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We get quite excited about colour riso printing. It would be really nice to print more using this process, which is why we’re writing this page to tell you how you can add a splash of colour to your work without the expense of full colour laser printing.



How the process works


In risograph printing, the paper is put through the machine once for each colour and for each side, with one colour being printed over another. The ink is transparent, so it’s changed by the colour of paper or ink beneath it. Ask us for a sample card as this can produce some lovely effects.


Risographs print with ink (which is wet) rather than toner. This means that for best results, the paper should be allowed to rest between each colour, especially for work with heavy coverage. Please consider this when planning your deadline as rushing jobs may result in smudging or otherwise compromise quality. It also means that the paper may expand slightly while printing.

Together with the mechanical nature of risographs, this means that registration is not absolutely spot on and will vary by a couple of milimeters. You need to think about this when preparing your artwork. For example, only try to print milimeter-thin lines or small text on top of each other if you’re going for an optical illusion effect. Increasing the width of borders and overlapping graphics can help ensure there are no visible gaps.




We can print in hot pink!


We've had some colours for a while but now we've got flourescent pink and we're dead pleased with it. We did ponder printing everything for everyone in pink unless they specifically say black, but maybe one or two dullards would find that a bit much.


As you can see in the pictures, you can do a straightforward pink-only print, you can use it as a background for black print, incorporate it into multicoloured designs or, like the one just below on the right, print the same image in black and pink to get a really striking glowy effect. Think pink!

2012-04-27_14.31.49 DSC01729 DSC01734
DSC01736 DSC01732 DSC01737


As well as using coloured ink, you can alter things by using different coloured paper. Check out the different shades the pink ink comes out, on pink paper it comes out amazingly bright and on yellow it goes a gorgeous burnt orange.




Designs that work well



You can print your design in coloured ink rather than black.

rumours cover

It works well to use colour as a wash to create an eye-catching splash of colour behind black text.  This works especially well if you are using coloured paper or card.


Or you can combine two on more colours to create interesting effects.


Coloured paper also changes the colour of the ink - the booklet on the left uses bright blue ink which is made almost teal by the gold paper.


Or you could create graphics that do crazy and creative things with two or more colours.


The design on the left uses all four colours. On the right they're using red and blue with the final effect coming out in shades of purple.




How to send your work


You’ll need to send your work with the colours separated. And each of the images needs to appear black – even if you are using a colour. If you send your red graphic in red it will come out much paler than if you send it to us in black. Put the colour in the filename to help us get it right. It also helps if you can send a graphic of what the final page will look like once printed with all the colours. But this is by no means essential.


Baildon-WI-RED-1 Baildon-WI-BLACK-1 Baildon-WI-2011
Red separation Black separation Final product





Coloured ink is twice as expensive as black ink so the overall cost of your job will be higher if using coloured ink (though this is a small proportion of the cost of printing). Multicoloured printing adds to the cost more significantly as each sheet has to be run through the machine once for each colour, so the time it takes increases and the cost of printing goes up accordingly.





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