Riso Zine Guidelines


Printing zines using the risograph process has limitations and qualities that are different to ordinary printing. For this reason we have some recommendations for your project, which will allow for the most cost-effective and highest quality results.

Zine Sizes
For printing books, rather than standard sizes like A4 or A5, we recommend slightly smaller sizes which allow us to trim down your book and leave no borders.

  • Instead of A4(210 x 297mm) we recommend 195 x 282mm.
  • Instead of A5(148 x 210mm) we recommend 133 x 195mm. Printing at these sizes or smaller make for the most cost-effective book printing.

Binding & Format
In the studio, we are equipped for saddle-stitched binding – one or more staples running down the spine of a folded booklet format. If you wish to use another binding method such as perfect binding, stab binding or stitching by hand, we don't offer this but we can still print your project and give it to you ready to be bound elsewhere by yourself or a print finisher.

Page Count
As we saddle-stitch zines, we recommend a low page count of 24 or less. With very light papers (100gsm, 80gsm) we can extend this to 36. 

Risograph requires drying time between layers, which can slow the process. As zines may involve multiple passes to print, and double sided printing, risograph zines can take two weeks to print and ship once we have received your final files.


For single colour zines:
Supply a single page PDF in black and white and tell us what colour you would like to print in.

For zines with more than one colour:
We need to be able to separate each colour layer and export a different file for each colour in your zine. You can do this in a number of ways but we recommend working in Photoshop and supplying Layered PSDs.

Layered PSDs
For this method, the book is laid out by making a PSD for each page or spread, which contains different layers for each colour in the image, and a compiled layer which shows the finished result. This way we can generate a colour preview and the print separations using the same files. In essence this could be compared to treating each page/spread as you would in our main guidelines.

This process needs to be repeated, either for each page, or each spread of the book, depending on the suitability of your artwork.

This same approach can also be taken with Illustrator files if applicable.

Are you familiar with InDesign?

If You Are:
An Indesign file should be set up at your intended finished size. The cover and interior can be contained within the same Indesign Document. It should have 3mm bleed on each side, the correct number of pages, and should have the aforementioned PSDs/AIs placed into the file in the correct order as linked files. Once this is finished the file should be packaged (not just saved or exported as a PDF) and sent to us so we can export individual separations of your file.

If You Are Not Familiar With InDesign:`
The best thing to do is to prepare your files as detailed in the “Layered PSDs” section above, and save them, clearly labelling them with the page or spread number. The InDesign portion of our file preparation can be done by us but will incur an extra charge.


In order to give you a full quote we need the following information

  • The size (A4/A5) of the finished book.
  • Number of pages (pp, not spreads, not sheets) EXCLUDING cover and back cover.
  • Number of colours per page (pp).
  • Number of colours on cover
  • Number of colours on back cover.
  • Cover stock name and weight (See guidelines, recommend 240gsm)
  • Interior stock name and weight (See guidelines, recommend 120-170gsm)

If you have any questions or queries, give us a shout at studio@damnfineprint.com


"Zine pronounced Zeen short for magazine. A lot of people pronounce it wrong.”

-Kanye West