Risograph Printing (Petticoat Lane project)

Monday 20th February 2017 We did two sessions that day but my group was chosen to do Riso printing first. I had no clue what this was but basically found out it’s like the digital version of screen printing.  There’s a machine that does all the hard work for you, all you have to do is have the right images and know which settings to use.

You have to change between colour barrels and print the colours in layers, isolating the layers between different sheets of paper (photo copying becomes your best friend in this). The colours are also limited for this, so only red/dark orange, dark blue, bright green, yellow or black. Once you learn how to use it, you can also create other colours by layering – so purple made from yellow and blue.

I didn’t think I would end up using the machine to be honest. I like screen printing, there’s something rewarding about the hard work, even if it takes 5x as long and is more active. That and I thought whatever design I ended up creating would not fit the criteria for me to create a Riso print. I was wrong. A simple drawing in my sketchbook, photocopied and pulled apart allowed me to create quite a cool, simple, print.

Will I be using Riso printing for my final piece? I’m not entirely sure, but it’s nice to see how it works and know the option is there if I feel like I want to use it.

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