RISO GUIDE

Spektrum Crush Zine : how to become l33t at ⓇⒾⓈⓄ

riso intro for Spektrum Crush zine participants

What is risograph ?

Risographs are printing machines created in Japan the eighties.
They use a stencil-printing technique (comparable, for example, to screenprint) with soy-based inks.
They initially gained popularity due to their fast printing output, relative ease of use and affordability.

In the past few years, the number of printing shops offering risograph services started to flourish, as the printing technique came back in fashion : the technique is appreciated for it's results close to screenprint for a much affordable cost, the vividness of colors, and the availability of new inks allowing to print in fluorescent, white or metallic tones.
It also allows to print on coloured paper with a good ink coverage and great looking results.


1. RISO PRINTING WORKFLOW BASICS

  • Each color has to be prepared as a greyscale file
  • Each color will be printed on top of each other by the riso printer
  • The printer will print only one color in each pass
  • Some dithering will be visible in the final print.
    You don't need to prepare screentones like you would for screenprint,
    as the dithering is added by the printer itself.
Here is an example from Spektrum Crush issue 1, an illustration created by Troy Guguid, "Dystropicana", printed in medium blue and fluo pink :
Riso design by Troy Duguid for Spektrum Crush zine I

COLOR BLENDING

When riso color are printed on top of each other, it allows to create a wide range of tones as the colors blend together.
illustration : examples of color blending in riso prints

COLOR SEPARATION TIP

Easy color separation technique : use RGB channels of your file as color layers

This technique is very easy and can be a quick starting point when preparing your design for riso printing.
This RGB color separation technique suits very well the preparation of video game screenshots for riso printing!
  • Step 1 : get seprated RGB channels for your picture. (In photoshop, go to Window > Channels)
  • Step 2 : use this greyscale data as the design for your riso color layers