Monday, 12 October 2015

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 01 SU Work Part 02 Elections Campaign: Risograph Research and Footprint

Because of the low budget we have for this campaign and the environmental concerns we need to be aware of at all times, it was suggested that we look into Footprint printers. It is a process very similar to screen printing as is explained below.

How the process works

The riso printer works similarly to a screen printing. Ink is pushed through holes in a thin master sheet that wraps around a colour drum. You have to use a different colour drum for each of the colours you use.
We have six colour drums: black, red, green, blue, hot pink and new yellow. Despite being very excited to have a colour drum which allows us to mimic CMYK printing, our yellow drum was bought second hand as a blue drum, so the edges of the print area have a slight blue/green tinge to them at the moment. We are trying toi rectify this but are putting this big ol' disclaimer here until we are happy enough with the drum to not feel like we need it.

We can’t print any other colours with the riso. And we can only print your work in the specific shades of ink that we use - see the image to the right of the page.
We can only print one colour at a time. If you are using more than one colour, the paper will go through the machine once for each colour. There can be some issues with getting the two colours to line up correctly, as each image can shift on the page by a couple of millimetres.

Some designs are more difficult than others in this respect. For example trying to put a black outline around a colour graphic is next to impossible since both images will shift around the page slightly. Putting a words of one colour in the middle of a sentence in another colour rarely works well as even a 1mm shift breaks the flow for the reader.

This colour limitation will need to be carefully thought through and it may be useful to pay a visit to foot print to get a clearer idea of the best way to design for this process. The shades of ink they can do are shown below. Working with these various levels of opacity could be the way forward. 

The Risographs

 (digital duplicator presses) are designed for short run work. This usually means between 50 and 10,000 copies. They work by squeezing ink through a paper 'master', a bit like screen-printing. This does mean that photographs come out slightlypixelated, but nearly all our work is done on them. They print on paper and light card up to A3 in size.
We currently have a black, blue, green, red, yellow and hot pink ink for the Risograph. You can see more on our colour Riso page, and we're happy to send samples of previously printed work or single-page proofs of your job so you can have a definite look at what the colours are like. The ink for one of the machines is soy-based and it's the most eco-friendly printing technology we've come across (after potato printing).

The process creates a very distinctive screen print like aesthetic which could really work with block colour usage if we bear in mind the higher visual texture created by the process. It is important to remember that we want to try and use this finish not only on the printed outcomes, but bring it into the digital campaign as well, adding a sense of tactility to the digital usage and some much needed continuity. 

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