For both amateurs and professionals looking to experiment with colour and paper, here’s something for you. Today, Marcroy and I would like to introduce you to fifteen of the UK’s best Risograph printing studios / RISO printers. Even though the colour options are limited with Risograph compared to the other types of printing, Risograph still proves an interesting alternative since its appeal lies in quality, creativity with layers and most importantly affordability.
What is RISO printing?
Risograph aka RISO printing is a high-speed, photocopier meets mimeograph printing system, named after the manufacturer, Riso Kagaku Corp. This piece of machinery was produced for high volume copying and printing back in mid 80s. It can duplicate prints from the built in scanning bed, but also has the ability to be used as network printer, which is very appealing to designers and illustrators when producing editions or self-published comics, zines and books.
How does it work?
RISO printing uses master sheets to transfer the ink from the drum onto the passing paper according to the design that has been scanned in or entered digitally. The artwork is transferred onto the master sheet by a series of heated spots on a thermal plate which burn away the artwork shape leaving voids in the master. The master sheet wraps around the ink drum so that the coloured ink can be pushed through these voids onto the paper that passes through at a high speed.
Every print using this master will be the same colour. If you require a colour change, you will have to remove the interchangeable ink drum, replace it with your desired colour and create a new master to wrap around that drum.
Why use RISO?
This method of printing is a more affordable option when compared to other reproduction processes like screen printing or offset lithography, yet you can achieve similar aesthetics and beautiful colour overlays. You can pass a sheet of paper through as many times as you like to build up different colour layers.
In alphabetical order:
This West London-based Risograph printing and publishing studio is run by Two Times Elliott, a design consultancy whose projects include a diverse range of work across multiple disciplines. They have a great eye for creating visual impact and their striking print layout is undeniably stunning.
Bellevue Press is an independent Risograph printing press with a passion for self-published zines and experimental prints. From posters to flyers and fanzines, Bellevue Press works closely with artists to make sure everything is produced with top quality. They also offer a range of binding and finishing services – what a perfect place for putting the finishing touch on your project, right?
Bolt Editions’ love for bold colour scheme and Risograph printing has seen them created a wide range of printed matter and exhibitions. They occasionally curate and organise a group exhibition that serves as a platform for young artists to showcase their work.
Ditto is the first company in the UK to specialise in Risograph printing. If you are looking to create colourful prints, here they have 18-colour options to offer. From small publications to large-scale art prints, Ditto can produce anything at competitive prices.
If you are into unconventional print art, then you will love Duke Press, a London-based publishing collective. They specialise in creative publishing and produce limited-edition works, usually hand-made and individually numbered. What’s more, they often collaborate with international artists and designers to create their introductory series of publications.
This Devon’s independent studio and publishing house is run by Nick Davies, former owner of PrtScrPress, with an aim to showcase work by regional artists (primarily from Wales and the South West). Davies also curates and produces a quarterly art zine which is based around artists working with place-based concepts, called Loophole Supplements.
Footprint Workers Co-operative
Footprint Workers Co-operative is a small ecologically minded printers based in Leeds. Filled with printing solutions and subtlety, works by Footprint Workers Co-Operative are presented in variable formats. And they are unafraid to challenge the needs of our fast-paced market.
You will find Hato Press a real bonus if you are planning to publish your own books. Its name, Hato, meaning pigeon in Japanese, pays homage to Doves Press, a significant contributor to the Arts and Crafts movement. Hato serves as an experimental platform for collaborators to develop ideas and to facilitate both the product and distribution of contemporary, creative content.
For only one year, Jonzo has proved to be at the forefront of the experimental Risograph industry. It’s the Liverpool’s first Risograph studio and it has played an important role in the UK’s creative scene.We love their experimental method to create strong visual output.
Mono is an independent risograph print collective established by Textbook Studio. They are passionate about detail and delivering design excellence to a broad range of clients from arts and culture sectors.
Risosaurus’s work evolves from a subtle alchemy of monochrome editorial, limited edition prints to colourful handmade zines. They are based in Sheffield and like to hear from independent artists, designers, illustrators. Do get in touch with them if you want to get your work published or printed!
Independent publishing house and Risograph printing studio Risotto is an excellent source of inspiration. Graphic designer Gabriella Marcella set up Risotto with a primary aim to explore the realms of risograph printing and to create bold and playful design outputs. To tell you the truth, Risotto’s impressive series of creative publications, prints and paper products are just incredible.
Risograph printers of all things fun, creative and experimental. They have a particular focus on research based, communicative visual work and that’s why their shop is home to a wide selection of design must-haves. Take a look for yourself.
Victory Press publishes limited edition artist books and print editions using not only Risograph but various print methods. They are based in Deptford and they approach each project with painstaking attention to detail and make sure every finishing process is done carefully.
Workhorse Press was founded in 2010 by Dominic and Orlando who share an interest in material-focused approach. They are an independent printing and publishing studio based in Edinburgh and together they create a wide array of Risograph prints, publications, as well as products that are all inspiring and extraordinary.
For more information about the versatility of print, why don’t you try reading our Print Isn’t Dead magazine?
— People of Print (@peopleofprint) February 26, 2015