Standard Halftone rosette
Have you joined the thousands who already creatively use the Phantasm CS Halftone tool? Using this tool beyond standard halftone effects such as a CMYK rosette shown left allows for wonderful and sometime unexpected creative results as was originally demonstrated with the Halftone settings page found here:

Now it's time to introduce 10 new effects, all created using just the Halftone tool (Filter or live Effect variant) and offer these settings files to Phantasm CS Designer, Studio and Publisher customers. It is suggested that these settings files are seen as a basis to create new styles using the Halftone tool; the very nature of Halftones means that some settings are best suited to certain underlying artwork types. The best advise is to load these settings (or add them manually to the Haltone Presets menu as described on this page…) and adjust settings and values as much as you like. Remember, that if applied as a live Effect, you can always change the settings at any stage leaving the underlying artwork in tact!

About these settings

Original underlying image
Each of the settings below were based on the same underlying photo, shown right. Even though the photo is bitmap (raster), the Phantasm CS Halftone tool produces vector results which may be infinitely scaled without loss of quality.

For information about how to use the Phantasm CS Halftone tool, please refer to one of the following:


  • If apply a Halftone style which makes use of a Symbol, it's important to note that due to how Illustrator works internally, the Symbol can not be stored in the Halftone settings file. Therefore before you apply such a Halftone, ensure you take the following steps:
    1. Copy and paste the relevant symbol into the current working Illustrator document, ensuring it is selected in the Symbols panel (Window > Symbols, if not already open)
    2. Open the Halftone Filter or Effect window and load the Halftone setting file
    3. In the Dot Properties section, opt for Shape: Current Symbol
  • Several settings files make use of the commonly available Zapf Dingbats font, designed by Hermann Zapf and licensed by ITC (more information may be found on this Wikipedia page). If not already installed on your computer, it may be purchased from many popular font websites including Linotype's own site. Alternatively, as the character shapes are basic, it's possible to recreate these a Symbols and use these instead of Zapf Dingbats font characters.
  • The Knitting Loop setting uses a character found in the Myriad Pro font family. This font is normally supplied with Adobe's Creative Suite software so should already be present on your computer.
  • Each Halftone setting was originally designed for either RGB or CMYK documents (File > Document Color Mode >…) and are indicated on this page as such in most cases (if not indicated, the color mode has no relevance to the halftone). However, it should be easy to modify settings to suit the alternative color mode.

Download files

All Halftone settings files (compatible with Phantasm CS Designer, Studio and Publisher), plus related Symbols necessary for certain Halftones, may be downloaded here:

Download all settings files featured on this page (ZIP archive)…

Download all Illustrator Symbols referred to in relevant settings (Illustrator CS2 and CS3 file, ZIP archived)…

Download all Illustrator Symbols referred to in relevant settings (Illustrator CS4 and above file, ZIP archived)…


Knitting Loops

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Making use of the "L Square" character within the Myriad Pro font family, a combination of careful scaling and dot angle adjustments gives a continuous inter-twined knitted loop appearance. Would look especially effective on underlying artwork with a restricted number of colors.

Inky Mess

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With over-sized dots and a characterful Dot Gain curve, the end effect resembles an ink-soaked mess.


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A more constrained effect relying on a rigid halftone grid displaying a chequerboard effect at 45°.

Zapf Petal

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Making use of the petal character in the Zapf Dingbats fonts, the results are vibrant and can remove all visual relation to the underlying artwork.


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RGB or CMYK – requires symbol
Based on a simple triangle symbol and using the Radial halftone pattern, each triangle points to the grid's centre. Gives a pseudo-3D shading appearance.

Dark Rosette

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CMYK – requires symbol
An eerie, rich, dark and menacing effect based on overlapping and over-sized radial filled-symbols. There is also a resemblance to 3D topography where the hills blend into a monochrome halftone print rosette.

Rounded Link

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RGB or CMYK – requires symbol
Using a carefully created shape converted to a symbol which links together when place in an alternating Halftone grid form.

Zapf 4 Block Abstract

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By disabling the Cyan and Magenta channels in the Halftone tools' Separations sub-window, and then using the 4 Square character found in the Zapf Dingbats font, careful width and height scaling gives perfect spacing.

Zapf Arrows

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Another use of a Zapf Dingbats character – the simple arrow – combined with an edited Dot Gain curve gives a strong and simple appearance.

Clouds and Rain

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CMYK – requires symbol
Demonstrating the versatility of the Phantasm CS Halftone tool; using a classic cloud and rain symbol to produce an overcast outlook! Settings changed to reduce the Halftone resolution (DPI), provide an altered Dot Gain curve, oversize the dots and add a background grey/blue color.


Previewing with Phantasm CS combined Trial version

Phantasm CS combined Trial preview
You can preview these Halftones using the combined Trial version of the Phantasm CS range. However, this is only possible with the Filter variant of the tool (the Effect version is disabled), and the results can not be applied, plus "holes" will appear in the result (as shown, right).

After downloading and installing the Trial version, Illustrator CS2 and CS3 users should opt for Filter > Phantasm CS Trial > Halftone…, whilst Illustrator CS4 and CS5 users should use Object > Filters > Phantasm CS Trial > Halftone….

The full Phantasm CS software may be purchased from here…

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