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WHAT IS RISO?

RISOGRAPH IS A PRINT PROCESS THAT USES A DIGITAL DUPLICATOR MACHINE (THINK MIMEOGRAPH) TO PRODUCE PAPER PRINTS USING A METHOD SIMILAR TO SCREEN PRINTING.

RISO DUPLICATORS CREATE STENCILS WITHIN THE MACHINE THAT ARE WRAPPED AROUND DRUMS THAT ARE FILLED WITH INK. THE INK DRUMS THEN SPIN AT HIGH SPEEDS, PUSHING THE INK THROUGH THE STENCILS ONTO THE PAPER. RISO DUPLICATORS LAY EACH COLOR DOWN ONE LAYER AT A TIME, AND DEPENDING ON THE MACHINE, ARE CAPABLE OF PRINTING 1-2 COLORS FOR EACH PASS OF PAPER. BECAUSE OF THIS, PAPER IS OFTEN RAN THROUGH THE MACHINE MULTIPLE TIMES TO PRINT THE DESIRED AMOUNT OF COLORS. SINCE RISO INK IS PRINTED ONE COLOR AT A TIME, THERE ARE MANY POSSIBILITIES WITH INK LAYERING AS WELL AS REGISTRATION.  

RISOGRAPH MACHINES COMBINE A HAND-MADE LOOK AND FEEL WITH THE SPEED AND PERFORMANCE OF A MODERN PRINTER. RISO PRINTS CONTAIN UNIQUELY RICH AND VIBRANT COLORS AND A DISTINCT TEXTURE SIMILAR TO OFFSET PRINTED MATERIAL.

THE FIRST RISOGRAPH DUPLICATOR WAS INVENTED IN 1986 IN TOKYO, JAPAN BY THE RISO KAGAKU CORPORATION, FOUNDED BY NOBORU HAYAMA. RISO PRODUCTS WERE MAINLY MARKETED FOR INEXPENSIVE AND HIGH VOLUME DUPLICATING AND BECAUSE OF THIS, HAVE WIDELY BEEN USED IN OFFICES, SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, AND OTHER SETTINGS THAT REQUIRE QUICK, LOW-COST, AND HIGH-NUMBER PRODUCTION RUNS OF THE SAME THING.

WHILE RISOGRAPH MACHINES ARE STILL BEING USED IN THESE CONTEXTS, TODAY MORE AND MORE ARTISTS ARE ADAPTING THE PROCESS TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL AND UNIQUE PRINTED MATERIAL.

RISOGRAPH PRINTING

WE OFFER A VARIETY OF RISOGRAPH PRINTING AND FINISHING SERVICES.

 

OUR MACHINE IS ABLE TO PRINT UP TO 11X17" ON VARIOUS WEIGHTS OF UNCOATED PAPER. WE CURRENTLY HAVE 4 COLORS AVAILABLE TO CHOOSE FROM, ALTHOUGH WE ARE ABLE TO ACHIEVE MANY MORE COLORS THROUGH INK LAYERING TECHNIQUES. THE COLORS WE HAVE ON HAND ARE BLUE, SCARLET, YELLOW, AND BLACK WITH PLANS TO CONTINUE EXPANDING OUR COLOR OPTIONS OVER TIME.

WE ARE ABLE TO CREATE PRINTS FOR PROJECTS SUCH AS: POSTERS, FLYERS, BOOKLETS, ZINES, COMICS, ART PRINTS, MENUES, FOLDED CARDS, BROCHURES, PACKAGING MATERIAL, AND MUCH MORE.

QUALITIES OF RISO

SINCE RISOGRAPH PRINTING IS A DIGITAL DUPLICATOR PROCESS, IT HAS VARIOUS UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS AND ALWAYS HAS SOME SLIGHT IMPERFECTIONS. ALTHOUGH, WE BELIEVE THAT THESE IMPERFECTIONS, (OR HAPPY ACCIDENTS) ARE PART OF WHAT MAKE THE PROCESS SO ATTRACTIVE, FUN, AND GIVE IT SUCH A UNIQUE AESTHETIC.

THESE IMPERFECTIONS MAY INCLUDE:

SMUDGING: RISOGRAPH INK IS MADE OF A COMBINATION OF SOY OIL, WATER, AND PIGMENT. WHILE THIS IS A HUGE BENEFIT ENVIRONMENTALLY,

THE PRINTS ARE SIMILAR TO NEWSPAPER INK AND IF HANDLED TOO AGGRESSIVELY, MAY SMUDGE.

ALSO, RISO PRINTERS DON'T CONTAIN A HEATING ELEMENT TO DRY THE INK, WHICH CONTRIBUTES TO THIS AS WELL.

UNEVEN COVERAGE: LARGE FLAT AREAS OF SOLID INK ARE LIKELY TO HAVE UNEVEN COVERAGE, ALTHOUGH WE TRY TO ENSURE THAT EVERY PRINT IS AS EVENLY COATED AS POSSIBLE.

 

REGISTRATION: RISO IS LIKE SCREEN PRINTING IN THAT EACH LAYER OF INK IS APPLIED SEPARATELY.

MANY MULTI-COLOR PROJECTS REQUIRE THE PAPER TO RUN THROUGH THE PRINTER MULTIPLE TIMES AND CAN LEAD TO AN IRREGULARITY IN THE REGISTRATION (OR LINING UP) OF EACH LAYER.   

TIRE MARKS OR TRANSFER: PRINTS THAT ARE BEING RUN THROUGH THE PRINTER MULTIPLE TIMES WITH HEAVY INK COVERAGE MAY EXHIBIT TIRE MARKS FROM THE PAPER FEEDER ROLLERS. THERE IS ALSO A CHANCE OF INK TRANSFERRING TO OTHER PRINTS WHEN STACKED. 

UV LIGHT FADING: RISO PRINTING IS A NON-ARCHIVAL PROCESS, MEANING THE INK QUALITY OF THE PRINTS MAY FADE OVER TIME. THIS IS COMMON

WITH MANY OTHER PRINT PROCESSES AS WELL. TO ENSURE THAT PRINTS MAINTAIN QUALITY OVER TIME, WE RECOMMEND NOT HANGING PRINTS IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT. GENERALLY, LIMITING EXPOSURE TO UV LIGHT WILL PRESERVE OVERALL PRINT QUALITY AND INK SATURATION.

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PRINTING SPECS

THE RISOGRAPH PRINTING PROCESS HAS MANY DIFFERENT ELEMENTS THAT CAN BE UTILIZED TO ACHIEVE A WIDE RANGE OF RESULTS. WE TRY OUR BEST TO WORK WITH EVERY INDIVIDUAL TO ACCOMPLISH EACH PROJECT'S SPECIFIC NEEDS, HOWEVER, THERE ARE SOME PARAMETERS THAT WE MUST WORK WITHIN TO ACHIEVE THE BEST RESULTS. THESE PARAMETERS INCLUDE:

PAPER TYPE: DUE TO THE NATURE OF RISO INK, WE ONLY PRINT ON ABSORBENT, UN-COATED PAPERS TO MINIMIZE THE PROBABILITY OF SMUDGING. GENERALLY, SMOOTH AND VELLUM PAPERS WORK BEST. WE KEEP A VARIETY OF PAPERS IN STOCK THAT WORK WELL FOR RISO PRINTING AND WE CAN ALSO MAKE PAPER RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR PROJECT'S SPECIFIC NEEDS.

PAPER WEIGHT: OUR PRINTER CAN ACCOMMODATE PAPER WEIGHTS FROM 20 LB. TEXT TO 80 LB. COVER. THE RISO CANNOT EASILY ACCEPT PAPER WEIGHTS OUTSIDE OF THESE SPECIFICATIONS. 

PRINT SIZE: OUR RISOGRAPH MACHINE CAN PRINT UP TO 11X17" BUT NO LARGER. WE ARE ABLE TO PRINT SMALLER SIZES THAT FALL UNDER THESE DIMENSIONS. CUSTOM SIZES THAT REQUIRE EXTRA TRIMMING MAY BE SUBJECT TO A FINISHING FEE DEPENDING ON THE COMPLEXITY OF THE DESIRED DIMENSIONS.

COLOR: BECAUSE EACH COLOR OF INK REQUIRES ITS OWN DESIGNATED DRUM, WE CAN ONLY OFFER A LIMITED AMOUNT OF COLORS. ALTHOUGH, WE CAN ACHIEVE A MUCH WIDER RANGE OF COLORS THROUGH VARIOUS INK LAYERING TECHNIQUES. CURRENTLY WE OFFER BLUE, SCARLET, YELLOW, AND BLACK INK WITH PLANS TO EXPAND OUR COLOR OPTIONS IN THE FUTURE.