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For most people, a standard office copy machine may not inspire much creativity. However, the Japanese-designed Risograph printer from the ‘80s is no ordinary workplace appliance. Fast and easy to use, the bulky, gray machine was originally intended for offices and schools. However, today’s artists with a curiosity for vintage technology have now turned the Risograph into a printmaking phenomenon.

Read on to discover the history of the Risograph printer and the rise of risograph printing as an art form.

What is a Risograph Printer?

Invented by Noboru Hayama (founder of Riso Kagaku Corporation), The Risograph 007 printer was first released in Japan in August 1986. Its function is often described as a mix between screen printing and photocopying, as it can only print one color at a time. Combining both digital and analog printing methods, the Risograph receives your image digitally and then makes a stencil by burning tiny pixelated holes into a fiber-based master. This master is then wrapped around a color drum that pushes the ink onto the paper, resulting in a print. This process happens one color at a time (just like silk screen printing), so the more colors your design has, the more times your paper needs to go through the machine. read the rest here

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Original Post
@Kevin Foley posted:

It's crazy how the RISO duplicator market has shifted over the past five years.  Placements in the church and K-12 market are WAY down in our area, but our dealership has more than made up for it selling  into Higher Ed design departments and the design teams their graduates are hired into.

Are you doing more with the Comcolors or still placing Riso duplicators into those High Ed design departments. I'd love to know more about the application.

All duplicators - specifically focusing on art colleges and university design departments.

Risograph printing in the design community has exploded over the past 5-6 years. They're using the duplicator similarly to a screen printing or offset process, while avoiding the mess and clean up involved with those methods.

This usually involves them purchasing an A3 duplicator & a few additional color drums.  A lot of them start by emulating a CMYK setup to start (black, fluorescent pink, yellow, and a blue).  Then they'll acquire additional special edition colors as they find room in their budgets.

This is not a huge revenue opportunity for click charges since they aren't using them for school-wide print sets, but the colleges blow through their supplies since most of their output is heavy fill on 11x17 sheets and each print will be made up of 3-4 colors.  Here's a sample one of the designers I work with gave me: 

RISO 4-Color Print - HD Black, Metallic Gold, Fluorescent Pink, Medium Blue

Our dealership JUST got on boarded for the GD ComColors before the country went on lockdown, and still trying to work out the kinks on how to approach the higher ed market, but the duplicators are our foot in the door for these Higher Ed opportunities

Last edited by Kevin Foley

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