I went to an art festival not so recently, in pre-covid times, if you will, and I continuously found myself in awe of a particular medium. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the exact technique; it wasn’t screen print and it wasn’t a digital print, but I didn’t know exactly what the neon style was.
I’ve recently come to find out that it was a Risograph, which is, when broken down to its most basic level, a cross between screen printing and photocopying initially released in Japan in the 1980s. The printer, invented by Noboru Hayama, essentially receives a digital version of your image and then makes a stencil of extremely small pixelated holes from a fiber-based master that’s twisted around a color drum and pushes the ink onto the paper thus resulting in a Risograph print.
The Risograph prints one vibrant color at a time, and it’s perfect for creating anything from posters, graphic prints, zines, postcards, and, well, you get the point. I’ve rounded up five Risograph artists on Instagram that prove that color is in and print is most certainly not dead.
Vincent Patterson has beautifully mastered the art of typography mixed with Risograph designs. Most of the pieces feature black and white images with abstractly placed vibrant colors on top. The works are infused with humor, horror, and everything in between. I find myself scrolling through this account, never seeing the same piece twice. It’s a stunning adventure of a feed.
“Your friendly non-commercial neighborhood riso printing collective in Dortmund, Germany” is the bio for UNTERDRUCK’s account. The pieces found within the squares of this feed are geometric and simplistic, which is a beautiful balance with the colorful designs. One of my favorite pieces is the post about the notebooks created out of old test prints and misprints to create gorgeous notebooks.
Wild Press is a Risograph print studio in Glasgow, and their Instagram feed is full of fun and quirky personality that’s sure to make you feel cheery even on your grumpiest of days. From brightly colored landscapes to cans of sardines to typographic stickers, they truly have it all. In my dreams, my walls are covered entirely with prints from this shop.
London-based Duplikat Press is a studio with an Instagram account that’s a creative’s dream of a feed. Their prints are intricately detailed, multidimensional, and feature multiple different colors. Their piece that features a fruit bowl with text that reads “Remember to eat a fruit” is the perfect example of the charm and wit found within the squares and squares of inspiration. Scroll down even further, and you’ll find a pink and yellow close-up portrait of E.T. that was born to get framed. Vividly stunning.
Talk about intricate patterns! LA BRUJA RISO is a workshop based in Colombia. This Instagram account features everything from the most intricately detailed designs to neon pink and yellow deer prints to a triptych that showcases the most elegantly abstract representation of a body. The creativity is unmatched, and it just goes to show the extent of Risograph art.