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Risograph Printing

Use this guide to find resources for the process of printing on a Risograph. 


Watch the Photoshop Mini Lesson video tutorials to learn tips and tricks for layer tinting, working from scanned images, setting up duotone, and more. Tab through the sections below for definitions, guidance on how to set-up your digital files, and other helpful resources.

The Photoshop Mini Lesson video tutorials and instructional handouts were generously shared by visual artist and educator Aidan Fitzgerald from SVA NYC. 



  • Layers
    • Risograph printing is a spot color printing process. Each layer can be set up to print in a different color or mix to create different colors. Each color can have a range of values which changes the saturation. When adjusting layers change the value (or opacity) within the range of 100% to 10%.
  • Overlay
    • The overlay effect is when you print two colors on top of each other and create a new color. To visualize the color mixing, you must apply a multiply and screen layer to each image in Photoshop or you can use online resources to see the color mixing. 
  • Trapping & Jiggle
    • If want to avoid the overlay effect, then you must create a design with trapping or jiggle. Trapping is when you expand shapes so they do not overlap. This can minimize misregistration. Jiggle is when you leave a blank space around your shape. This could have an interesting effect when misregistration happens. 

  • Grain touch
    • Grain touch is a dither pattern that the Riso uses to reproduce an image on a sheet of paper. This effect uses a random dispersion of dots, at varying sizes, to recreate the different tones of an image. It is best used for linework or single color values (one color). I suggest not using lower opacities (<20% grey), as it will deposit lines of dots, in an attempt to recreate the faint colors of a lighter gray.

  • Screen
    • Screen frequency and angle can create a classic halftone pattern. This is great for textured prints or photographs. Screen frequency will control the size of dots. Higher number means there are more dots. Screen angles will control the angle the pattern is set to. Each color should have a different angle. Read more about this topic here


RISO Resources