The hallmark of the trendy creative. The pinnacle of printing coolness. The riso printer has all the charm of a primary school’s breaking photocopier, yet produces pure zingy edginess that is hard to resist. Our workshop leader rightly tried to avoid anyone producing anything that could be sold on Etsy, however in doing so we all created prints that were wonderfully pointless and sellable.
Riso printing sits somewhere between conventional lino or screen printing and just pressing ‘print’ on a pdf. It makes all the noises you’d hope for from a creative workhorse, lots of satisfying whirring and buzzing that makes you feel like you’re doing something meaningful. Paper spits out the thing with the same exhiliration as toast popping up, prepped for analysis, consumption and putting it back through again because it isn’t brown enough. The whole thing makes me grin broadly.
I plan to explore this print form more thoroughly for cheaply producing small pamphlets, zines and leaflets. I anticipate the day I can heft a wad of freshly printed role-playing game zines. For now, I will try to get more guidance – currently I don’t feel comfortable using the beast alone. Below are some variations on a general poster I will produce for Verdant Wisdom Releases. The red elements are purposely overlayed to accentuate the qualities of riso – actualy experimentations with the prints might lead me to add another colour, who knows!
The poster with the red title text was my first attempt. ‘Gathered Artefacts from the Deep Woods’ seemed out of place and upset the list at the top. Making the ‘from the’ text smaller enabled me to spread it across two lines, whilst ensuring it was read as a single title. Some of the little icons were better than others, espeically the king. I used them in the revised version to break up the grid, putting them in red to make them stand out, even when the overlap with image or text.