspapers of the 1890s onwards. I was lucky enough to discuss my work with Prof Haven Hawley in Florida a few months back when I attended a conference at UFL. I will visit NYC in September.  The main research questions I hope to answer on this trip concern the adoption of the Ben Day mechanical tinting method by the earliest Sunday newspaper colour pages in 1893 and 1894. E.g. were these papers the first to use Ben Day tints in letterpress printing, or were other periodicals, books etc already using them, either in colour or B&W?
(I know Ben Day was used extensively in chromolithography before this.) To this end I hope to view as many contemporary newspaper and magazine pages as possible, and to consult magazines of the US printing trade which are not available in the UK. I write therefore to ask if any of your members share an interest in this topic, and where I might find the pages I need to look at. I’d be most grateful for any information you can provide, and hope that I might even perhaps meet with some of you in a few weeks time.
With very best wishes,
Guy Lawley


  1. I would be interested in reading the results of your research regarding Ben Day dots. Information is scarce and your name has popped up in my searches multiple times.

    I am an artist re-creating the Ben Day look in a digital environment so any information cold be useful.

    Thank you,


Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

APHA encourages comments to be short and to the point; as a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.