File Setup

Risograph Printing

Max paper size: 12" x 18"
Max print size: 10.75" x 16.5"
Zine sizes:

  • Standard full bleed zine: 5" x 8" or smaller
  • Largest stapled zine: 8" x 10", 64 pages
  • Largest perfect bound book: 10" x 16", minimum of 28 pages

Photoshop is our default program for most projects. We work from color separated files or full color images. For best results, line art should be separated by color, with each color on its own layer. We can also work with channel separated files, such as CMYK images, but will have to reproduce those with halftones and/or dither separations.

400 DPI is the native resolution of our Risograph. We prefer files to be 300-400 DPI, at the correct printed size. We also recommend turning off anti-aliasing for best results. We can work with files from Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, GIMP, and Procreate. If you need support for a different type of file, just reach out to us.

With risograph art prints, you create grayscale separations for each ink color. Please title each layer with the ink color name you wish to print with. If you wish to mock colors in Photoshop, you may use the 'multiply' layer style for overprints, and the color overlay with the 'screen' setting to mock your grayscale layers as riso inks.

Generally, the lightest tones and darkest tones are clipped, similar to a copy machine. You can expect the lightest tones to not reproduce, and darker tones to print as solid ink. We can assist with balancing your file and supply color swatches to help with this process, but ultimately prints made on the Riso require some fine tuning. If you are unsure about this process, it's best to send us a mock of how you want the final print to look.

Prepare your artwork at the finished size, and add .125" or more past any cut edges if you wish to produce a full bleed or borderless image.

Letterpress Printing

Max paper size: 11" x 17" (practical limit of 9" x 12")
Max print size: 9" x 12"

We can work with files from Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, GIMP, and Procreate. Letterpress printing captures a high level of detail in the printing plates, so it is important to design for this ahead of time. Non vector artwork should be created at 1200 DPI, at final print size.

There is a minimum line weight for letterpress printing, which is approximately .35pt for lines and 1.25pt for dots. Please check your art for this limit, and add a stroke where necessary. For halftone images, we will add the halftone on our end during the planning stage.

Each color to be printed in your project should be separated into its own layer, and labelled with the appropriate ink color.

With fonts, we do not print type smaller than 6 points. If you have reverse type in a solid inked area, it should be 12 points or larger. All fonts should be outlined, embedded, and have anti-aliasing turned off.

Letterpress inks are transparent by nature, so printing light colors on dark paper is generally not advised. We can do this for you, but in most cases the ink will be subtle.

Letterpress printing does not do well with large, solid areas of ink. The paper tends to show through the ink, and form a salty / suede type of pattern. Also, the larger your printed area is, the more it maxes out the press's power. Larger inked areas will not print as deeply as fine lines and text.


As with anything, there are always exceptions! We will do our best to spot any issues and review all artwork. Please reach out to us for any additional information or concerns.