So much renowned design is the result of a happy accident: heck, Erik Kessels even wrote a whole book about the beauty in “failed” image-making. It’s perhaps little surprise then that so many creatives have gone on to fetishise processes that make might look like limitations into things to be celebrated.
For printmakers, the ultimate example of this must be Risoprinting, a simple, cost-effective cross between photocopying and laser ink-jet printing that produces a beautiful and unique aesthetic.
With so many international artists and printers working in Riso, it seemed high time that someone should celebrate that. Welcome, then, Risorama, a one-day festival and fair covering all things Riso-related taking place in London next month.
Risorama was set up by Yuck Print House, Manchester-based printers, gallery and publisher of contemporary art and design prints and posters. The fair will showcase the wares of numerous international printers and designers, aiming to eschew traditional table-top selling by working with the gallery manager at the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery to make some free-standing structures to present the pieces. Studios and printers involved include Risotto Studio from Glasgow, We Make It from Berlin, Chicago’s Tan & Loose Press and Bananafish Books, arriving all the way from Shanghai.
There will also be a one-day exhibition of Riso-printed work created especially for the fair from artists including Rose Blake, Atelier Bingo, Rob Lowe (Supermundane_, Merjin Hos and Nous Vous’ William Edmonds. For those wanting to try their hand at Riso themselves, the fair will also be running workshops for people to learn to print and take their creations home.
“Once marketed to schools as a cheap copier, Risograph printing has become a favourite of graphic designers, creatives, zine makers and art institutions,” says Yuck Print House’s Mark Brennan. “It promises to be a day of bold, colourful, misregistered magic.”
Risorama takes place on Saturday 3 September from 11am until 6pm at Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EY. Entry is free. Discover more at www.risoramafair.com.