Risograph printing first began in Japan in the 1980’s as a standard office print and photocopier, but in recent years has become more and more popular with artists, illustrators and graphic designers thanks to its quirky, unique style and low cost. It’s also one of the most eco friendly ways to print.
We have a dual drum machine, meaning our printer can hold 2 colour drums at a time, each of which contain soy based ink. When we send a design to print, the Risograph printer makes a stencil using a sheet of material made from banana leaf fibres, which then wraps around the corresponding ink drum.
The colour drum then floods the stencil with ink, and as it pulls the paper through, the design is imprinted onto the paper as it passes through the printer.
Every time a new colour layer is needed, the Riso printer must make a new stencil, which is why it becomes more costly for higher numbers of colours.
2 colour Riso Print (Blue & Fluro Pink) by one of our studio members @nicopaws_ You can buy this print at Nicopaws
What colours can we print?
We have 10 colours of ink here at Wild & Kind, but as the ink is transparent you can achieve thousands of different tones and colours from overlapping these base colours. You can get really creative with only a few passes.
We recommend printing with a maximum of 4 colour layers, but we can do more. This is because Riso ink never “fully dries” (much like newspaper ink) so every time you pass the paper through the printer it can develop marks from the paper feed rollers. Clever designing that leaves the top centre part of your paper clear in the initial passes can avoid this.
Misalignment and imperfections
We see misalignment as part of the joy of printing with Risograph, not a flaw. We will be able to get 2 colours to line up almost perfectly because they are being printed at the exact same time, but anymore that 2 require the Ink drums to be changed and for the paper to pass through the printer again. There can be movement of up to 2 or 3 mm with every print, so you should that this into consideration when preparing your designs.
Every print will looks slightly different, and minor flaws and unexpected marks are part of the process and is what really make each and every print totally unique. Large areas of flat, dense colour will likely vary in texture and not always be ‘solid’.
It’s relatively experimental, as you don’t always know exactly what 2 overlapping colours will look like until it prints. The hand-made aesthetic that Risograph printing provides is fast becoming the more popular choice for art prints across the world.
SETTING UP YOUR COLOUR Layers
Risograph printing works in Greyscale, so set up each colour layer in Black. Adjust the opacity of your layers to achieve different tones within that colour. If you send us your files in colour they may print lighter than you're expecting them to. If you want us to adjust the opacity of layers on your behalf then let us know.
We have a maximum printable area of 400 x 277mm. You must leave a minimum of 10mm blank margins on each edge as the printer will not print right up to the edge of the paper
If printing more than 2 colours, avoid any design work falling within the top centre section of the paper. This is because when the paper is passed through a second time the paper feed rollers may pick up ink and leave roller marks on all prints.
Avoid large areas of block colour, or make sure the opacity of large areas is set to 70% maximum
PREPARING YOUR FILES FOR PRINT
Ideally you should send your file to us as a photoshop file, with all of your layers labeled as the colour they will print out as, for example 'FRONT BLACK'.
If you're sending us separate layers as separate files then It helps to save your file as the name of the design and colour you want it to print out as eg. name_artworkside_inkcolour.pdf
We only accept files that are 300dpi and that are the correct size (in cm) as they should print, so we recommend getting into the habit of always setting up your paper size and DPI before creating your designs as resizing after creation can cause blurring and pixelation.
Please also include a full colour mock up image of what your design should look like once printed.
Get inspired. There's lots of blogs and sites out there that can help you gain a better understanding of the process.
This chart will give you an idea of the cost per print for Risograph printing. This chart doesn’t include the price of the paper. You can use the quick quote tool to get a rough idea of how the price will vary depending on the quality of paper you choose.
How long will it take to get my order?
This depends on how busy we are so we give a 7 to 10 working day turnaround time. On rare occasions we can rush an order, but there will be additional fees incurred depending on the size of the order as we have to take overtime pay into account for staff.
How much will delivery cost?
This depends on the size of the order and where it’s going. We’re based in Scotland, UK, so anything travelling outwith mainland UK will be more expensive.
We calculate shipping based on weight, and we only charge what it costs us to ship. You can find a full breakdown of costs in the ‘shipping & delivery’ sections of the website.
Is there a minimum order quantity?
We like to cut down on waste as much as possible so we have a minimum order of 30 however we recommend a minimum print volume of 50 to get the most bang for your buck!
Riso printing one of the most, if not the most, eco friendly ways to print onto paper and card as it uses soy based inks and the master sheets are made from banana fibres. The print process itself has no water waste or harmful chemicals. So you can print away knowing you’re doing so without causing harm to the planet.
If you’re a Riso queen and know the process inside and out, in the order form you can tell us all of the additional settings you’d like for us to set when we print your order out. If you’re based in Glasgow and looking to be more hands on with the process, then you can actually rent our printer hourly. Email us at email@example.com to find out more.
Ready to order?
To start the order process, please fill in the following form, making sure to attach the correct files for printing. We do not edit your files and will print them as they come to us. Once we receive your details we’ll be in touch with a final quote and send you an invoice for payment. We will only begin printing once the invoice has been paid in full.
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