Spot Colour Risograph is a high-speed digital printing system designed for single colour print runs up to about 5,000 sheets. Our machines can print up to A3. When printing or copying multiple quantities (generally more than 50) of the same original, it is typically far less expensive per page than a conventional photocopier, laser printer, or inkjet printer. (see "What it can't do" below) The underlying technology is very similar to the old Gestetner duplicators - but with most of the process automated. Because the process involves real (soya-based) ink - like offset printing - and does not require heat to fix the image on the paper - like a photocopier or laser printer - the output from a risograph can be treated like any printed material. This means that sheets which have been through a risograph may happily go through a laser printer afterwards and vice-versa.

The Spot Colour Risograph bridges the gap between a standard photocopier (better for up to about 50 copies) and using a Lithographic printer (cheaper for much larger quantities).

The Spot Colour Risographs at marc have interchangeable colour drums allowing for printing in different colours or using spot colour in one print job. (see soya-based inks for the range of colours available) Look at the images to see what it can do

What it can't do

It does not do full colour. (see Full Colour Inkjet and Laser Printing)

Usually used for single colour from a range of available inks. (see soya-based inks) The paper can be put through the printer again for a second colour to be added but, as it is friction fed, the two colours will not line up exactly.

It does not print large areas of solid black or solid colour well. (see laser printing)

The printer uses a stencil wrapped around a drum through which the wet soya ink is pushed. Large areas of solid ink would rip the stencil or result in the paper / card getting stuck on the drum. For the same reason, it cannot print to the edge of the paper and so a blank margin needs to be left.

It does not provide the same quality as a laser printer. (see laser printing)

Whilst popular for its "green" process, and because it is cheap, it is not as good for the reproduction of photos or very fine text as other methods. Things usually print much better on a Spot Colour Risograph if they have been specifically designed for the process. Pop in to marc to look at samples and ask for advice BEFORE designing the artwork.

 1 Single-colour orange - These  printed very well, but be aware that  solid areas of solid soya-ink can  become very patchy.

 2 Two-colour orange and black -  Orange printed as 30% tint then  overprinted with black

 3 Three-colour orange, black and  burgundy - Nightmare to print as  chances of things lining up after  going through printer three times is  slim. Client wanted this effect so he  ordered twice as many as needed  and discarded the worst ones!

 4 Single-colour blue - Blue ink  printed on a pink card