A Risograph printer was created in 1986, it was intended for high volume photocopying, printing & duplicating. They would have been used to make high volumes of leaflets, for political parties.
Similar process to screen printing. The risograph creates a layer for each colour involved in the artwork. The ink is soy based & comes in big tubes, that are inserted into the printer. Due to the type of ink, the paper quality matters. The ink will never dry if put onto low quality paper. The machine being eco-friendly has played a big part in its comeback.
The risograph is limited to the number of colours it can print. Cyan & Magenta are not included. Using spot colours, much like digital printing.
Designers & illustrators and designers see this as a more economical alternative to silk screen printing. Its seen as a very affordable way to self publish work, for a small time designer or student this is ideal, to get your mark out there, an create some small pieces to present to clients, at an affordable price.
It went out of fashion as printing needs changed. People wanted things at a certain speed & the risograph were known to be quite slow in the process. Recently they have come back, to create zines, small booklets & leaflets.
Hato Press is a London based design agency, that specialise in zines & risograph printing. Established in 2009, it was created to help production for other designers, self publishers, to make it affordable.
Offset Printing – A video explaining the process of offset printing, very similar to risograph.
Risograph official website – https://www.riso.co.jp/english/
Image – http://hatopress.net/printing/