What is RISO?
A Risograph machine prints one color at a time. Inside, it creates a stencil that is wrapped around a cylindrical drum filled with ink. The drum spins at a high speed, forcing the ink inside to push through the stencil and onto the paper. The machines are incredibly energy efficient using only a minimum amount of waste and utilizing soy and bran based inks, making it a more sustainable printing method than most. This also makes it more cost-effective while giving a hand-made look and feel with colors that are impossible to achieve digitally or through other print methods.
This process produces slight imperfections, giving each print a unique quality. This may include:
Riso is like screen printing in that each ink color is layered on separately. A single piece of paper will run through our machines several times for multi-color projects and the overlap of colors can be irregular.
When a paper is fed through the machine multiple times and it is heavily inked, the paper feeder rollers may leave tire marks on the page's face or end sheets.
Risograph ink is made from a combination of environmentally friendly soy oil, water and pigment, the prints are reminiscent of newspaper ink and it is possible to smudge the ink.
Large flat areas of solid ink coverage are likely to show some slight variations, which can include pinholes and flooding.
Red | Fluorescent Pink | Yellow | Green | Blue | Black
Risographs have several colors that are uniquely made for the machine, including vibrant fluorescent colors. We currently have 6 different ink colors to choose from. These colors can be used with transparency and overprinting to create additional colors by overlapping them. We recommend using 1-4 ink colors for your print project.
The Riso can accept paper with weights from 20lb bond (75 gsm) to 80lb cover (218 gsm). We keep a variety of paper types and weights in stock. Due to the nature of Riso ink, we can only work with absorbent, non-coated paper. Using absorbent paper will minimize potential smudging. Vellum and smooth papers work best.
We currently carry French Paper Co. paper:
︎ Sweet Cream Pop-Tone 65c
︎ Butcher White Dur-o-Tone 70t and 80c
︎ Whitewash Construction 70t and 80c
︎ Insolation Pink Construction 70t and 80c
︎ Tile Green Construction 70t
︎ Newsprint White 50t
We are open to discussing custom paper options.
Text is a lighter weight that works best for flyers, folded or rolled items, zine pages, etc. Cover is the heaviest stock we carry, working well for cards, posters, art prints, and book covers.
For beginners who are unfamiliar with Risograph printing, you can email us for example color separation PSD files. You can also send us a PSD file of your artwork with each color in separate layers so we can check if it is ready for printing.
Lead time for print orders depends on the bulk of order, but for the usual printing of posters/art prints/postcards below 50 pcs, our lead time is 3-5 working days. Schedule with us in advance to avoid rushing your project.
Please keep in mind that Risograph printing is different from digital or laser printing so misregistrations and print imperfections cannot be avoided. If you have questions regarding Risograph printing, don't hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.