Risograph printing first began in Japan in the 1980’s 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 – PLUS its also very eco-friendly.
It is similar to screen printing as it prints one colour at a time – pushing ink through a ‘master’ screen stencil. Every time a new colour layer is needed, the Riso printer must make a ‘master’ (which is a stencil of your design) which is then flooded with ink. Because we like to cut down on waste as much as possible 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.
What colours can can we print?
We currently have 10 different colours, all of which can be overlapped to create more colours. We can print up to 6 colours, however anything over 4 can become costly and more difficult for some papers to handle. See our colour chart to see how different colours blend together.
Our soy based inks never ‘fully dry’. Much like newspapers, if you are to handle them heavily you’ll notice smudges and unexpected marks, however they can be tidied up again with any standard eraser.
One of the best things about Riso printing is that no two prints will ever be exactly the same, so each piece you print is special in it’s own way.
Risograph printing isn’t suitable for heavy ink usage images. It can cause a range of problems, from causing paper jams to unwanted marks of on the image. We recommend that you make sure to lower the opacity where large areas of colour occur as well as avoid heavy ink usage at the top of the paper to minimise the chance of rollers pull marks on the paper.
Part of the beauty of Riso Printing is that every single print is going to look slightly little different, with misalignments and unique marks being part and parcel of the process. You have to go into Riso printing with the understanding that it is not a perfect process (like digital printing is) and so there is an element of trial and error with your colours and designs.
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SETTING UP YOUR COLOURS
- The best way to think about setting up your colours for Risograph printing is to remember that the printer reads your design in ‘Greyscale’.
- Convert your images to greyscale before sending them to us, you have much more control of the output.
- If you send your artwork to us in colour, then the printer will read this as greyscale and may print colours lighter than what you’re expecting.
- To get a taste of what your design might look like we’ve made a template that you can use in photoshop above. Simply paste your greyscale layers into the colour channels to see how they overlap. This is just a test and the colours will come out slightly different to how they appear on your screen as it is very difficult to colour match with Riso Printing.
PREPARING YOUR FILES FOR PRINT
- Separate your layers and save an individual file for each layer. It helps to save your file as the name of the design and colour you want it to print out as eg. name_artwork_side_inkcolour.pdf
- 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
- Much like with our garment printing service, 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 (you can do this using this template)
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, but you can use the following chart to estimate your base ‘price per print’ in advance.
quantity x (‘price per print’ + ‘price per sheet’)
250 x (0.31 + 0.24) = £137.50
Add that to the ‘price per sheet’ of the paper you require and times by the quantity of prints and you’ll have a rough idea of your final total. You can find the ‘price per sheet’ by scrolling through the dropdown menu of papers and selecting for more information.
For example, If I want 250 copies of a 3 colour design on ‘A4 Bier Ivory 100gsm’ then my calculation would be
250 x (0.31 + 0.24) = £137.50
For the seasoned Riso printers out there, we have provided space in our order form for you to customise the LPI and angle of your halftones. If you are unsure of what these mean, don’t worry, we’ll choose for you!