It looks better if you change the orientation of your device to landscape, trust us.

1 Introduction

The Risograph is an environmentally friendly and cost effective printer, which uses soy-based inks to produce unique outcomes. Each stencil (master) is made from thermal sensitive paper and unlike offset printing it only takes a single print for the screen to be fully inked and ready to print thousands of copies. The Risograph is extremely energy efficient and generates a minimal amount of waste. All our stocked papers are recycled or FSC certified.


The underlying technology of a Risograph is very similar to that of screen printing. The original image file is sent to the machine and it is burnt onto a master, the master is then wrapped around a print drum. This drum then rotates at high speed which pushes the ink through the screen and onto the paper as it is sent through the machine.


We apply this printing process to the production of artist publications, invites, flyers, posters, illustration prints and zines.

Our Riso MZ 770E is a two drum machine, it is one of the most advanced Risograph printers and can print two colours in a single pass.

2 Basics

Your artwork should be setup as separate greyscale PDF files, one for each colour layer, similar to the way artwork is prepared for screen printing.

3colours Riso3

3 Print area

The Risograph cannot print full bleed. There is a 5mm border on A3 prints.

A3 paper size = 297 x 420mm
A3 printable area = 287 x 410mm

Please be aware that non-printable area on a print changes depending on the size of your artwork as we have to fit them onto an A3 sheet for printing. Here are a few examples with the most common sizes: A3, A4, A5, A6

Yellow border = non-printable area


Please include at least 3mm bleed on your print ready artwork if you need full bleed prints. We will cut the artwork down to size for you.

Block colour flat print

It is not possible to cover the full printable area with 100% ink density as it causes paper jams. Large areas of block colour will not print out evenly, it will also cause print marks.


It is, however, possible to full the entire printed area with an ink density of around 75%.

4 Type

It’s best to set your text under 12pt in registration black to get the most solid print possible. Use normal black (100% K) for type 14pt or above to avoid an inky mess. Do not set type in photoshop (raster) as that will cause pixelation. The registration spot colour can be found in the standard swatch palette and is the one marked with the cross hair design.

type Riso3

Knockout text

Do not set type below 6pt. When using whiteout text, the printer isn’t reading it as text, but rather the pixels around the text, so be careful with percentages of colour.

type copy

5 Image

Basic images

Your images should be in JPEG greyscale. There is no need to halftone your artwork files, the Riso will create a halftone automatically.

Duotone images

Duotone images are created by superimposing one colour over another; this is an effective and economical way of risograph printing. This is a Duotone image printed using fluro orange and green.

Scan Duo Power - Fluro Orange
Fluro Orange layer
Duo Power - Green
Green layer

CMYK images

This is a Riso CMYK print using blue, red, yellow and black inks. Other combinations of inks can provide interesting results.

CMYK Img_984321_1795444_fluro pink
Red layer
Img_984321_1795444_Light Blue
Blue layer
Yellow layer
Black layer

6 Multiple layers

When printing multiple layers, avoid heavy ink coverage at the paper feeding edge as the Riso feeds in paper with a set of rubber rollers. Heavy inking and more than two colours will leave track marks on your print.


Registration is fairly accurate with two colour artwork as the Riso prints two colours at the same time. Printing more than two colours will require more than one pass, and is best to assume that mis-registration will occur. Include trapping where necessary.

Zoo Flask by Sister Arrow

Double sided

It is difficult to back up artwork perfectly, so bear this in mind in the designing process. It is best to stick to light ink coverage on one side as internal rollers can cause dragging.

7 Colours

Please feel free to email us at to request colour and paper samples. We will be sure to get them in the post to you as soon as possible.

Unlike litho printing, screen printing and letterpress, Risograph doesn’t have a Pantone system for the soya-based inks we use. However, we have done our best to match our current colours. Beware that colours do vary according to paper stock.

Colour references on Munken Lynx

Black – Neutral Black U
Grey – 411 U
Flat Gold – 117 U
Flat Gold 117 U
Metallic Gold** – 872 U
Metallic Gold 872 U
Brown – 7581 U
Brown 7581 U
Hunter Green – 561 U
Hunter Green 561 U
Teal – 328 U
Teal 328 U
Green – 354 U
Green 354 U
Fluro Green* – 802 U
Fluro Green 802 U
Mint* – 333 U
Mint 333 U
Aqua Blue* – 0821 U
Aqua Blue 0821 U
Blue – 3005 U
Medium Blue – 286 U
Federal Blue – 294 U
Purple – 275 U
Burgundy – 7419 U
Red – Warm Red U
Red – Warm Red U
Fluro Pink – 906 U
Fluro Pink – 906 U
Fluro Orange – 905 U
Fluro Orange – 905 U
Orange – 1505 U
Orange – 1505 U
Pumpkin* – 116 U
Pumpkin – 116 U
Yellow – Yellow U
Yellow – Yellow U
* Custom made for Hato

** Special inks are slightly more expensive than normal inks

Two or more colours can be overprinted to form other colours.

Detail of Wedges and Ledges by Rich de Courcy. Printed using yellow, red and blue

Special colour

We have a range of special colours coming. The prices for special colours are slightly higher as they are custom made, please email us for quotes.

Metallic gold has a lovely metallic shine, it is an opaque ink and can be used to micmic the effect of foil blocking.

8 Sending files

Please send us your artwork in PDF format or JPEG

No Photoshop (raster) type, make sure it is from InDesign / Illustrator or outlined (vector).

Images in PDF must be JPEG, greyscale and 300dpi

Absolutely no effects in InDesign

No transparency

Avoid heavy inking and large areas of block colour

Block colour should be no more than 75% black

Please include a full colour JPEG as a reference



Should any amendments need to be made once printing has started, costs incurred will be added to the total cost quoted on the job. You will be contacted should any artwork changes need to be made.

There will be a £10 charge per change of artwork. That is to cover the material cost.

9 Attention

The Risograph is not perfect like an inkjet or laser printer.

The prints will probably look different from what you see on your computer screen.

The prints will differ very slightly from one another.


Registration will not be perfect when printing more than two layers, please beware of this when designing your artwork. Include trapping when needed.


There will be slight print marks, especially when printing more than two layers or double sided. But these can be minimised by following our artwork guide and can easily be rubbed off with a rubber.

Roller marks

Riso feeds in paper using a set of rubber rollers. If there is a lot of ink on the page, it will be transferred onto the rollers leaving unwanted track marks.


Double sided

Light marks will appear when printing double sided, especially if one side is heavily inked, this is caused by the pressure roller. We will always print the side with the lighter coverage first.

Needle marks

A ‘pick off needle’ is used within the riso to peel off the print from the print drum when printing. Heavy ink will cause the needle to drag across the print leaving a scratch line.

Ink transfer

Prints are stacked on top of each other when they come out of the Riso so heavy ink will cause transfer between the prints.

Riso ink rubs off easily so is best to avoid having large areas of solid colours for flyers and book covers. The brighter the colour, the easier it rubs off.


By going ahead with printing, you have confirmed you have read and understood all of the above.

Once printing has commenced, there will a £10 charge per change of artwork layer.

Notes to designers printing on behalf of clients: it is your sole responsibility to pass on the above information to your client, Hato Press cannot be held responsible.

10 Paper

All our papers are stocked in A3. They are all recycled or FSC certified. Below are some more details on the individual stocks. Please be aware of the grain of papers when producing books. If none of the below papers meet your requirements, you are more than welcome to supply your own stock, however please contact us in advance. Please note that we can only print on uncoated stock of 60gsm to 300gsm.



A recycled fibrous paper, which is are most cost effective stock. Evercopy and Evercolour come in short grain and 80gsm. Evercolour comes in a variety of colours.



Corona is an off white (slight grey) recycled stock that is great for books, fold out posters, cards and flyers. We stock Corona at 120gsm and 250gsm both short grain.


Munken Pure

We stock Munken Lynx (natural white) and Pure (cream) 120gsm which are both ideal for books. We also stock them at 240gsm, ideal for book covers.

We also stock Munken Lynx in 170gsm  for artist prints and also in 300gsm which is perfect for business cards and invitations.

Our stock of Munken 120gsm is short grain and 240gsm is long grain. Munken is not recycled but it is FSC certified.


Munken Lynx

We stock Munken Lynx (natural white) in 120gsm, 170gsm, 240gsm and 300gsm



We stock colorplan pristine white at 270gsm, other colours can be ordered. It is perfect for business cards.


11 Book setup

Setting up a book is very similar to setting up a poster or print.  There are a few important things to look out for though.

book copy

Imposition and pagination

Imposition is the arrangement of the designed pages on the printer’s sheet so that, when the sheet is printed and folded, the printed pages will be in the correct order (pagination) and orientation. We will take care of the imposition for you. Please export your design in single pages and provide us with a physical mock up.


When you are designing a perfect bound book, you will have to include the width of your cover spine in your print file. We can provide you with the measurement once we know the number of pages and the type of paper you are using.


Creep specifies the distance pages move from the spine to accommodate paper thickness and folding in saddle stitch. Please take this into account when you are designing a saddle stitch book.

Mock up

We will need a printed mock up from you if you are printing a book with us. That is to ensure that we are printing correctly.

12 Binding

We offer a range of binding options in-house and work with finishers off-site to provide the most suitable binding options.

Saddle stitching

Folios are joined together by stapling through the centrefold. Saddle stitched books can be opened flat but the number of pages have to be in multiples of 4. Our binding limit is around 64 pages of 120gsm paper. If you require a higher page count, please get in touch.

Side stitching

Leaves are joined together by stapling along the spine. Our binding limit is around 32 pages of 120gsm. If you require a higher page count, please get in touch.

Perfect binding

Perfect binding gives a result similar to paperback books. Pages are glued together at the spine with a strong glue. We can bind books of up to 5cm thick in house.

Wire-O and Spiral binding

Holes are punched along the spine of the book block; a curled plastic ‘spiral’ or metal wire is fed through the holes to hold the sheets together. This binding allows a book to open back on itself without breaking the spine. Wires and spirals are available in a wide range of colours and diameters. We can have Spirals made to specific colours provided their is a reference.

Sewn binding

Folios are folded and stitched through the fold by hand, giving a nice tactile finish. Different colour threads available. Not recommended for runs above 200.

Singer stitching

Folios are stitched through the fold using a singer stitcher. Different colour threads are available.

13 Folding & Others

We offer a range of different folding options in-house. We also offer cutting services with our guillotine.

Other finishing options such as embossing, lamination and foil blocking can be done off-site.

14 Turnover time

We have an average turnaround time of two days for simple prints, but can do same day by agreement (extra charges applicable). More complicated print jobs (those with multiple layers) will generally take longer as we need to allow for drying time between the layers.

Books generally take 7-10 working days, but that again depends on the scale of the project, please email and we can give you an estimate.


15 Payment & Delivery

For all jobs payment should be made on collection / delivery, unless otherwise agreed. We accept cash, bank transfer and paypal (service charge applicable).


Most jobs will incur the standard 20% VAT charge. If your project can be described as one of the following it’s likely to be liable for VAT: a set of posters, stationery, a calendar, a collection of photos, illustrations, wrapping paper

For a full list of printed items and their VAT status see the HMRC site.


Please contact us to arrange delivery of your items, we use a variety of courier services and will advise you on the most suitable option.