Riso Research – Grace

Key features of Risograph prints:

  • High-volume photocopying and printing
  • Can also be called a digital duplicator or printer-duplicator
  • Generally more than 20 printed, long print runs are the goal
  • More cost effective than using ink jet, laser printer, etc.
  • My understanding is that the technical process is similar to an offset lithography machine with a drum that transfers the image onto the paper as it runs horizontally through the machine. The risograph printer makes a copy of the original in a scanner on the top portion which is how the image is able to be transferred to print. The master image is wrapped around the drum (this is called the screen), the image is permanent on the screen and the rests in this component, and then rolled onto the untouched paper. Each colour gets a screen of its own

  • No heat is required to fix the ink to the paper, like in photocopying or laser printing
  • Riso is the middle point between standard photocopy and commercial printing
  • Used for political posters, fine art, zines, catalogues, recipe books, stationary, photography, the list goes on!

Artists who use Risograph:

Steven Beckly – http://www.xpace.info/fundraiser-2016/beckly_steven_image-2/


Esther McManus – http://esthermcmanus.bigcartel.com/


Guelph grad Alison Postma – https://www.instagram.com/p/BK6egwYh78x/?taken-by=rumalow

Area of interest: Psychedelic rock posters, posters as promotion for bands, exploration of abstract space through patterning and repetition of form

Riso 3 Riso 1Riso 2

“At the very heart of the counterculture, these posters are expressions of an aesthetic in which neon colours, spinning shapes, and dense, space-filling patterns are used to translate the psychedelic experience.” p. 12 of Off The Wall pdf

There is an influence of Art Nouveau (with long hair, decorative aspect, repetition of patterning) as well as Op Art in these posters with the use of perceptual and colour related visual effects.

In the patterning of the tail on the third poster example, an abstracted text is evident, maybe just a repeating of the same letter, but it shows all aspects of the poster can act as a hidden section to mask text or another message.