Riso Printing

Risograph Printing

The Grad Lab has a Risograph MF9450 capable of printing on a variety of sheet papers and is equipped with dual-color drums. This printer is capable of producing risograph prints on a wide range of sheet paper types and is stocked with eight color drums.. Below you will find information regarding the paper types that the Lab stocks as well as pricing and other information regarding Risograph printing in the Lab.


Grad Lab Riso Printing Guides

Click here to download the Grad Lab Risograph Handbook which is a great guide/introduction to Riso printing in the Lab.

Click here to download the Grad Lab Risograph Printing Example which is a great resource for more in depth Riso Printing functions.


Paper Types

Because the oil based ink dries through absorption, the Risograph machine cannot print on coated or glossy paper.

The Gradlab offers a number of different uncoated paper types to choose from as well as both 8.5" X 11" and 11" X 17" paper sizes. If you want to print on a type of paper not listed, please check with our print staff. French Paper Co. is a wonderful producer of paper and has many styles, colors and stocks of paper that work great. Please refer to the specifications below to ensure your paper meets the following requirements:

Paper Weight - 12-lb bond to 116-lb index (46 gsm to 210 gsm)
Size - maximum of 12 7/32 
inches × 17 inches (310 mm × 431 mm)



Price Guide

Cost Per Pass For Ink

$0.01                                       (Metallic Gold is $0.03)

Cost Per Master


Cost Per Sheet

Paper Type




Basic Laser Paper

Letter –8.5”x11” (216 x 279mm)

24lb (90gsm)


White Paper

Letter – 8.5”x11” (216 x 279mm)

24lb (90gsm)


White Paper

Tabloid –11”x17” (279 x 432mm)

24lb (90gsm)


Color Paper

Letter – 8.5”x11” (216 x 279mm)

24lb (90gsm)


Matte Brochure Paper

Letter – 8.5”x11” (216 x 279mm)

52lb (77gsm)


Resume Paper

Letter – 8.5”x11” (216 x 279mm)

32lb (52gsm)


Watercolor Paper

Oversized Tabloid – 12”x18” (305 x 457mm)

90lb (243gsm)

* it is highly recommended that you bring a minimum of 25 additional sheets of paper per pass to account for density and registration adjustments.


Dry Times

The soy based inks used in risography do not contain a drying agent so will never quite dry. They “dry” only by absorption to the uncoated paper.. Keep this in mind when planning your project, especially if it will be handled extensively. In order to print more than two-colors at a time with the machine, you will need to ensure your print is dry enough to not easily smudge. There are no rush options for a Risograph.

. Please refer to the specifications below.
2-color Riso Prints take 48 hours for a single sided print

Add 24 hours for each additional color and side
A minimum of 2 hours is required for sending a print through the machine for a second-pass.



The Gradlab is equipped with eight colors. Additionally, these colors come with their respective Hex, RGB, and CMYK color codes. Risograph inks are soy-based and semi transparent. This means that they mix when overlapped and that the color of paper used affects the appearance of the color of the ink after printing.

Black 000000 0, 0, 0 0, 0, 0, 100
Blue 0078BF 0, 121, 191 86, 47, 0, 0
Bright Red F15060 241, 80, 96 0, 67, 60, 5
Brown 925F52 146, 95, 82 18, 62, 84, 23
Flat Gold BB8B41 187, 139, 65 6, 26, 97, 15
Fluorescent Pink FF48B0 155, 72, 176 0, 72, 31, 0
Fluorescent Orange FF7477 255, 116, 119 0, 55, 53, 0
Green 00A95C 0, 169, 92 73, 0, 81, 0
Metallic Gold AC936E 172, 147, 110 22, 33, 68, 8
Orange FF6C2f 255, 108, 47 0, 58, 82, 0
Purple 765BA7 118, 91, 167 62, 74, 0, 0
Teal 00838A 0, 131, 138 100, 1, 40, 7
White FFFFFF 255, 255, 255 0, 0, 0, 0
Yellow FFE800 253, 231, 0 3, 3, 98, 0


Registration, Imperfections, and Adjustments

Due to the nature of the Risograph machine, printed media will have limits of accuracy with registration. The overlaps can be adjusted manually in the printing process but misregistration WILL happen. Keep this in mind when designing your work. Surfaces of color should overlap under lines otherwise, white gaps may be visible on your artwork. Line work, especially when thick and printed over solid blocks of color will usually look best. The more colors you use the increase in change for difficult to align prints. Additionally, the feed rollers are more likely to pick up ink from the prints and leave marks on your design.

The machine has three adjustments available for students to use that do not rely on creating a new master: density registration adjustment, and speed. Only Gradlab Print Techs are able to create masters and switch ink colors.


Preparing Your Files

The Risograph prints one color at a time. Therefore, your final print files should be separated into individual grayscale images for each color that is to be printed. This is similar to preparing files for screen printing. 100% black in each color layer, will print out as 100% of whichever color you are printing. 90% black will print as 90% and so on. If your artwork features more than one color it is required to separate the colors either as layers in photoshop or as individual files. Your layers *must* be saved as grayscale images and labelled with the intended color. It is possible to make your files using color, but remember simply converting them to grayscale may not work. If you convert a yellow to grayscale, it ends up looking like a light gray. A small amount of yellow ink will be printed which may be hard to see because yellow ink is already very light. If you want a bright yellow, those parts of your files should look BLACK when submitted. To print solid colors your artwork should be set to 100% black. Though the Risograph Printer was not designed to reproduce CMYK images it is still achievable. Since Magenta and Cyan inks are not available for the Risograph, we can substitute these for Blue and Red, or Fluorescent pink. To do so you will have to separate each channel of your images into your image to its corresponding blue, fluorescent pink, yellow and black channels, etc.


The Risograph machine has a resolution of 600 dpi. Use this resolution for your images. 300 dpi will also work but for thin lines we recommend 600.


Vectorize your font to avoid any problem of pixelation. Size should not go under 6 pt. Text should only be one layer for best results.


Tips and Resources

File Set-Up with Illustrator – www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdXvrGMdYcw and www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRONIVnjb0c/ Using spot colors in Photoshop – www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eDI4e1i_Vo