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Printing

We offer for hire risograph printing to anyone!


Riso printing is a stencil printing method similar to silkscreen that was originally created for use in offices and schools for high quantity duplication. These machines were never intended to print artwork but have been repurposed by artists due to their their affordability and unique look. Like silkscreen, Riso uses spot color inks and is not limited to a CMYK color space.


How it works

A digital color separation is sent to the Riso, and burned into a stencil called a "master." The master is wrapped around one of the color drums and then flooded with ink. Paper is pulled into the machine, and forced between the drum and a pressure roller, forcing ink onto the page. Each color layer is printed one at a time.


Spot Color Inks

We currently stock 12 ink colors. You can download an Adobe library of swatches here to use while designing your artwork. If you'd like to view our color list online, click here.


Paper

We print almost exclusively on 11x17" paper stock, and use other standard sizes for some projects. The Riso cannot print full bleed. The maximum printable area is 10.5x16.5. We offer in house trimming for projects requiring full bleed or a custom size.

We only print on uncoated paper, Riso ink dries by absorption and will smudge on papers that are coated or too smooth. We like to use papers made by French Paper Co, Mohawk, Domtar, and Neenah.


For white paper consider

French Pop Tone or Construction

Mohawk Via Vellum

Neenah Classic Crest

Neenah Exact Vellum Bristol


For color paper consider

French Pop Tone

Domtar Earthchoice Colors


It usually takes 2-4 business days for us to receive paper orders.


File Setup

Riso printing prepress can be very specific and be a learning curve for some, however we ask you thoroughly read these instructions so we do not have to request file adjustments. We also ask you re-read these instructions even if you are a repeat customer. Checking files and asking for revisions is time consuming!

The Riso uses grayscale positives to make masters. Please provide a 300-600 ppi PDF separation for each color layer as well as a color composite we can use as a reference.


Files should be the final size you want your artwork to be, unless printing with bleed.


When printing zines or books, export as pages not spreads. When making grayscale files, please work in varying opacities of black. We ask that larger dark areas of color do not exceed 70-90%, this can lead to uneven coverage and make the prints messier. Often using 100% black is not visibly different from 90% and ends up being extra ink on the page. Two shades of one color that are directly next to each other will be the most distinguishable if they are 20-30% apart.

The ideal range to stay in is 20-90%


PLEASE SET TYPE IN ILLUSTRATOR OR INDESIGN AND DO NOT FLATTEN TYPE AND VECTOR ART.