• What's Risograph?

    A risograph printing press looks like a copy machine on the outside, but is a stencil printing machine that prints soy based ink through a paper stencil. These machines were created to bridge the gap between xerox printing and offset lithography, and excel at quickly creating colorful duplicates. You can make a one color zine in a color other than black!

    What should I expect?

    We think Riso printing is a good fit for artists and designers who want a screen printed result at a lower price point. The machine is designed for high speed printing, so it's not the strongest option for tight registration and precision. Rather than fight this, we recommend embracing it and letting the process itself add an extra element to your work.

    All of our risograph zines are folded and bound by hand in our shop. We also trim the edges of our zines for a cleaner final product.

  • Technical Details

    The Risograph is able to print paper up to 12" x 18" inches, but the maximum print area is only 10.75" x 16.5".

    We can print on a variety of uncoated papers, from 20# bond to 100# cover. Our favorite paper mill for art prints is French Paper, who produces a variety of color and tonal 100% recycled papers.

    Ink Colors

    The Risograph prints with standard ink colors. Here is our current color library:

    Black PMS BLACK U / #21201f
    Flat Gold PMS 1245 U / #96763c
    Brown PMS 7526 U / #795645
    Blue PMS 3005 U / #007dc2
    Hunter Green PMS 342 U / #416056
    Green PMS 354 U / #00a95c
    Yellow PMS YELLOW U / #ffdf0a
    Orange PMS ORANGE 021 U / #f36d38
    Bright Red PMS 032 U / #f15060
    Fluorescent Pink PMS 806 U / #f360a3

  • Here are some things to expect with our Risograph Printing:

    • Loose Registration. We print each color in your design in its own press pass. This makes proper color alignment between layers a bit like winning the lottery. Building your design with overlapping elements (trapping) can help to fight this drawback.
    • Tire/Roller Marks. The Riso uses friction to feed paper through the press. Because of this, ink can transfer to the rubber wheel and leave a pattern through the center of the print. You can avoid this with lighter ink coverage, but sometimes its best to accept it and erase marks later with a soft eraser.
    • Uneven Coverage. We're working with real ink here, and it has a few quirks. It's not uncommon for the ink density to vary a bit between areas of the print. And heavy areas of ink can lead to paper sticking to the inking drum. Because of all this, it's best to break up solid, flat areas of color with patterns.
    • Smudging. Riso ink has to stay wet through periods of storage, so it's formulated from an oil based medium. This means that it only dries through absorption into the paper, which is a very slow process. You should expect Riso ink to soil fingers and leave smudge marks if handled roughly.
    • Dead Pixels. Our main presses are GR series Risographs, which means they are from the 1990s. Some days it's amazing that they work at all. Our scanner has a slight dead pixel line that can show on flat areas of color. Most people do not pay it much attention, but as printers it draws our eye to it. One way to fight it is to design 'busier', patterned areas into your work.
  • Zine Planning

    For zine projects, it's usually best to send us a PDF of your finished zine, in correct page order. This will serve as our mockup for producing your project.

    Depending on the artwork, we may need a color separated file from you in order to completely translate your process to Riso.

    Some additional points for planning zines:

    • All stapled zines experience margin creep, which means that the central pages are smaller than the outer pages after cutting. This is compounded by the length of your zine, so longer zines experience more margin creep.
    • Risograph ink is slow to dry, and on zine projects this often means that ink is transferred from the front of a page to the back. You can avoid this by printing less ink on each page, or by increasing the amount of printed area so it is not as noticeable.
    • Many of our binding processes are performed by hand, and are therefore slow going. If you are in a rush or wish to save on money, you can do the binding yourself and we will print your covers and inner pages only.

    More information

Risograph Zine Pricing

Here is our sample pricing on risograph zine projects. Each chart is divided by the number of pages in a zine, and is divided by the number of colors and number of zines in your project. Please include the cover and inner cover in your page count. This pricing assumes a zine size of 5" x 8".

All pricing must be confirmed by Mystic Multiples via the quoting process.

8 Page Zine

8 pages 1 Color 2 Colors 3 Colors 4 Colors
50 zines $152 $169 $199 $229
100 zines $240 $283 $326 $368
250 zines $543 $624 $705 $786
500 zines $1,048 $1,193 $1,338 $1,483

16 Page Zine

16 pages 1 Color 2 Colors 3 Colors 4 Colors
50 zines $165 $220 $276 $331
100 zines $274 $351 $428 $505
250 zines $603 $744 $885 $1,025
500 zines $1,151 $1,398 $1,646 $1,893

32 Page Zine

32 pages 1 Color 2 Colors 3 Colors 4 Colors
50 zines $216 $323 $429 $536
100 zines $343 $488 $633 $778
250 zines $722 $983 $1,243 $1,503
500 zines $1,355 $1,808 $2,260 $2,712

64 Page Zine

64 pages 1 Color 2 Colors 3 Colors 4 Colors
50 zines $319 $528 $737 $946
100 zines $479 $761 $1,043 $1,324
250 zines $961 $1,461 $1,960 $2,459
500 zines $1,765 $2,627 $3,489 $4,351

Ready to get started?

  • Requesting a Quote

    Remember, we will need the following to put together a quote for you:

    • A short project description. What and why?
    • The number of colors to be printed, for instance two color art.
    • The final size of your zine.
    • The number of zines you want.
    • The number of pages including cover in your zine.
    • The due date of your project.
    • We'll ask you for files after the first emails.

    If you are unsure on any of the above, don't worry! We can talk you through the details. We want to make sure we get all the details right, and are on the same page with your project.

Quote Request