Typewronger is proud to announce we now offer risograph print services through our brand new studio space at Edinburgh Palette (St Mags). We're hoping to increase the range and complexity of services we offer in future, but for now we can print up to A3 size and have four ink drums: black, red, blue and fluro-pink! Do please check out the rest of this page for more info on riso printing, and if you would like to order a job email email@example.com
This table shows what we would charge for single-sided A3 printing onto our standard paper stock, which is a 140gsm recycled cartridge paper. We have 100gsm sugar paper at the same price, and can order in other non-coated stock on request subject to cost. The price per page comes down significantly as the order quantity increases as most of the work in riso printing goes into setting up the job. Other sizes of paper, numbers of colours and double-sided printing are available - email us for a quote.
Risograph machines are like electronic screen print photocopiers – instead of fixing toner to the page with a laser they cut stencils which are attached to ink drums printing more ecologically friendly inks onto the surface of the page. This means we always use uncoated paper - shiny magazine-style paper stock won't work and it's not really the riso aesthetic.
Our riso machine is called Lyra, short for Philyra, who was the Ancient Greek goddess of paper, writing and, randomly, perfume!
How Should We Submit Files?
We're going to need your artwork in a black and white pdf and you'll need to tell us which of our four colours you want it printed in. Greyscale images in different colours can be difficult to visualise, so do check out our sample poster at the shop to get a rough idea of how things might look. If you want to print more than one colour you will need to send us separate pdfs for each colour which line up to make the final image. So here you can see two files were submitted, one a black outline of a square, the other a fully black square. We send the black outline to the black drum and the black square to the red drum and presto! A red square with a black border.
The images need to be perfectly aligned so that they "register" - if you submit files that don't register it'll show. Lyra is accurate to within about 3mm, meaning you could get as much as a 3mm shift in registration from copy to copy - this is one of the idiosyncrasies of riso printing - it's a part of why we love it! To limit registration errors it can be an idea to have thick black outlines that you colour into. For instance above you'll notice the black outline and the filled-in black square are in fact almost the same size, so when the filled one gets sent to the red drum the red and black merge seamlessly as the black is darker than the red colouring into it. It can be fun to play around with registration - some people deliberately misregister their images as an aesthetic choice - in the example below some wag has deliberately shifted the file being sent to the red drum a bit to the bottom and right so the colour and linework don't quite match. How funky. How Andy Warhol.*
So you've only got four colours?
Yes! And as a general rule I would advise against using all of them on one work - two is plenty, three an extravagance! If you feel like a pro you could try mixing our colours - for instance if you had two greyscale circles and sent one to the red drum and the other to the blue, you could overlay them for... purple?
If you're a wizard that is - we're certainly not going to make any promises about the sort of result you're gonna get! You can also print greyscale images, but these might well come out distinctly lo-fi, looking a bit like the image of Lyra above. You could run that through a colour drum instead of black and white for an even funkier look! Do bear in mind we can also get you all sorts of different colours of paper, which can add an extra dynamic to your poster or zine!
There's a lot that you can do with riso, but you have to approach it realising it looks very different to conventional printing. For advice do drop by the shop to take a look at various examples of riso printing or email firstname.lastname@example.org
that is grosly unfair, Andy Warhol's registration was pretty spot on, but you know what I mean - it's art, darling!