Making Zines Using the Risograph

Making Zines Using the Risograph

At our recent workshop, we delved into the world of zine-making using our beloved Risograph! It was an inspiring journey filled with creativity, collaboration, and plenty of colorful prints that I was swooning over. And the best part of all, I took some photos this time!

In case you're unfamilliar, the Risograph is a unique machine that combines the qualities of screen printing with the efficiency of a photocopier. Using plant-based and vibrant inks, along with its ability to produce vibrant, textured prints at high speed, the Risograph quickly reaches *celebrity status* for many artists, including myself! Oh, to be in the presence of a Riso machine. It feels like unlimited freedom at your fingertips (and speaking of finger tips, I love letting students at the workshop press the fun plastic buttons).

Here's a recap of our experience and the magic we created together at the studio. 

Zines - the perfect project for our riso! - are small, self-published booklets often created independently or collaboratively. I made some of my own samples for the workshop, seen below. One was a more complicated illustration-based zine "imaginary flowers". 

For this one, I started with a rough draft, then used a light table to trace it better in black marker. Then, I created color layers using vellum and more marker. You can learn how this translates to the colors in our workshop!

For another one, I wanted to create a minimalist (you know me...!) shape-based design that highlights our new riso ink color: BLUE! 

After I gave an overview of how to make a small zine from printing on one side of the paper with the Risograph and folding it to make an 8 page booklet, we dived straight into the creative process. I really admired seeing everyone exploring unique themes and formats.

Participants brought their ideas to life through a variety of techniques, we mostly used simple art supplies for hand-drawn illustrations, cut paper for shapes, and even some dried and pressed flowers. We experimented with layering colors, adjusting settings, and exploring the printer's capabilities to achieve the desired effects. We also had Lacriox and chocolate strawberry cupcakes and popcorn to fuel our creative energy, of course.

One of the highlights of these workshop is the spirit of camaraderie among participants. Everyone shared ideas, offered feedback, and even collaborated in some cases. It was truly inspiring to see everyone come together to support and uplift each other's creativity!

As the workshop came to a close, we took a moment to reflect on our accomplishments and celebrate our collective creativity. Each participant left with a stack of unique, handmade zines - their own, and trades from others - a tangible reminder of their creativity and collaboration. 

Join in on the Riso magic and sign up for a workshop!

I plan to keep offering Riso workshops, and another zine-making workshop was just added for August! Come explore into the world of Risograph printing and self-publishing. I love offering opportunities for creative expression and collaboration.

I particularly loved hearing from a parent of young kids in the group that this was a way for her to get some much needed "me time" ♡

Interested in unleashing your creativity and exploring the world of zine-making? Sign up for the august workshop here!