The World of Riso

Today Sara introduced us to The World of Riso Printing. She explained to us how it’s important to use different processes when being a professional practitioner. I arrived a little late due to train delays however I managed to catch up with the lesson pretty quickly. 

Sara first showed us some beautiful examples of Riso Print Documents. The first few were made by Nous Vous a London based studio. The two tone colours used within these books work in the most amazing ways adding a painted look to each image. 

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We were then taken on a step by step process of how to use the riso printer. 

All images and documents used within riso printing must be black to get the best quality prints. We can also use collage or single shaped images by placing them on the scanner bed. There are also ways of printing digital works using a USB. Riso printing is a different interesting way of printing design work, detailed and delicate textured prints.

Step by Step Process

Changing the colour – press button to open ink draw, lift ink out used green handles only and add new colour (options are blue, green, red and black)

Photocopy face down – enter 1 and press M to Master your image

Remember which way round you printed your first master when printing on top of mastered image or making a book.

Printing on top of a mastered print, press M to turn master off and press print.

<     > speed of print 

O Intensity of print and quality of colour

The biggest print being A3 and the smallest being A5.

Here are some examples Sara did with us this morning, the first image being the original black image we used to master, the second being the first master print with did with second layer and the third being the best print. 


Booklets and books must be divided by 4, InDesign can help with this but it is also very important to learn the full process of riso printing.

Creating a booklet can be complicated if you don’t number the pages correctly and work out what number pages are aligned next to each other. For example if you were to create a 14-16 page book you would need two sheets, two masters and two printouts. All together this equals 32 print outs – budget your money before hand – £1 a print/master. It’s also important to think about points, you never want the points to be too small.


Sara also introduced us to G.F. SMITH’s paper sample book, the main swatch which includes every type of paper they sell. A successful paper company based in London.

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“The feel of different paper is important” – Sara


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