Getting your head around riso
Pod Press Printing Guide
This is the page to come to for all things you need to know about riso printing. Below, we take you through how it works, and what you need to get your own prints made. We also made a PDF guide - see all our guides on our 'Design Help' button in the navigation bar above.
Printing with us
How riso works
Risograph machines work a bit like a mechanical screenprinter - each colour prints at a different time and gets layered one on top of the other. This means each colour layer needs a different artwork file - so the more colours you want, the more files you need to make.
Working around this means a working with a limited colour palette, but this can make designs look really good!
Visit our YouTube channel to see videos of how riso works!
Below are some things you need to know when making digital files for riso.
Think in layers
Each colour is printed separately, using a new stencil (called a master) each time. This means when you make your image to send to us, we will need different digital files for each colour.
We then print each colour on top of each other, making up the finished image. The inks are a bit translucent, so they can make a new colour if placed directly on each other!
Make in greys
Riso machines can't see in colour - only greys! They also don't care what colour of ink we have installed at any point and treats them all the same.
For example, if you want a part of your print to be 100% yellow, you must make sure your that part of your 'yellow layer' image file is 100% black. For areas you want to print 50% yellow, you make that part of the file 50% black - and so on. Same goes for each different colour you want to print: you want 70% [blue], you give it 70% black on the digital file layer.
This is why naming your files properly is important - so we know which ones are to be printed in which colour!
Fit on A3
Our stencils (masters) allow for printing up to A3 in size. You can fit two A5s in an A4, and two A4s in an A3, so you can be economical in your printing by fitting multiple prints onto one A3 stencil, then chopping them down after printing!
Our machine cannot print all the way to the edge of a full A3, so be sure to leave a 1cm border all the way around.
Sound complicated? We have all sorts of templates for you to download and use for preparing your images in our 'Design Help' section.
Pod Press ink colours
We have seven colours available!
As everyone's screens are slightly different, the final prints may look slightly different in real life - especially the fluorescent pink - the magic is in the print.
The inks used in riso are made using rice bran, normally left for waste in the food industry.
Black, #000000 Red, #ff665e Medium Blue, #3255a4
Yellow, #ffe800 Green, #00a95c Fluorescent Pink, #ff48b0 Orange, #ff6c2f
All the paper we have in stock is FSC-certified or made from 100% post-consumer waste (the most sustainable kind of recycled).
* Context papers are also available in 225gsm, but need a longer lead-in time and minimum orders.
If you wish to supply your own paper, you are welcome to, however it must be uncoated and between 80 - 200gsm - otherwise it just won't print!
Riso file checklist
When you start your digital files, it's best to make sure they have:
at least 300dpi resolution
overall file dimensions are A3 in size (420 x 297mm)
a 10mm clear border around the edge, with the maximum printable area being 400 x 277mm
When you are giving your files to us, make sure they are:
following the above three points
flattened, greyscale PDFs for each colour layer
including cut marks where appropriate
named clearly, e.g. 'yourname_artwork_colour.pdf'
including a colour proof (an image which shows us what it should look like printed)
Sending us your print request!
Once you have all your files ready and ticked off everything in our checklist above, to get the print order in, just email us with your files attached!
To help speed up our quote and print job, please let us know the following information:
how many copies
double-sided or single-sided
kind of paper
if you need trimming/finishing
if you are a Wester Hailes resident