The Rise of the RISO!
Posted on Thursday, October 05 2017 04:37:00 PM in Blog by TKT Words
We've been getting quite a few questions our new art prints, which we LOVE. So we decided to do a little blog about RISO PRINTING!
Our new A4 art prints are printed on a Riso printer (also known as a risograph, RISO Printer-Duplicator or also called simply only Riso). This magical creature is a stencil printer designed originally for high-volume photocopying, duplicating and printing. It sits in the realm somewhere between screen print and offset lithography but with a unique and beautiful aesthetic.
By all accounts the Risograph is a strange machine. It appears as plain as a common photocopier. The history of the machine is an underdog story. In 1946, emulsion ink was only available in Japan through an expensive importing process. In a move of post-World War II national pride, not to mention incredible business savvy, Noboru Hayama famously hung a small sign reading "Riso" outside of his home in Japan signifying the foundation of a new ink company. In the mid-1980s, the Riso Kaagaku company ("Riso" for short) released its first fully automatic duplicator, dubbed the Risograph.
The original marketing plan revolved around new, affordable emulsion ink. The company set its sights on getting a Risograph into every school and church with a simple pitch: if you needed more than 50 copies, but less than 10,000, it was cheaper to duplicate using a Riso. As long as one was working within that range, the Risograph saved money in three ways. First, the ink was less expensive and easier to use than toner. Second, the machine didn’t require the high heats of photocopiers, so it used less electricity. Third, and finally, it required less maintenance.
These days we can see the rise of a risograph printers for its vibrant, environmentally friendly and cost effective nature, especially on medium to large runs. It can produce anything from books to artist prints with tactile finish very similar to that of screen and litho printing, but for a fraction of the cost.
It uses soy based inks to produce unique quality outcomes, each screen is made from banana paper and unlike litho printing only takes a single print for the screen to be fully inked and ready for printing.
So we'll be continuing this journey of discovery on the old R-Dog. Let us know what you think?