Oddities is proud to be Kansas City's #1 source for high quality riso prints, operating a model MZ 790U Risograph since 2015. Riso printing is a high speed, low cost alternative to screen printing. This process combines the ink-on-paper look of traditional screen printing with the speed and affordability of Xerox printing. Perfect for flyers, books, zines, brochures, artist editions, cards, 7" jackets, cassette & cd covers, and much more.
Risograph uses standardized ink colors that print on a gradient of 0 to 100% coverage. Imagine grayscale, only not gray. These inks are soy-based and have a transluscent quality that allows you to layer several spot colors together using different ink densities to achieve a wide range of colors.
We currently have 12 colors: Black, Medium Blue, Blue, Green, Bright Red, Orange, Yellow, Metallic Gold, Orchid, Bubble Gum, Fluorescent Pink, and Light Teal. Upcoming colors include Sea Foam, Cornflower, and more!
If you are interested in printing a color that we do not offer, our staff may be able to recommend a combination of two or more colors to achieve the look you’re going for!
Color overprint can be simulated by using Multiply layer modes in Photoshop, Illustrator, Procreate, etc. *Please note — Riso ink is not 100% transluscent and layer print order determines the exact degree of overprint. Our Riso operator makes sure to run your prints in a way that best represents your artwork.
PAPER SIZE & WEIGHT
We currently can print on stock ranging from 60# text to 65# cover. In some special cases, our Risograph can run up to 100# cover. If you foresee this applying to you, please contact us to see if your artwork is compatible with this paper weight.
Our Risograph can print on paper up to 11” x 17”. We must include a minimum 3/8” margin on artwork, including crops, regardless of the artwork size. This helps prevents paper jams due to excessive ink coverage. The maximum ink area is therefore 10.25” x 16.25”.
For 8.5” x 11” press sheets, the maximum print area is 10.25” x 7.75”. This can be circumnavigated by printing on a larger sheet of paper and trimming down, which may incur additional paper costs depending on the preferred paper type.
For full-bleed artwork, we must always trim down. Therefore, the maximum size of full-bleed Riso artwork is 10” x 16”. In some situations we may be able to secure a larger print size, but this depends on the artwork and paper type. If you are concerned about this, please contact us and we can give your artwork an official yay or nay with our press operator’s recommendation.
GRAIN VS HALFTONES
Our Risograph is very smart and can perform halftone translations without any prepress assistance. Most folks familiar with Riso are aware of the characteristic texture that Riso’s default Grain Touch setting gives to artwork, but Riso is also able to print with 43 ppi, 71 ppi, and 106 ppi halftones. All you need to do is let us know what your print preference is!
If your artwork consists of vector files, Grain Touch may be your go-to. If you are printing photographs, halftones may be able to represent your artwork better. We recommend printing photographs with either 71 or 106 ppi setting.
For most print orders, turnaround is typically 3-7 working days once a deposit has been secured and a digital proof has been approved. For booklets, zines, or other items requiring finishing and assembly or special materials, you can expect turnaround to be 7-10 working days from the date of proof approval. If you have an upcoming event or desired in-hand date, be sure to share that in your quote request so we can help quickly meet your deadline. If you need something completed in less time, rush fees can be calculated upon request.
Our office is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
PLEASE BE AWARE, RISOGRAPH IS SENSITIVE
ROLLER MARKS & SEPARATOR DRAG
For artwork with more than 2 colors, roller marks may occur in the area shown in blue in this graphic. Paper is fed through the Risograph with a rubber wheel. This applies pressure to fresh ink, which can eave a mark on your artwork. Roller marks are noticeable when artwork includes areas of dense ink coverage near the paper feed edge. Be mindful of heavy ink coverage in this area. Roller marks that appear in blank margins of the paper can usually be removed with a generic eraser.
Additionally, a claw-shaped piece of plastic sits above the paper track and helps separate paper from the ink drums. The separator claw can drag across the center of the paper, denoted by the dotted red line, and create a line through heavy ink coverage. This generally occurs where there is 200% or more ink coverage in the center of the press sheet.
SMUDGING & OFFSET
Risograph ink is soy-based, similar to inks used in newspaper printing. This type of ink stays “open” and will smudge if enough pressure is applied to it (read: oily hands). Likelihood of smudges will decrease as the print ages, but will never fully go away. We advise handling your prints carefully by the back, edge, or margin of the print. If you plan on handling a large number of prints, we recommend using gloves and/or frequent hand washing. Minor smudging can be removed with a rubber eraser.
The openness of a print’s ink is greatest as it is leaving the printer. For prints that use heavy ink coverage, there is a chance that ink will offset onto the backs of prints as they stack in the catch tray. We regulate the Riso’s print speed to minimize offset, but we may not be able to eliminate it completely. If this is an issue for your print, air your concerns to our team and we can advise you if edits are necessary.
Areas in artwork that include large fields of color are likely to have some spots where coverage is uneven. Consider it texture.
Each color layer is printed in quick succession, making some degree of misregistration likely. Please expect 0-3mm of shift between prints due to press shift and feed rotation. We consider this a part of Riso’s unique charm, however we would not recommend Riso for projects that require a large number of tightly registered color layers. If you have concerns about misregistration, please consider adding trapping to your artwork or consulting our on-staff artists to make sure Riso is right for your art.
Artwork Setup / File Prep
We love working from PSD and AI files the most, with each color separated onto its own individual layer. We are able to print from flattened files such as JPEG or PDF, but each layer MUST be submitted as a separate file to achieve the best print result. Our staff can handle a degree of color separation and adjustments from our end, but any significant edits will incur a prepress fee.
Individual color layers must be converted to grayscale by our team before printing. You may submit level-adjusted grayscale images if you would like precise control over your value range. Please use RGB color mode with HEX #000000 black as your black point. If you use this method, please include a separate file (or flattened layer in your file) with a mockup of the final art so that we can ensure your art is printed properly.
Not sure your file is right? No problem! Send us what you got and we'll work with you to make your artwork prints pretty. We’re confident we can work with what you’ve got :-)
Risograph is our most affordable style of printing, allowing for a balance between budget and quality that other modes of printmaking simply cannot provide. Our pricing is competitively adjusted and is determined on an individual basis that based about # of colors, quantity, paper weight, and size. Additional fees may apply for trimming, folding, binding, or other specialty processes. The larger the print run, the less expensive per-print your job will be.
Riso printing prices range from $0.15 to $2.45 per printed sheet. For a comprehensive quote, please contact Kendell Harbin at firstname.lastname@example.org