The Risograph (or 'Riso') is a digital stencil duplicator, originally released in Japan in 1986. A speedy and low cost alternative to screen printing, Riso produces stencil paper prints using a unique range of vivid spot colour inks. Originally intended for high volume administration and educational printing, the Riso technology has since been adopted by artists and independent publishers as a way of producing bright, tactile prints. Everything printed with Risograph has a unique and imperfect charm!
At Duplikat we print everything in-house using two machines, which print one colour at a time on paper weights from 80-300gsm. Thousands of prints can be created from one master stencil; therefore Risograph is most economical when used for higher volume printing with fewer layers, as most of the cost is in the initial set up of masters. That said, we can still print low volume orders and designs with many colours, depending on the artwork and paper stock.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU READ OUR PRINT GUIDE THOROUGHLY BEFORE BOOKING ANY RISOGRAPH PRINTING, SO YOU'RE FAMILIAR WITH HOW IT WORKS AND UNDERSTAND WHETHER IT'S THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOUR PROJECT!
Artworks are sent to the Riso printer via a computer connection or manually through the scanner bed, just like a photocopier. The machine then burns the artwork onto a roll of thermal sensitive paper via a digital print head and wraps this around the print drum, creating a stencil from which hundreds or thousands of prints can be made. Paper is then fed into the machine where it presses against the rotating drum and stencil to print the exposed image. Each colour is printed using a separate drum and must be done in layers, one on top of the other. Using little power and soy based ink, the Riso is very environmentally friendly. Inks can be used independently or layered at different opacities to make new colours, as the they are semi-opaque.
With it’s signature look of very tactile, flat colours which ‘pop’ off the page, Risograph works really well with layered graphics, text, illustrations and photographs. Almost anything can be Riso printed including posters, art prints, flyers, postcards, stationery, business cards, zines, vinyl/CD/cassette covers, packaging, tags, menus, leaflets, maps and stickers. Risograph doesn't produce 'perfect' print results and finished prints will look different to on-screen designs. Although we print from digital files, Risograph is more of an analogue method and layers have to be aligned and adjusted manually. Each print will be slightly different, with mis-registration between layers and visual imperfections. Its limitations and imperfections are what makes Risograph prints unique and when used in a creative and intelligent way, it can produce outstanding results!