What is a Risograph: A Risograph is a digital stencil duplicator designed for high volume reproduction of designs. As a printing method, a risograph printer sits somewhere between screen printing and offset lithography. It uses brightly colored inks, or “spot colors” allowing a wide range of bright and beautiful colors. A Risograph is a cost-effective self-publishing tool and is ideal for posters, graphic prints, comics, zines, or art books.
If you are looking for photographic quality reproduction, we recommend using the Imaging Center’s laser or inkjet printing services instead.
How does the Risograph Work? An image is either sent digitally from the Riso PC or from a physical original via the scanner bed. The master is created by burning the image onto the master roll inside the printer. This stencil is then wrapped around the ink drum. The Riso feeds paper under the ink drum as it rotates, and ink is pushed out through the stencil to create an impression.
Print Ready: The Imaging Center does not alter your file in any way. All files must come in ready for print. The IC prints actual size. Please make sure your print is no larger than 10”x16” to allow for registration and crop marks. (We will add these for you.)
File Type: PDF (multi-page PDF file separated by color – remember, the Riso only can print one color at a time).
Naming Convention (required): Name_FileName_Risocolors-in-Print-Order.pdf
- Example: MichellePeck_CatonRug_Red-Blue-Yellow-Black.pdf
- Name = Michelle Peck
- File = Cat on Rug
- Color 1: Red; Color 2: Blue; Color 3: Yellow; Color 4: Black
Your flattened PDF file should consist of 2-5 pages:
- Page 1: Rendered Image (color composite) of your final piece
- Page 2: Color 1 in Black & White / Grayscale
- Page 3: Color 2 in Black & White / Grayscale
- Page 4: Color 3 in Black & White / Grayscale
- Page 5: Color 4 in Black & White / Grayscale
Colors Available: The Imaging Center allows up to 4 colors per Riso print. We have 10 colors available: Blue, Bright Red, Yellow Black, Burgundy, Mint, Teal, Fluorescent Pink, Sunflower & Fluorescent Orange. Color swatches are available here: Risograph Downloads
Resolution: 300 d.p.i. or higher. 600 d.p.i. is recommended.
Turnaround Times: Your print job will be completed in the order it was received. The standard turnaround time for the risograph printer are 7 full business days depending on the number of colors. There are no “Rush” options for laser print jobs. Please allow an additional 48 hours (2 business days) for each color beyond two, as copies need to cure, or dry between runs.
General Turnaround Color Guidelines
- 1 or 2 colors: 7 days
- 3 colors: 9 days
- 4 colors: 11 days
- 5+ colors: please contact IC staff.
Color Alignment: Riso printing is never perfect, and is registered (registration = color alignment) by hand. For a “perfect” print, we recommend using the inkjet printer or the laser service.
If you have a document with multiple pages, you have two options.
- Submit a different form for each page. This is recommended for a single-sided job (like a booklet or calendar that only has single pages)
- Make an appointment with an IC staff member to review your job before submitting it. Especially if you have a book or a double-paged project you’d like to print. https://calendly.com/ccs_ic/risograph-consultation
More Information: For further information on file set up and Imaging Center policies and procedures, please review The Imaging Center Main Guide
Paper Resource List: Check out our permanent & rotating paper list HERE
Need Extra Help: Set up a 10-minute Google Hangouts or Zoom consultation with Imaging Center staff. We’ll even use a funny face filter. To schedule an appointment, visit our Calendly site: calendly.com/ccs_ic
Disclaimer: Risograph printing is an imperfect process. The IC will not reprint for inherent printing imperfections. Smudges, roller marks, and misregistration are a part of the nature of Riso printing. The IC takes all the necessary measures to minimize ink transfers and misregistration. We suggest that you take these design precautions into consideration. Remember though, no Riso print is ever perfect (and that is what makes Riso printing so awesome!).
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