micropress based in Ann Arbor, MI
micropress based in Ann Arbor, MI
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About Us

Diskette Press is a small printing operation based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. We use a Risograph GR3770 connected to a Windows XP computer to do all of our printing.

About the GR3770
The last of the GR line of Risographs, the GR3770 was the height of printing technology in 1998. With 600 dpi printing and the ability to interface with a computer, the GR3770 was ahead of its time. Although twenty-plus years old, our machine is working perfectly and has printed over 4.4 million sheets of paper!!

Photograph of the GR3770 risograph at the center of the Diskette Press studio.

F.A.Q.

How does Risograph printing work?
If you've ever screen printed, you have a basic idea of how a Risograph machine operates. The image is flashed onto a "master," which is essentially a disposable print screen. That master is wrapped around a cylindrical drum full of ink, which quickly rotates over each sheet of paper. The rapidly spinning drum completes a print every time it makes a full rotation. At its fastest, our Risograph can print 120 single-sided pages per minute.

Since each color requires its own ink drum, paper with multiple colors will pass through the machine several times. It's an amazing hybrid of analog stencil printing and industrial efficiency!

Slide from a Risograph presentation from 1997. It shows a drawing of a Risograph GR3770 machine over a bitmap rainbow, with the text "A Unique Printing Process: Risography"
 
What size paper can you print on?
Our machine can print on paper up to 11x17" in size.

Can you print full bleed (where the ink goes all the way to the edge, with no border)?
Kind of. We have a very precise paper cutter, and can trim paper down to achieve full bleed printing. Because the Risograph always leaves a border, we can't print full 11x17" sheets of paper with full bleed. They'll always have to be a little smaller.

How many colors can you print on a single sheet of paper?
It depends on what you're going for. Risograph printing is never going to be perfectly exact, and there will always be a certain amount of drift and misregistration, despite our best efforts. The more colors we print, the worse that misregistration can potentially become. As long as a project is designed with a little bit of ink drift in mind, we can print several colors without problem.

What kind of paper do you use?
It depends on the job, but we try not to use paper under 24 pounds for interior pages. Ideally, we want a paper that's a minimum of 50 pounds, and a little toothy. Risograph machines can't print on glossy paper. We can work with you to get the paper that you want! We're always willing to experiment!

Ideally, we like to use French Paper, which is made to an extremely high standard right here in Michigan. It costs a little extra, but the quality is amazing.

What kind of binding do you offer?
We can do saddle stitch (meaning magazine-style staples), plastic spiral binding, plastic comb binding, wire comb binding, and Chicago screw binding! Saddle stitch is perfect for most jobs, but if you want something different, just let us know!

What are "roller marks?"
Roller marks are light ink trails left by the rubber roller wheels that pull paper into the Risograph. These wheels are directly in the center of the paper. If there's already ink on the page, the rubber wheel can easily pick it up and transfer it along the length of the paper.

Image of a zine by Carta Monir and Lyle Partridge called Dead Parents Society
How do we avoid "roller marks?"
It's very difficult, sometimes impossible, to avoid roller marks 100%. They're part of the imperfect art form of Risography. However, we can minimize these annoying marks by being clever about the way the layers of ink are separated. It's better to set up your files so that large areas of ink are applied last, giving the rollers much less to pick up over multiple prints.

What's the best way to set up my files for printing?
Our machine prints at 600 dpi, so please make sure that your files are 600 dpi or higher. We accept files as .psd, .jpg, .png, .tif, and .pdf. Better file quality means better print quality! Please keep in mind that the risograph can only print one color at a time, so your files need to be separated by color.

The Risograph requires input to be in black and white or grayscale. A file submitted in color will be converted into black and white or grayscale images before it's sent through the machine's digitizer.

Our machine prints its own halftones automatically, so unless you have something very specific in mind, please don't add halftones of your own. We don't want weird pattern interference!

Image demonstrating the blue layer in a color separationImage demonstrating the purple layer in a color separationImage demonstrating the red layer in a color separationImage showing the final composite image of three colors printed over one another. The final image depicts Carta Monir on a bed, looking at the viewer and wrapping herself around a pillow.

What colors do you have?
We offer the following colors:

NAME HEX PANTONE RGB CMYK
bisque #F2CDCF 503 U 242, 205, 207 1, 22, 7, 0
black
#000000
BLACK U 0,0,0 0, 0, 0, 100
bright red #F15060 185 U 241, 80, 96 0, 67, 60, 5
burgundy #914E72 235 U 145, 78, 114 24, 94, 1, 21
cornflower #62A8E5 292 U 98, 168, 229 54, 10, 0, 0
flat gold #BB8B41 1245 U 187, 139, 65 6, 26, 97, 15
florescent orange #FF7477 805 U 255, 166, 1191 0, 55, 53, 0
fluorescent pink #FF48B0 806 U 255, 72, 176 0, 72, 31, 0
hunter green #407060 342 U 64, 112, 96 96, 7, 80, 33
medium blue #3255A4 286 U 50, 85, 164 87, 59, 0, 0
purple #765BA7 2685 U 118, 91 ,167 61, 73, 0, 0
teal #00838A 321 U 0, 131, 138 100, 1, 40, 7
yellow #FFE800 YELLOW U 255, 232, 0 0, 9, 100, 0

Please remember that Riso ink is translucent, and can be layered very effectively. If you don't see the color you want, it can likely be approximated!!

Do you offer CMYK printing?
CMYK can be approximated, but please keep in mind that our registration will never be perfect. If you need full-color, high-resolution printing, we're not the right place to go.

How long do you need the files before the deadline?
We need your files a minimum of two weeks before your deadline, otherwise we will have to charge a rush fee.

How do I request a quote?
To request a quote, please fill out the quote form.

Photograph of the Diskette Press Risograph's copy counter and master counter. The machine has made over 4.4 million copies, and over 13 thousand masters.