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File Setup

Tips and things to note when creating your file for risograph printing!

Colour separation

As risograph printers can only read greyscale PDF files and print one colour at a time — please separate one file for each colour and name them according to that colour. 
See video for an example of an image printed in Red, Green, Aqua and Black.

There are many methods separating colours, e.g. using colour channels in Photoshop. This is also a very interesting part of Riso that’s worth experimenting with. However if you’re new to this, we recommend trying out the app Spectrolite.

You can also create files with colour separation in mind (i.e. separate different colours in layers while you create and export the files directly), so you can have more control on where to put each colours. 

Colouring techniques 

Use this technique when you want to mix colours. Note that it’s harder to show the colours mixed when either of the colours are set in 100% K.
To avoid mixing of colours, be sure to knockout spaces for another colour in your file.
When creating knockout, as reigstration is rarely perfect in Riso, a white border might be visible. To avoid this, try trapping - expanding the shape a little so the colours are overlapping each other.

Ink Levels

While risograph printers can only read greyscale PDF files and print one colour at a time, we can tell the machine the ink intensity we want by setting ink levels. e.g. 50% K (50% Black) will correlate to 50% of what colour you are printing. 
You can control the ink level by controlling the K level in CMYK. C, M and Y should always be set to 0%. (see image) 
Please avoid adjusting the transparency/ opacity.
We recommend that any large blocks of ink should be set to 75% opacity or less as too much ink means the sheet will takes a long time to dry and causes different problems, such as a lot of smudging.


Letters are recommended to be set as vectors from InDesign/ Illustrator (never Photoshop). 

As smaller text can have legibility issues, we recommend setting text at least 8pt for serif fonts and at least 7pt for sans serif fonts. They should also be set into 100% K (Black colour) to avoid being rasterized.

Small knock out text are generally not recommended for clean results.

Flattened images and pdf 

It’s very important to flatten (one layer only in the file) all images, artwork and the PDF you supply us with as unflattened files/ transparency will create unwanted boxes that disrupts the artwork.

See the image for an example. 

Printable Area 

The print size of Risograph printers is A3. It is not possible to print full bleed A3, there will always be a 10mm border around the A3 print - therefore the actual printable area is 400x277mm.


If full bleed prints are desired, it can be achieved by trimming - please leave a 3mm bleed all around the artwork/ file + crop marks.