Isle of Riso
Isle of Riso is the first Risograph printing studio in Inverness - a city in the heart of the Highlands of Scotland.
We value collaboration, education and accessibility. Therefore, we aim to work with local creative individuals and businesses, to teach the benefits of riso printing and offer an approachable, eco-friendly and cost-effective way of printing.
We currently offer services in printing artwork, posters, flyers, business cards, comics, zines, invites, greetings cards, menus and more!
What is Risograph printing?
Risograph is a type of stencil duplicator invented by the Riso Kagaku Corporation, in Japan, in 1984. On the outside, a Risograph looks like a photocopier, but it works like a mechanical screen printer, printing spot colours layer by layer.
The first of its consumers were schools, churches, community organisations and clubs. However, around 2009 there was a new type of buyer, and they were far more interested in pushing the artistic boundaries of the machine’s capabilities.
Users now include illustrators, zine makers, comic book artists, printmakers, graphic artists and more.
Whats the hype about?
Risograph duplicators stand aside from other printing methods for their high speed, low costs and completely unique results. In addition, one of the most intriguing features of Risograph printing is it’s little to no effect on the environment.
The ink that Risograph printers use is rice or soy-based. The stencils (referred to as masters) are made from plant fibres. Plus, it only uses a fraction of the electricity that laser or digital printers use.
How does it work?
Similarly to screen printing, stencils are made from greyscale artwork and each ink colour is printed separately - layered up one at a time.
The Risograph printer makes a master of your artwork internally and wraps it around the ink drum. The ink drum then turns at high speed as the paper is fed into the machine. Ink is pushed through the master and onto the paper to make a print. The first layer of artwork is complete, and it all happens in a matter of seconds!
Want to add more layers of colour? We change the ink drum, make a new master and put the same paper through again for the second layer. It’s that easy!
Will Riso printing work for me?
Riso isn’t like a normal full-colour printer - like you may have at home or find in the library - it can’t print glossy holiday photos. However, it’s perfect for artwork, zines, cards, menus and more!
If you’re not sure if it’ll work for you, please drop us a line, we’d be happy to answer any of your questions!
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Things you should know
Here you’ll find all the essential information you need to print with Isle of Riso
For Risograph printing, your artwork should be setup as separate greyscale layers, one for each colour of ink you intend to use.
(Similar to the way seprations are prepared for screen printing!)
Our Riso printer is an A3 printer - so everything is sent on A3 sized stencils, and printed on A3 paper.
If you would like to print smaller artwork, we recommend you tile them on an A3 page.
If you are finding it hard to do so, you may send us the artwork at its original size and we can file it for you at an extra set up cost.
420 x 297mm
Max Print Area:
410 x 287mm
(All prints will have a small white border - we can trim this for a minor extra cost.)
Riso inks have a translucent quality that works well when overlaid and blended on top of one and other. By mixing lighter and darker shades of grey in your artwork, many more colours can be achieved.
At Isle of Riso, there is five ink colours - but there is a rainbow of possibilities!
When desigining work digitally, you can use these hex codes to mimic the colours of our inks. But remember, they are not an exact representaion!
Teal - #00838A
F-Orange - #FF7477
Yellow - #FFE800
Crimson - #E45D50
The Riso printer reads tonal values so, any areas of your artwork that are black will be printed with full ink density, and any lighter areas will be printed in paler shades.
Please note that ink colours can change depending on what paper they’re printed on.
Quirk + Tips
Riso printing has a few quirks that may cause slight imperfections, but will also make every print unique! At Isle of Riso we aim to print your artwork at the highest quality despite these charming characteristics.
When producing prints with multiple layers or dark inks - marks can occur from the feed tire, picking up ink from the previous print, and transferring it onto the next print.
These marks can sometimes be rubbed out with an eraser. But we also recommend that you try to avoid areas of dark greys/black in areas highlighted in orange.
Each time a print passes through the machine, for an additional colour, there is a greater chance that the colours may not align perfectly. Use trapping where possible to avoid white gaps.
Riso ink has a similar quality to newspaper ink - it never fully dries out - some smudges can occur during and after printing. These can also sometimes be erased.
Large areas of block colours can vary with each individual print. This can be due to a flood or lack of ink being pushed though the drum.
File Set Up
1. PDF or PSD files only
2. Document must be A3 (420 x 297mm)
3. Each colour layer saved as a separate file
4. Make sure all layers are flattened
5. Files are set to Greyscale
6. Resolution = 300dpi
7. Include a full colour JPEG image for reference
If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’re always happy to help you through the process!
You can send your files over to us when you’re ready to print via email or, Wetranfer if you have larger files.
We can’t wait to print with you!
Price Guide + Paper stock
Costs of Risograph printing can be very flexible depending on your paper stock choice and how many colours of ink you’d like to use. The most expensive material is the use of masters.
(Masters are the paper stencils the machine generates for each colour of the print.)
Eg. 2 Colour = 2 Masters
Every job will require a bespoke quote - depending on the paper stock and additional requirements such as prep work, finishing or editing.
We can’t take print orders for less than 20 copies because the printing becomes economically unviable as the master is not used enough to make prints.
Can’t see what you’re looking for, don’t worry get in touch!
We’re open to making zines, books, menus and more - just ask and we can give you a price for your specific job!
We also offer 20% student discount on our prices
At Isle of Riso, all our paper stock is FSC approved and made from recycled paper waste.
Our standard paper for prints is Context Natural 190gsm
We are also adding to our paper stock all the time so ask us for paper stock updates when ordering. Or, if you would like to print on your own paper, let us know and we can tell you if it’s suitable!