Risograph* printing is an environmentally friendly spot colour printing method using soy-based inks, producing art prints, books, posters and whatever else you can think of! The technique and look of risograph prints is similar to screen printing, but is more cost effective with a faster turnaround.
Want to print with Room Press?
We would love to help you with your project! For a quote, you'll need to outline the number and size of prints you want made, and how many colours you want per print. You can also email for a more general enquiry, we are happy to answer all your questions and chat about ideas!! Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org :-)
How does it work?
The risograph transfers your image to a screen, which is wrapped around an ink drum and ink is pushed through the screen onto a sheet of paper. For multiple coloured images, the next colour drum is installed into the machine and the process is repeated. Drying time is allowed between colour layers to prevent smudging.
Setting up you work for risograph printing
Sending us your images...
You can send us your work as either separate labelled greyscale pdfs (a new pdf for each colour layer) or as a greyscale photoshop editable pdf with each colour layer labelled. At least 300dpi, no more than 600dpi please.
Alignment and Trapping
There will naturally be some movement (1-2mm) in your prints when printing multiple coloured images. This is part of the charm of the risograph, and it's better to work with this rather than expecting your image to turn out exactly as it looks on your computer screen. Having a 1mm line, text or image that must perfectly align with another 1mm line, text or image will result in a lot of mis-prints!
Refer here for more info, but basically, trapping means making the borders of your lighter colour layer slightly overlap your darker colour layer. This adds a buffer for the movement of the print and gives you a much neater looking result.
Any size of paper up to A3 can be printed. You will need to include an 8mm+ border around your image
The risograph prints on 60-250gsm uncoated paper. At Room Press we prefer to use envirocare 100% recycled paper as our standard, it has a warm off white colour and runs through the machine well. We also stock many other papers and can order paper in specially for your project.
We currently have these colours of ink available...
Pricing is based on the amount of copies made, the amount of print masters/stencils used, ink/paper used, and time spent printing. We can print anywhere from 1-10,000 (or more!) prints per master, generally doing print runs of about 30-300.
Some more tips/things to think about...
- CMYK... it is possible to print full-colour or almost full colour photographs by splitting CMYK colour channels and then printing each channel separately. Images could be separated into two, three or four colours. Since Riso does not use traditional CMYK colours, the result will be slightly different than a original photo, but we can create some interesting results by substituting colours (for example using orange, fluro pink, or red as an alternative to magenta).
- Opacity: the most opaque colour is light grey, which will show up clearly on black paper. By layering tones of colours together you can create a wider palette (yellow and pink making orange, yellow and blue make green etc).
- Try to avoid large blocks of colour in your image, they can become slightly patchy and your prints may not run smoothly through the machine (paper jams!). Large blocks of colour may also transfer wet ink slightly to the bottom of the next print.
- Please remember to put in the 8mm+ border onto your image! Really important!
- The best kind of images are line drawings with 100% black. Images with a lot of different tones are ok, but the machine may lighten or darken the tones slightly. Try using patterns like dot shading or screen-tones to shade your images, or converting your photos to a bitmap using the "halftone screen" option.
- Roller marks may occur when printing multiple colour images. These can be removed by rubbing lightly with an eraser.
*(pronounced rice-o-graph reese-ograph, risso-graph, whatever you prefer :-)