BVG Shadows 67/68

In my post on “Windows 68” I wrote that we hardly used any drop shadow effects for this revolutionary version of an early operating system. I guess we all regarded the drop shadow effect as an accomplishment of the digital age. It certainly is.

Yet I was startled when discovering a “broken” version of a drop shadow in a public transport map of Berliner Verkehrs-Betriebe that was dated 1967/68. For me it looked exactly like a true-color image with alpha channel that was saved wrongly for the early web. Like in many images of that age the smooth shadow was not preserved, because the GIF format was used and only one color was selected transparent.
But what is the equivalent to the GIF peculiarity in the age of printing? I have no idea how it was achieved back then.

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