Dialogue Studio: Riso Printing

Today was all about printing our posters that we’d made the week before. Printing usually is an easy task, but it’s not so simple when you do it using the risograph!  It looks a lot like your regular office scanner+printer, but it can be a tedious machine to use. The risograph in our university is probably one of the most fun to use machines, but it’s also very temperamental. It took us at least an hour to figure out why photographs weren’t printing properly even when the contrast was cranked up to full (turns out there’s a special setting for that), and paper jams were abundant. Either way, we managed to produce beautiful 2 colour prints of our posters.

We started with editing our photographs and text to make it suitable for riso printing: for 2 layer printing you have to make 2 different masters that you will use for each layer. They both have to be black and white with enough contrast to show up on the print, I had to up the contrast to 100% on my photograph three times to achieve the desired effect! Then you make a master of your first layer, print, put the prints back in the paper stack, make the second layer and print on top, easy as that. It comes out cheaper (and nicer) than regular printing, especially if you are printing lots of copies; you can also make a mundane photograph with a quote on it look very artistic. Probably the most entertaining part of riso printing, is that you never know what the print will come out like, it’s a little bit unpredictable when you print more than one layer because aligning them, even if you try your very very best, is quite tricky.

My riso print outcome
My riso print outcome
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