Print with us

Why Riso printing over other types of printing?

Simply put, we believe there's no other printing process that captures the magic of Riso. 

That’s a pretty bold statement so while Riso printing has some limitations compared to silkscreen and digital printing for us the color and limitations make it a wonderfully unique way to print - if you are willing to design for Riso to maximize its qualities. 

What to know about Riso printing?

If you are new to Risograph printing or just re-familiarizing yourself with it – Riso printing is an imperfect printing process with its own quirks and imperfections but the payoff is lush color and beautiful ink textures.

We describe it as the ink texture of comic books, the speed of a copier and a color unlike other printing methods. (More about Risograph.)

Riso’s use a soy-based ink that never fully dries similar to newsprint ink. The benefit of this is the overprint process — laying multiple colors over each other — that produces unique transparent overlays.

The Basics:

Riso can print up to US tabloid size 11 x 17 in or A3 (EU) 297 x 420 mm but it cannot print full bleed.  

Riso works well with paper from 24lb text stock to 80lb cover stock. At 100lb cover stock, sometimes the Riso can struggle printing that thick of paper. 

Riso quirks

  • Smudging - Since the ink never fully dries a print that heavily handled that can have smudging similar to how newspaper ink behaves. Each Risograph ink has a different personality so some inks smudge less than others. 
  • Roller Marks - Risograph machines have two wheels that grab and pull sheets into the printer but that combination of pressure and printer to leave roller marks. We do our best to mitigate roller marks with a combination of regular cleaning, design and care. 
  • Registration errors - For print projects requiring 2 or more inks, it is likely that two colors layers won’t align perfectly or consistently. This is just part of the Riso process. If your project demands  perfect registration, Riso may not be right for you.
  • Ink coverage spottiness - Areas of heavy ink application can cause variation in ink coverage. For many Risograph projects this is an unavoidable side-effect of Riso printing but it does produce a wanted texture.

How to set-up your files to print with us?

We say there are two ways to set-up your files: for spot colors and CMYK. Spot color means you create a separate layer for each color you want to print. And the traditional CMYK or a faux CMY process. 

For the best spot-color printing results in your editing software, merge all of the same color into one layer and convert the color to registration black. Then you’ll want to export all your color layers as a separate PDF, PNG or JPG. 

Please don’t add printer’s marks.

If you need help to set-up your file to print.

Reach out we are here to help and guide you through the process.

Selecting Paper

Choosing the right paper has an impact with Riso printing but don’t worry we will work with all clients to make sure you have the right paper for you project. 

  • For illustrations: we advise choosing a paper with a little tooth, like a vellum paper, and a cover stock up to 80lbs. We think this gives it that added feel when selling artwork.
  • For photos: for the best results a smoother paper and up to 80lb cover or card stock as that will perform the best for capturing photographic details.
  • For zines: for the inside pages you have a lot of options from color and weight depending on your project. We recommend anything from a 24lb bond to a 70t text weight stock. 

Overwhelmed with paper choices? No worries we can work with ya to match paper with your projects. We believe the project determines the paper not just what we have in stock.

Our colors

Quarter Pop has 11 Riso colors on offer at the moment. 

Fluorescent Pink, Bright Red, Fluorescent Orange, Yellow, Kelly Green, Aqua, Blue, Teal, Orchid, Black and Metallic Gold.

    Finishing Options: 

    We offer a wide array of finishing options in-house. We can fold, score, perforate, cut, staple, spiral bing, perfect bind, and finish just about any project. No matter what your Riso requires, we can finish it.