Risograph Experimentation and Zine Making

Development, Local Universe, Sketchbook, Visual Research

Testing the risograph for the first time before considering its use for my final outcome

Since my final brief is to create a souvenir based on my outlook of the Local Universe, part of this entails making a zine about this observation I have made in the local area about small nature. Before thinking about how I want to reproduce this, I began the task of drafting my windows on a potential zine template I made, keeping in mind the zine research I did.

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Planning the final souvenir, Trying to visualise zine layout

As I wanted to try using a new technique and method of production asides from the linocut and mono print I have already used, I thought I would push myself and see how well suited my illustrations are to the risograph and how I could use this to construct a final piece.

Preparing for the riso and printing

Taking some of previously drawn test zines (drawn in black on white paper) along with paper I selected after my visit at Shepherds Bookbinding, I got started with the risoprinter and was quite pleased with the outcomes I got. I made sure my image was prepared for the riso drawing strictly in black and white so the riso could easily pick it up to make a master.

My black and white test zine, drawn with different materials in order to see how these would translate with the riso

My black and white test zine, drawn with different materials in order to see how these would translate with the risograph

The many paper stocks I printed on, as well as printing in both blue and red riso colours

The many paper stocks I printed on, as well as printing in both blue and red riso colours

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Experimenting with a range of paper stock, and trying to select, maybe deciding on a colour palette.

Reflecting on my outcomes

As pleased as I was with my first go at using the risograph, I realised it was necessary for me to be brave and fold up a few of my tests (see below) to observe how well they worked as zines in the folded format I had planned. This allowed me to see how the windows fit to the pages, as i’m being quite free and not working to a grid when illustrating.

The folds that compose the zine into its format without the need of binding

The folds that compose the zine into its format without the need of binding

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Front Cover

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page 1-2

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page 3-4

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page 5-6

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Back Cover

From the testing I found that the most successful mark making for the zine is the brush pen as I like the delicacy yet weight of the line. However I still quite like the use of finer details but perhaps a fineliner is not the best tool for this as it produces a blunt line which I dislike. Perhaps I would achieve a better, sharper line and detail if I used ink with a range of dip pen nibs.

Thinking about text

I don’t plan on including any text in my zine as i’m trying to demonstrate the way in which people use plants outside of windows, to be decorative, thus creating these small nature spaces. The structure and architectural detail of the windows I’ve captured appears to hint at human presence therefore I don’t feel as though I need words to reiterate that.

Feedback from Rachel Gannon on selecting paper stock

After I completed these tests, I showed them to Rachel Gannon who thought for the most part they were successful on the variety of paper stocks I experimented with. After I told her I couldn’t commit to one, she suggested that maybe I extend the project beyond just the zine and make a pack of things to go with it, like a postcard, poster, map etc to give me the freedom to use more than one stock. Something I would like to consider as I feel as though it would work well as an overall complete souvenir guide in a way.

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