In offset printing, dot gain refers to the phenomenon where the dots in the printed image appear larger than the dots on the printing plate. This happens because the ink spreads slightly when it is transferred from the plate to the paper, causing the dots to "gain" in size.
Dot gain can have a significant effect on color in offset printing. When the dots in the printed image become larger, the colors can appear darker and more saturated than intended. This is because the larger dots cover more of the paper's surface, making the color appear more intense.
To compensate for dot gain, printers will typically adjust the colors in the original artwork before printing. They may increase the brightness or saturation of the colors to account for the fact that they will appear darker and more intense when printed. They may also use special software or techniques to reduce the amount of dot gain, such as using a finer printing screen or adjusting the ink viscosity.
If dot gain is not accounted for in the printing process, the resulting colors may be different from what was intended, which can be especially problematic for branding, packaging, or other applications where color accuracy is crucial.
Image ref: A good Day to Print