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Hi!

I've been working with risograph printing lately and I was wondering if someone here has used Affinity for riso before.

As with screen printing, riso printer works with grayscale files. Despite that, several printing websites recommend to use registration black for small text (12 pt or less) and 100% K for bigger text, though I've also read that it's better to use always 100% K for any text. If that's true, the printer recognizes CMYK values.

If I use Publisher to make a riso printed fanzine, should I make a CMYK color format file instead of Gray? For instance, If I work using swatches of black ink only (100% K, 80% K, etc.) and I want to export a pdf file while keeping the same % of black without being changed to a different value, I think CMYK is the obvious solution. However, I often find myself confused with color modes and profiles and I thought it'd be interesting to know your opinions or sharing experiencies regarding the use of Affinity programs for riso printing.

Thanks in advance!

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Hi @Llyud :)

Unfortunately I have no experience with Riso printing, however I hope I can help in regards to best practices for colour formats!

19 hours ago, Llyud said:

As with screen printing, riso printer works with grayscale files. Despite that, several printing websites recommend to use registration black for small text (12 pt or less) and 100% K for bigger text, though I've also read that it's better to use always 100% K for any text. If that's true, the printer recognizes CMYK values.

As mentioned with my limited knowledge here, I wouldn't want to give an 'absolute', but I'd certainly recommend following this process - even if the printer only prints in Greyscale it's likely that it understands CMYK values, as you suspect.

19 hours ago, Llyud said:

If I use Publisher to make a riso printed fanzine, should I make a CMYK color format file instead of Gray?

Looking at other online resources for Riso Printing, converting or creating the document in the CMYK colour space is recommended, I haven't yet seen any suggestion that the document should be in the Greyscale Colour Space.

19 hours ago, Llyud said:

For instance, If I work using swatches of black ink only (100% K, 80% K, etc.) and I want to export a pdf file while keeping the same % of black without being changed to a different value, I think CMYK is the obvious solution.

Absolutely, if you set your documents colour space to CMYK in-app and then exported to Greyscale, the app would have to convert the colours used, meaning the output file would not be using exact 100% K values. The same can be said for creating a Greyscale document and exporting to CMYK.

19 hours ago, Llyud said:

However, I often find myself confused with color modes and profiles and I thought it'd be interesting to know your opinions or sharing experiencies regarding the use of Affinity programs for riso printing.

This is where things get trickier - other apps recommend CMYK for the Colour Space, however they then use either a 'Multichannel' Colour Profile, or use a Colour/Screen Separation tool to split the image into multiple versions, one covering each Colour channel.

Unfortunately Affinity apps don't currently support Screen Separation in the same manner, so depending on the printer you're using, you may find you need to use an external app to 'split' your final image into the required separate channels.

As there is no 'Multichannel' colour space that can be selected in Affinity - I would recommend using the default CMYK Colour Profile, unless your printer requires otherwise.

I hope this helps!

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Thanks a lot, Dan! It really helped me. Due to not having screen separation, I use a trick to visualize grayscale elements in any color (which would be the inks it's going to be printed), though it only works in a RGB file due to the blend modes used.

  1. In the master page, create a folder for every ink needed. If you use two or more inks, the folders from the top must be set in Multiply blend mode in order to imitate the riso ink blending.
  2. In every folder, create another two folders: one named Color and below another one named IMG for any element of the document (you can create a separate folder for text if you need it).
  3. With the Rectangle Tool, create a rectangle covering the entire spread with the equivalent color of the ink as fill (the best reference for riso inks is the Stencil color guide) and Screen blend mode.
  4. The white background will be interpreted as black and thus colored, but it can be avoided by making another rectangle below with white as fill and Multiply blend mode.

While I still have to improve several workflow things, I found this trick very useful to identify which element corresponds to each ink. I have attached an example file if anybody is interested.

riso_example.afpub

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