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What is Riso?

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Risograph is a type of duplicator developed in 1980’s Japan by Riso Kagaku Corporation. Designed as a successor to mimeograph they were built with the intention of fast and low cost duplication. In this area they are extremely effective with the ability to print anywhere from 20 to 5000 copies in a matter of minutes. Initially Risograph duplicators were marketed towards offices, schools and government bodies as these features made them a much cheeper alternative to most commercially available printing options. In the last decade Risograph has seen growing popularity within the artistic and design community due to its unique palette of spot colours and tactile print quality. 

Yalla Riso is a new printing service based in Dundee Scotland. We do all of our printing with a 20+ year old Risograph RP3700.

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A large reason why Yalla Riso was established is to offer a print service that is as environmentally low impact as we could achieve; having previous experience working in the industrial print sector we know first hand how little consideration is put into aspects of sustainability and felt the need to act as a counterbalance to this. We settled on using Risograph as by the very nature of it's design it is exceptionally green! Unlike most forms of printing the riso uses a soy based ink that is manufactured using rice bran oil – this means that it is completely solvent free and a great alternative to heavily processed inks that are generally used in most professional grade printers. On top of this, the riso and it's quirky stencil making method actually has a huge advantage posed to Laser or Inkjet printers in that it only needs a fraction of the electricity to make prints. To further this we only use paper that is FSC certified to be 100% recycled from post-consumer waste so as to help save our planets green spaces and reduce the amount of waste out there. 


HEX = 000000


RGB = 0, 0, 0

CMYK = 0, 0, 0, 100

Our Colours

Medium Blue

HEX = 3255A4


RGB = 50, 85, 164

CMYK = 87, 59, 0, 0

Bright Red

HEX = F15060


RGB = 241, 80, 96

CMYK = 0, 67, 60, 5

Fluorescent Pink

HEX = FF48B0


RGB = 255, 72, 176

CMYK = 0, 72, 31, 0


HEX = FFE800

PANTONE = Yellow U

RGB = 255, 232, 0

CMYK = 0, 9, 100, 0


HEX = 00A95C


RGB = 0, 169, 92

CMYK = 73, 0, 81, 0

We currently have 6 colours in stock at this time – they are Black, Medium Blue, Bright Red, Fluorescent Pink, Green & Yellow. These can be used in range of exciting ways such as printing two colour (or more) on top of each other to make a new combination. Alternatively by using Medium Blue, Fluorescent Pink, Yellow and Black (printed on top of each other) you can effectively create a faux CMYK print.  Above are detailed the available inks and their closes equivalencies in HEX, Pantone, RGB & CMYK.

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How  it Works

Risograph is usually described as a combination of screen printing, photocopying, and offset printing. The images are made through being burnt onto a stencil (referred to as a master) which is wrapped around a cylinder coated with ink (referred to as a drum). The drum turns and paper is fed into the machine, much like screen printing, the ink only passes through the areas of the master that the image is burnt into and crates a print. Whenever a new colour is used a new master has to be made and a separate layer is printed on the existing ones. 

Print File Spec

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Please provide high resolution (300-600 dpi) grayscale PDFs - one for each color used in your project. The Riso will convert the gray values to halftones, so no need to do that ahead of time. If your project is full-bleed, include at least an 8mm bleed area either embedded in the file or otherwise indicated. For booklets or zines provide your project in reading order and we will find the most economical print layout. ​

We are also able to print a faux-CMYK using Medium Blue, Fluoro Pink, Yellow and Black. As these are not exact process spot colours there will be a certain degree of variation so please feel free to consult with us prior to printing. Additionaly, if you require more hands on support with your project we are happy to help you prepare your files at any stage for printing at an hourly rate.

Mixing Colours

It is worth remembering that much like screen printing the colours are printed in individual layers. Each of these has a degree of opacity so two layers where colours overlap can be used to produce new combinations of blended spot colours; Medium Blue and Bright Red make a purple, Yellow and Medium Blue makes a green, and (our personal favourite) Fluoro Pink and Yellow makes lovely a Fluoro Orange. There are much more that you can do but these are just a few of our favourites.

Print Friendly Design

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Given the, at times, fickle nature of riso printing and the age of the machine we use there is an inevitability in inexactitude. The process is not as straightforwards as hit print and wait, but is far more of a collaboration between artist, printer and the riso itself. These imperfections have always been part of the appeal of Risograph and hold it unique to all other forms of printing.

That said, considered design can minimise a number of these issues. By avoiding 100% fills over the entire page (especially in the centre) can reduce roller marks on the paper. Trapping around separate colours can also help to hide small misregistrations that may occur when working with more colours.

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