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what is Riso?

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Risograph printers were designed and released in Japan in the 1980s as a way to print efficiently and economically.  Still used by small to mid-size organizations, artists and designers have adopted riso printing for its unique, vibrant and paint-like aesthetic. Speedy, efficient and eco-friendly, risograph printers employ a process similar to screen-printing with stencils and layers of ink.

The original is scanned through the machine and a master is created, by means of tiny heat spots on a thermal plate burning voids (corresponding to image areas) in a master sheet. This master is then wrapped around a drum and ink is forced through the voids in the master. The paper runs flat through the machine while the drum rotates at high speed to create each image on the paper.

Risograph printing is environmentally friendly and cost effective, using soy-based inks to produce unique outcomes. Each stencil (master) is made from thermal sensitive paper and unlike offset printing it only takes a single print for the screen to be fully inked and ready to print thousands of copies. The Risograph is extremely energy efficient and generates a minimal amount of waste.