How We Made Our New Risograph Social Change Postcards and Posters
To celebrate Make A Difference Day, we are releasing four new designs as part of our ongoing Art for Change project. We started the project in 2020 as a way to practice antiracism and help support BIPOC, LGBTQ and women entrepreneurs and artists start and grow their businesses with support.
What is risograph printing?
I've always wanted to try risograph printing. It is a digital process, but from a design perspective it is very similar to our process for letterpress printing our designs from woodblocks in that each color is printed separately, one at a time, and the colors are transparent and can therefore be layered to create extra colors. For this new release we used three colors: fluorescent pink (my first time using fluorescents and boy, is it bright and fun!), blue and yellow. But the colors are layered in order to appear red, purple and green as well. Risograph machines (made in Japan) are duplicators that look like Xerox copiers, but instead of dry toner, they use drums of liquid ink in a set limited palette.
Is risograph printing eco-friendly?
This new release is our most eco-friendly product yet! Like all the other prints and cards we've ever made, these are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. But the riso process itself is also very low-impact. The inks are soy-based and since it is a cold process, it is energy efficient. There is very little waste (as opposed to offset printing which involves a huge amount of paper being wasted as the fast-running machines have to run at full speed while the ink levels are being adjusted before the actual job is printed)
For The Activist In Us All
I thought long and hard about how to design these posters and postcards. No matter where on the political spectrum you land I think we can all agree that our world is in upheaval these days. It makes a person want to scream, “act now!” But I try to avoid prescriptive language in my work. People only take the actions they want to take, and I don’t like to be told what to do. Instead, I wanted to offer a vision of what a better world could look like. If you can’t imagine what end result you are working toward, it’s hard to take steps to get there. I want to live in a world where every voice is heard, where our human rights are cherished and our resources are treasured, and where every body (and soul) is nourished. I hope these new designs will help inspire you to envision the world you want to live, and to take small steps every day to bring it into being.
Thanks for reading and participating in our Art for Change project! You can shop the whole collection of art prints, posters and postcards here.