The colour variety of the available colours for the risograph can vary a lot, depending on the model series (e.g. GR, EZ, MZ, RZ, ME). For example, obtaining an sufficient number of colours through sources such as eBay or Craigslist, online stores (noting the website copy-printer.biz for Germany) or the local RISO dealership itself is possible. For the MZ series, for example, a total of about 20 colours are available. However, if you look at print examples from different studios from around the world such as DeKijm 1 from the Netherlands, Corners 2 from South Korea or IssuePress 3 from the United States as well as Colorama from Berlin, who gladly printed the Colour Suite of this publication, you will quickly realise that they can print with significantly more colours and colour gradings. The first of those mentioned also stood out for achieving the incredible job of mixing their own colours by themselves in the past. In America and Japan, for example, there are shades of blue available, like Sea Blue, Sky Blue or Cornflower, that will be very hard to buy on the German market, however it might be useful to ask other RISO enthusiasts to bulk order RISO ink. It is also possible to mix your own colours in order to achieve intermediate shades of the existing colours. If you need a large number of cartridges, you can also ask RISO Germany for a custom-made product (a specific Pantone or HKS tone), which is then specially mixed and shipped in Japan. Shipping of these deliveries can take up to several weeks.
The manufacturer sells both the OEM version of the colour as well as Compatible Ink Tubes over Amazon.com4 and AliExpress 5. These are consumables from third-party suppliers, in this case from the company Wholesale Widgets Brand Compatible Ink (Amazon) or colour from companies such as Guangzhou Yuanfeng Technology Co., Ltd or Daiki. These cartridges look incredibly similar to RISO’s actual colour cartridges and are extremely affordable. 10 cartridges are available for only $ 119.90 (plus $ 21.99 in shipping), which makes them more than 75% cheaper than the price of a supplier of riso colours in German-speaking countries 6. Using them leads to a loss of warranty, however, so buying them is strongly discouraged. In the riso scene, there are frequent discussions about whether printing with third-party colours or master foils produces a genuine RISO print or not, since essential printing components may not be of adequate and, above all, original quality or match the colour characteristics of true RISO ink.
That is why the focus of this book on the colours available in Germany only, but the Stencil Wiki by George Wietor (Issue Press) 7 offers a more comprehensive overview. When working in layout programs such as Adobe InDesign, it is advisable to start working with spot colours when creating the layout.
These colour fields can be multiplied with each other to get an impression of how the colours might look in print. The file necessary for the use of the fields can be obtained online 8. Finally, it should be noted that these colour values should not be confused with special effects such as metallic texture or fluorescence.