Riso Round 2

Development, Local Universe, Projects, Visual Research

Developing My Riso Window Zine With Additions

After testing the riso printer for the first time, I felt as though I had a good idea as to what works and what doesn’t. Although after my tutorial with Rachel, who suggested I could develop the project further, I began thinking about how I could do this and what the true aim of my souvenir is.

My vision was to create a souvenir that is a keepsake highlighting what I want people to take away from the east London area; the small nature, the plants people use to decorate where they have limited or no access to green space. However the zine I have made on its own doesn’t quite say that.

Zine Development

My initial riso test was in one colour, and asides from the title on the front page, it is not clear what the zine is about, even more so as there is no other text within the zine. I decided I could push my riso testing and experiment with colour that possibly highlights the plants situated by their windows without having to be explicit with text and add street names like I did with my Urban Botany edition.

My choice of the yellow really adds depth to the illustrations and draws your eyes to the detail of the plants, which is essentially how I want people to see east London and alter their vision to become more aware of these small nature spaces and how intriguing they are in this vast concrete jungle we live in.


One thing I made sure to do with this development of my zine and riso testing was to experiment with paper stock and see how not just the one layer will work on the papers but how the second layer will enhance the illustrations. I found that I really liked the subtlety of the meadow grass paper i printed on that has little specs of grass linking very well to the nature theme of the project. The grass isn’t too obtrusive and doesn’t distract away from what I want to show but it rather a nice addition.


Experimenting with coloured and textured paper stocks with the riso printer


My zine is made from an A3 sheet of paper, the reason being, I wanted to be resourceful when printing with the riso. As I was made aware in the induction, I thought about how I could just smartly fold my zine and not need to bind (see diagram below).

The problem with this is that ultimately the whole zine can be unfolded into a flat A3 sheet of paper thus meaning there is a completely blank side. I decided I should make the most of this space by working on an illustration for it, so the zine would then be multifunctional as a poster. After testing out multiple ideas in my sketchbook as to what this could be, I settled on a giant window with floral detail. This was meant to be a reflection of the windows in the zine but almost as if looking through the window from the inside to the outside.


Poster on the flip side of zine when unfolded


Close up of floral detail within window illustration poster


The decision to design a poster to fill the back side of the zine was a good idea as it means i’m really utilising the space I have to work with. However I still felt as though it was necessary for me create an addition to this souvenir that provides more insight into what i’m doing for this project as I want to provide people with this information about the spaces and where I went or where  found them. I therefore made an attempt to draw a map of all the places I went to to find these small nature hotspots in the hope, people will go to these places and find them as well as new ones.


Folding the map to A6 so its size is consistent with the zine


Unfolding the map, Trying to figure out how maps are folded and what feels right.


Quickly drawn map, locating the areas I went to in order to find the windows and their small nature spaces

I really enjoy the way the map looks on coloured paper such as the blue I printed on, but the map doesn’t feel entirely functional just visual. I feel as though it needs to have more context and more reason for being. I need to consider what I want the map to say or direct people to, bearing in mind what I want my zine to be saying.



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