Back to Basics: The Risograph


At the MoMA PS1 Bookfair, I fell in love with the product of the risograph, a printer released in 1986. One particular studio called Paper Pusher, based in Toronto, had a little booth showcasing a series of isometric designs for a calendar. Ever since, I have been searching for a low-cost risograph printer, which seems to be impossible to find. The possibilities of what you can create with a risograph are amazing. Because each colour is printed separately, risograph artists experiment with isolating and layering, trying to create the purest of hues. Flat colour is suddenly given depth. With digital technology, we supposedly have more room to experiment with printing, but do we really? Or should technology allow for the human hand to intervene more, like the risograph does? Like William Morris believed, maybe we have to return to archaic ways of doing things (take this with a pinch of salt) to get the outcome we really want. Even better, maybe we should take out the printer altogether and go back to the art of lithography. At least with the risograph, we can have the best of both worlds.