Even in the photo editing realm, what’s old is new again. From Black & White toned photo effects to vintage textures and pop art, we’ve seen retro looks come full circle! Case in point: Halftone Duotones. We’ve shown you how to turn photos into brilliant duotones before, but with the added texture of Halftones, it becomes an entirely new photo editing effect with a retro twist.

halftone duotone photo filter

Luckily, creating a Halftone Duotone doesn’t take a ton of work in BeFunky’s Photo Editor. We’ve added a NEW Halftone Duo feature to our Effects tab that will help you get the look in just a few slider adjustments. Just like the name implies, you’ll be able to create amazing duotones with the added texture of halftones for a totally unique look! Perfect for poster design, social media images, web graphics, and any other case where you need standout imagery.

What are Halftones and Duotones

A Halftone Duotone is a combination of two different photo editing effects: Halftones and Duotones. If you have never heard of either, we’ll show you both effects separately, then show you how cool they are as a pair.

First, let’s talk about Halftones. In print work, halftones are a reproduction of an image using dots that vary in size and spacing. These dots work together to form shadows, highlights, and contrast to recreate an image, which was especially important for saving ink when printing on mediums like newspaper and magazines in decades past. If you look closely at an image in a retro newspaper, you’ll see that it’s comprised of thousands of dots, but from afar will look like a whole image.

what are halftones

Now, let’s talk about Duotones. Just like the name suggests, a duotone is comprised of two contrasting tones, or colors. In a Duotone photo edit, the highlights in an image are represented by one color and shadows are represented by another. This technique gives your image a very punchy look, and can often be seen in marketing graphics today, both online and in print.

what is a duotone

When these two photo editing techniques are combined, the result is a Halftone Duotone: an image comprised of various sized dots, colored with two contrasting tones. Together, these techniques gives your image a texture and color combination that adds to the uniqueness of your image or graphic.

what is a halftone duotone effect

With BeFunky’s Halftone Duo effect, you can easily create Halftone Duotones that are fully customizable to suit your color palette and dot intensity! In other words, you get the best of both worlds in a single effect. We’ll show you how to create your own custom Halftone Duotones in the next section!

How To Create A Halftone Duotone Photo

When you’re ready to get started with your first Halftone Duotone, head to BeFunky’s Photo Editor and upload a photo using the Open tab at the top of the page, or drag-and-drop your image file right into the interface. This technique will work with any photo, but high contrast imagery looks best with the Halftone Duo effect.  Next, click on the Effects tab in the main menu on the left and scroll down to the Multimedia category.

befunky photo editor multimedia effects

Select Halftone Duo and note that your image instantly becomes dotted with Halftones. You’ll also notice that there are three buttons that appear in the Halftone Duo thumbnail: Settings, Cancel, and Apply. Click on the Settings button to customize the effect and choose your duotone colors.

halftone filter for photos by BeFunky

In the Settings menu, you’re able to customize the Halftones using the Amount, Density, and Tolerance sliders. The Amount slider will increase or decrease the opacity of the halftones. The Tolerance slider will adjust the weight of each individual halftone. The Density slider will make the halftone dots more or less dense - sliding it to the left will make the halftones larger and less spread out, like in the image below:

add halftones to photos in BeFunky

Sliding the Density slider to the right will make the halftones smaller and closer together, like in the image below:

halftone photo filter by BeFunky

Now, let’s add a duotone into the mix! Still in the Settings menu, select a Shadow Color by clicking on the color tile and using the menu that appears to choose a color. Next, select a Highlight Color by clicking the color tile and assigning a hue. It’s best to select a darker color for the shadows and a lighter color for the highlights, but try experimenting to see what you like!

halftone duotone filter by BeFunky

Pro Tip:

Click the Invert selection to invert the effect. This will fill the negative space between the dots, while the dots will represent the negative space.

how to create a halftone duotone photo

After you’ve assigned your duotone colors, you can play around with the halftone sliders to create the perfect balance of texture and color. Once you’re finished with your photo edit, click the Save button at the top of the page to save your image to your computer or share it with your friends on social media directly from BeFunky!

Final Results

Just look at this amazing halftone duotone that took minutes to create:

halftone duotone photo editing

Adding a Halftone Duo effect is a great way to add some artistic flair to your images. It’s the perfect technique to use for posters, album covers, invitations, and more! Get started with your halftone duotone editing session by clicking the link below:

Photo Editing, Simplified.

Photo Editing. Simplified