Risograph Studio

Location & Hours of Operation

Located in the CCS Imaging Center
6th floor, Taubman Building
313-664-1507
ic@collegeforcreativestudies.edu

Riso Studio Hours
Monday – Thursday // 8:30am – 6:30pm
Friday // 8:30am – 3:00pm
Saturday – Sunday // Closed
The Riso Studio is also closed during finals & school breaks

Busy periods are October (before the Detroit Art Book Fair and the Ann Arbor Wayzgoose), after Thanksgiving, before Noel Night, the last month of any semester, and Fridays.

Reservations can be made HERE
Contact us with questions HERE

Risograph Training

Introduction Training

  • Students must complete training in order to reserve the room. This consists of a three-week training workshop (6 hours in total). Students learn how to care for the machine, change the drums, print “off-the-glass” and prepare a digital file. Students are required to attend all three sessions.
  • Make-up session requests will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • This semester, workshops are taking place September 20 – October 8, 2021!

All mandatory training sessions must be completed by October 15.

  • This includes make-up sessions.
  • All refresher and intro training sessions are free of charge.

Returnee Training (optional)

  • Trained returnees can sign up for a 1-hour refresher session at the beginning of the school year or at any point during the semester with a Riso tutor or IC staff.

Independent Printing Sessions

Reserving the Riso Studio

  • All reservations must be made via the Imaging Center Calendly.
  • Reservations can only be made by students who have completed their Risograph training.
  • There will be an opportunity for you to request 10-sheet French paper sample packs when making your reservation.
  • Students may request up to three packs (or 30 sheets) of French paper.
  • For big runs, we encourage students to purchase their own paper. French is a great resource but often regular construction paper purchased from Staples or Amazon is a great alternative.

At the Beginning of your Riso Session

  • Check-in at the front of the Imaging Center.
  • If you requested French paper when making your reservation, it will be prepared and waiting for you in the Riso Studio.
  • If you ask for additional French paper in the middle of your session, we may or may not be able to accommodate, so try to predict how much you will need before you start.
  • A current list of our French papers can be found HERE.

During your Riso Session

  • Studio rental includes individual access to the studio, inks, and proofing paper.
  • If you listen to music, wear headphones.
  • If you need help loading the drums, changing ink, or emptying the master disposal box, please ask for help from a Riso tutor or IC staff.
  • If you need a new master roll installed, ask Rachel, Michelle, or a Riso tutor (if available) for help.
  • For troubleshooting with the machine, please ask Rachel, Michelle, or a Riso tutor (if available) for help. Let us know when you first start having issues.
  • For file prep issues, please ask the Riso tutor or IC staff. You can make an appointment with a Riso tutor or Riso consultation on Calendly.
  • Leave prints on the drying rack with the corners tucked in. If you are planning on running another color at a later date, please clip a note to the drying rack using a pink form.
  • Prints on the drying rack may be left for up to a week. If someone else needs the space, or it has been more than a week, we may move your prints to the Imaging Center.
  • If you are missing prints off of the drying racks, check at the pick-up counter in the IC.

At the End of your Riso Session

  • Turn off the printer. If the printer is asleep, wake it up before you turn the machine off.
  • You can leave your prints to dry on the drying racks. (Corners tucked underneath the bar, to keep them from falling off.)
  • Take any instruction handouts with you that you would like, or put them back in the rack.
  • Please leave the Riso books on their magazine rack.
  • We cannot store paper, backpacks, boxes, or any other items in the Riso room, so please take them with you.
  • Pay for your session or any French paper at the cash register. The IC accepts cash, credit card, or CCS Flex.
  • Clean up any excess paper or collage clippings around the Riso room.

Renting the Riso Studio

Rental Fees

  • Students are charged for time in the Riso room, rounded to the nearest quarter-hour.
  • If you are working with a Riso tutor in a planning capacity, rather than printing, you will not be charged.
  • Student rental is $10/hour up to $200 per semester. Once you have paid for 20 hours, you will not be charged for the remainder of the semester.
  • If you are working with another Riso member in the room, you will not be “double-charged”. Either member may pay for the room, or you can split the cost between you at the register. If no payment is made, the person who makes the reservation is responsible for payment.
  • IC Management will keep a running tally of hours spent in the Riso Studio.

Late / No Show Policy

  • Your reservation will be held for 20 minutes, after which the Riso room will be made available for other students.
  • Please call the Imaging Center if you are running late or if you need to cancel at 313-664-1507.
  • Three “no shows” will result in a suspension of Riso room privileges

Riso Tutors

Booking time with the Riso Tutors

  • The IC Riso Tutor oversees students making work on the Risograph in the Riso Studio. The tutor will guide students through project management, file preparation, and the operation of the machine. The Riso Tutor will not print your project for you.
  • Students can book an appointment with a Riso Tutor on Calendly.
  • Booking with a Riso Tutor automatically books the room for that time.
  • Riso Tutors are a free service unless you use the machine, in which case you will be charged the normal hours rate ($10/hour) for use of the Riso printer.

F. A. Q.

Can a non-trained friend be in the Riso Studio?
Yes, but you need to let us know at check-in. Please include their names on your Calendly form. A non-trained friend cannot touch the machine – this includes changing the drums!

If two Riso-trained people schedule time & print together, will they be “double charged”?
No, you are paying for use of one machine and one room. The rate remains the same whether or not you are printing as an individual, or as a pair, or as a group.

The time spent also will be split on the 20-hour benchmark as well. For example, each trained person would receive one half-hour towards their completed 20 hours.

Online Resources

Stencil wiki | stencil.wiki/

Run by Issue Press, this site has lots of tutorials and an interactive map locating Risograph studios across the globe.

YouTube channel | Oliva and Pindot

Pindot press makes helpful videos that cover file set up and how a Riso differs from other printers and general use of the machine.

YouTube channel | Risolve Studio

Risolve Studio makes helpful tutorials that cover file set up particularly in Photoshop.

Risograph Printer Outline: Rachel DeBoard // Risograph Doodles: Lilia Neill

Favorite Printing Resources

There are many resources in Detroit and online that offer similar services as at the Imaging Center. Here is a selection of our favorite places:

Off-Campus & Local Resources

Fine Art Printing

Image Works: Fine Art and Photographic printing */**
Image Works specializes in archival pigment printing, also known as giclée or inkjet printing, for reproducing photographic and fine art imagery.

3726 Monroe St.
Dearborn, MI 48124

313-768-5020
info@imageworksfineart.com

Small Works Detroit */**
Resource for small print runs and printing advice, specializing in fundraiser printing and special projects.

Located in Detroit, temporarily an online-only storefront.

Cache Printing */**
Cache offers affordable, high-quality printing to artists, designers, and community organizers. Cache Printing also has a Risograph printer! Based in Detroit, MI

Laser Paper

French Paper *
Located in Niles, Michigan, French Paper offers uncoated papers, brightly colored card stock, and envelopes. Keep an eye out for ‘free shipping codes’ promoted on their Instagram

Millcraft Paper Store **
Wholesale paper and printing supplies. Often carries French, Neenah, and Domtar papers. Call for current inventory! Open 7:30am-5pm Monday-Friday

21118 Bridge St., Southfield, MI 48033
248-355-0310

Online Resources

Moo
Business cards, stationery, stickers, labels, marketing materials. Moo offers short-run & rush delivery options if you’re in a pinch!

Spoonflower
Upload and print your design on a variety of unique options, including wallpaper, fabric, decorative pillows, and more.

SmartPress
Online printing service including all types of book binding, booklets, card printing and signage.

Risograph Studios & Online Resources

Perfectly Acceptable
Offers Riso printing as a service as well as an online bookshop (which is really awesome!!)

Risolve Studio
Risograph printing and graphic design services, an online portfolio, and a small store. They also have an active YouTube channel with amazing tutorials. These tutorials can be incredibly helpful if you are struggling with file set up in Photoshop!

Issue Press
Issue Press is an independent publisher of artist publications and multiples and a Risograph printing service based in Grand Rapids, MI.

Stencil Wiki
Run by Issue Press, this site has lots of tutorials and an interactive map locating Risograph studios across the globe.

Apricot Press
Local Riso print shop that focuses on flyers, zines, and buttons. Owned and run by former Imaging Center work-study technician, April West.

Pindot Press
Risograph studio in the Greater Toronto area. They are also a wonderful resource that includes YouTube tutorials about Riso printing as well as information on their own workflow.

* Local / Michigan or regional business

** Brick and mortar business within 30 miles of Detroit proper

Do you have a suggestion of an awesome print shop or digital printing resource? If so, send the Imaging Center an email (ic@collegeforcreativestudies.edu) with their website and why you think we should add them to our list.

Risograph Workshops

Riso Training in Fall 2021
Want to learn more about Riso printing?
Apply for a 3-week Intro to Riso workshop series.

The Intro to Riso workshop series will run for 2 hours, once a week, for 3 weeks in September 2021. Learn to print off-the-glass, the basics of color separations, and Riso file prep.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to rent time on the Riso for $10/hour. Riso Room rental includes ink, proofing paper, and individual access to the Risograph.

Availability is limited, but we will try and accommodate as many students as possible. Students will be selected based on their graduation year, scheduling concerns, and first-come, first-serve.

Please note:
If you are not able to go through training this year, you are still welcome to attend pop-up Riso events, Riso-related club events, one-day mini-workshops, and submit Riso jobs to the IC online, with or without Riso basic training. We also do zoom consultation if you would like help setting up your file for service printing.

More information will be available soon! Keep an eye out for information in the Weekly Student Email & our social media!

Risograph Printer Outline: Rachel DeBoard // Risograph Doodles: Lilia Neill

Buttons

The Imaging Center can make 1.25” buttons. 

Each button costs: $0.35 with a maximum of 60 buttons/order. 

Templates can be found on our Campus Office site on Blackboard.

Please keep in mind that each template is slightly different. There are specific application directions in each version. Pay attention if there are layers to be deleted. 

Remember that because the buttons are small (1.25”), any text that you include on the edges may be difficult to read and/or folded over once the button is made.

By default, the IC prints all button orders on our Hammermill 28# color copy paper. 

If you’d like something different, keep in mind that paper must be 28# bond (or 70# text) or less. We will not be able to print on card stock. 

General turnaround times for button making is 4 business days. 

CCS Pride Buttons for an event in June 2021

Stack Cutting

The Imaging Center can cut up to 3” in sheets of paper at one time.

The standard turnaround time for the cutting & binding processes is 24 hours (one business day). During midterms and finals, turnaround times may increase. Your job will be processed in the order that it was received. 

Make sure to save your file with crop marks and bleed to ensure that your type or image isn’t trimmed off. The Imaging Center has a cutting tolerance of 1/16”. Anything that comes within 1/16” (0.063”) of the edge of the trim line could potentially be cut off. Be sure to place all elements more than 1/16” (0.063”) away from the edge of the design. 

There is a minimum count of 15 sheets of paper in order to use this service. 

The IC will not use the stack cutter to trim tiling jobs, business cards, or stickers.

The Imaging Center will not stack cut books printed off-site (blurb, lulu, etc.). The IC will also not stack cut-through mat board, foam core, cardboard. If off-site material is cut or bound incorrectly by an IC Tech, the IC will reprint materials on Imaging Center stock at no cost. 

All pages must be the same length; the Imaging Center cannot guarantee that the binding machines can evenly punch through sketchbooks and/or tracing paper.    

The IC does reserve the right to deny submitted collections of various papers and sizes. 


Plastic Coil & Wire Binding

The Imaging Center also offers spiral or wire binding up to 11” in length. Your booklet must be submitted with the pages in the correct order and orientation from front cover to back cover. 

Make sure to save your file with crop marks and bleed to ensure that your type or image isn’t trimmed off. The Imaging Center has a cutting tolerance of 1/16”. Anything that comes within 1/16” (0.063”) of the edge of the trim line could potentially be cut off. Be sure to place all elements more than 1/16” (0.063”) away from the edge of the design. 

Covers must also be trimmed to size. If you are submitting an already printed book, IC staff can give you covers to trim to size. If the booklet is being printed in the IC and then trimmed, the IC will include the covers in the stack. 

Give yourself an extra 1/4” (0.25”) margin on the bound edge when designing booklets. 

The standard turnaround time for the cutting & binding processes is 24 hours (one business day). During midterms and finals, turnaround times may increase. Your job will be processed in the order that it was received. 

All pages must be the same length; the Imaging Center cannot guarantee that the binding machines can evenly punch through sketchbooks and/or tracing paper.    

The IC does reserve the right to deny submitted collections of various papers and sizes. 

Plastic Coil | Standard Colors 

Black

Clear

Plastic Coil | Speciality Colors 

Wedgewood Blue

Tan

Neon Orange

Neon Yellow

Dark Teal

All of our color coils come in a 10mm or 14mm size — so a max of 115 sheets of 20# bond paper — the thicker the paper, the less we’d be able to fit. 

Wire 2:1 & Wire 3:1 | Standard Colors 

Black

Silver


Designing for the Risograph

What are ink smudges?

Riso ink dries through absorption. Similar to a newspaper, prints never fully “cure” or dry.

Rubbing the ink with your finger, even once “dry”, can result in smudging. This is a natural occurrence.

What are roller marks?

Roller marks usually happen in a second or third color pass.

The paper feed rollers pick up color from one print and transfer it to the next print.

What is misregistration?

In Riso printing, each color is printed separately, so colors rarely match up perfectly.

Registration (aligning overlapping colors to form a new image) may shift during a run, and leave small gaps of white between colors.

Design tricks for the Riso

Minimize smudges, roller marks and mis-registration using design:

  • Set all colors to < 80% opacity (except text).
  • Limit your number of colors.
    • Four colors at 100% = 400% saturation.
  • Leave the top 2” of your image blank, or lightly inked.
    • Roller marks tend to happen towards the top and center of a page.
  • Avoid large areas of solid colors, color blocks, and design with a “background color”.
    • It is better to print on a pink piece of paper, than to ink a white piece of paper with pink.
  • Use “Trapping” to overlap colors at their edges, decreasing the likelihood of an unwanted white gap.
  • Use font size 6pt or higher.

Fixing a finished print

  • Riso ink marks can sometimes be removed with light erasing.
  • Prints that will be heavily handled (example: book covers) can be sprayed with fixative to help prevent smudging.

For more information on Riso printing, check out our complete Riso Guide.

Risograph & Imaging Center Technician: Teddy in Winter 2021

Illustrator Overview

When designing artwork in Adobe Illustrator, make sure you are only using the Pantone spot color swatches. Do not try to create your own spot colors. The automated color separations consistently recognize Pantone spot colors. The swatches that we have available also are clearly labeled so you’ll always know what colors you are using.

Pull up the print menu in Illustrator:  File > Print or ⌘P

Mac Users: For the Printer, select Adobe PostScript File. This will allow you to “print” to a pdf.

Set Media Size to 11″ x 17″ or 8.5″ x 11″, depending on the size of your document.

For the PPD, select any printer that you have installed on your computer. If you don’t have any printers on your laptop, (or you don’t have an 11×17 printer installed on your laptop) install the Xerox Print Driver found on our Drives & Downloads page

PC users: For the Printer, select Adobe PDF. This will allow you to print to a pdf.

Set Media Size to 11″ x 17″ or 8.5″ x 11″, depending on the size of your document.

Marks & Bleeds Menu

Check “All Printer’s Marks”

Select “Use Document Bleed Settings.”

If you use the Illustrator template, your document should be exactly 11”x 17” or 8.5” x 11” with bleed. This depends on the template size you chose to make your work. Template files have a 1/2” bleed on all sides.

Output Menu

Change the Mode from Composite to Separations (Host-Based).

In the Document Ink Options, make sure that the print icon is on for the Pantone spot colors you are using and off for all of the Process/CMYK colors. 

If the process colors are checked on, this means you have something in your file that is set up for CMYK. This is not a viable printing option for the Risograph. 

Advanced Menu

Change the Overprints option to Preserve. 

Check on “Discard White Overprint.”. Click Save

This will create a postscript or .ps file. Open in Acrobat Distiller or Preview to convert the file to a pdf.

Save the file as a pdf. Your colors should be separated into black and white pages with the Pantone number listed at the top of each page. 

For More Information

Troubleshooting

Common Questions

If I want to switch out the color of a plate (print on a blue plate using the teal drum), do I need to alter and re-save my file?

No. The printer reads your plate as a grayscale file and prints in whatever color is loaded into the machine.

Is this the only way to save a Photoshop file?

No. There are a lot of ways to prepare a Photoshop file. You are welcome to research and use other methods on your own.

Troubleshooting

I can’t add a new adjustment layer to my file

Once you add spot colors and/or switch to Multichannel mode, you cannot add any more adjustment layers. However, you can make channel adjustments using Image > Adjustments > Levels (or Curves).

If you want to make major adjustments to your file, go back to CMYK or RGB mode and make the adjustments. Note that this will delete the spot colors that you’ve already made. But if you are making drastic changes, it is better to do so in CMYK or RGB. After you’ve made your changes, repeat your preferred process of color separation.

The Multichannel or CMYK mode is grayed out

Some of the color modes won’t convert between each other. You may need to switch to grayscale first, and then switch to your chosen color mode. Grayscale will discard color information, so you will need to re-color if you use it as an in-between mode.

Tips

Double-sided printing tips

There will always be roller marks when double-siding. But they can be minimal if you take the following steps

  • Print the side with the least amount of ink coverage first.
  • Bring back your opacity to 80% across the board.
  • Roller marks tend to appear towards the top and center of the page. The more ink in that area, the more prevalent the roller marks.

Interactive Pieces

Anything that is being handled a lot (like a flipbook or resume) should be at 80% max.

How to Split Channels in Photoshop

Each channel needs to be its own separate pdf file. The easiest way to do this is to split the channels. First, save your work.

Split your channels using the Channels menu

Photoshop will generate 3 separate grayscale files.

Save each as a pdf.

 

Combine these newly separated pdfs into one single pdf file with a screenshot of your composite image. You are now ready to print in the Imaging Center!