What is Risograph?

A Risograph is a digital duplicator working in a similar way to screen printing. An image is cut into a master which is wrapped around a cylindrical drum. Ink is then pushed through the master onto the paper as it passed through the machine to create the print.


Why Use Riso?

The main advantage of Riso printing is the vibrancy and tactile quality of the inks. It is a quick and a cost effective way of producing short runs of prints or publications. Unusual combinations of paper stocks can also be used as well as things like envelopes and sticker paper.

File Setup

The artwork should be set up in multiple greyscale layers, one per colour, as the Riso prints each colour on a separate pass much like screen printing. This could either be multiple PDF files or a Photoshop document with each colour on a separate layer. There is no need to halftone your images as the printer will do this for you, unless you want to exaggerate it for stylising your images.


Print Area

Risographs can print up to a paper size of A3, the maximum print area is 287×400mm. Please keep in mind that this affects prints of all sizes as we arrange them on an A3 sheet to be printed.

If you would like your image to be full bleed please allow at least 3mm for bleed and we can trim your artwork for you.



We currently have red, blue, yellow, gold, green, and black inks. Below are approximate Pantone values.


You can achieve a lot using only a few colours if you use them creatively. Below is an example printed in three colours.


Riso inks are slightly transparent so you can overlay them to create different tones. The colour of the paper stock will also effect how the inks look.

To see how overlayed inks look set the blending mode of layers to Multiply on Illustrator, Indesign or Photoshop.



Risographs can reproduce type as small as 6pt. Whiteout text will need to be slightly larger. Using vector type will give the clearest result.



Registration may not be perfect when printing two or more layers so it is best to assume that some mis-registration will occur.


Including trapping (slight overlap between colours) will account for this.


Block Colour

Full pages of 100% colour are not possible and will cause paper jams, however it is possible to print full pages of colour at around 75% density.


Very large areas of solid colour may come out unevenly where the paper sticks to the drum and makes tide marks as it is separated from it.

Heavy ink on the leading edge can also causes sticking and paper jams, especially when using lighter paper stocks, so your artwork may need to be flipped 180° to get around this.


Roller Marks

Paper is fed through the Riso by a series of rubber rollers which can leave light marks on your work, especially when using lots of ink or when printing double sided. These can easily be removed using an eraser. We try to minimise these by cleaning the rollers between runs and printing layers in a certain order.



Risos can print on most uncoated papers including coloured and textured stocks between 50 and 240gsm. We can order specific paper for a job if you already have something in mind. If you supply your own paper we will have to test it first.



We can offer a range of hand finishing such as trimming, folding, saddle stitching, and coil binding.



Please contact us for a quote or for more information on the process.


For your quote please let us know:

• The size of the print
• How many colours you would like
• Number of copies
• Whether you would like a single sided or double sided print
• Paper stock you want to use