Thursday, 1 June 2017

Risomania

Risomania
Risomania: The New Spirit Of Printing - Risograph, Mimeograph & Other Stencil Duplicators, by John Z Komurki, is "the first book to document... the history, present and future of the Riso," examining the use of the Risograph printer in graphic design. It includes a portfolio of contemporary prints, an international directory of printing presses, and some fascinating vintage commercial illustrations.

The book begins with a history of stencil duplication: "To date there has been no comprehensive account published of it, although there are many books waiting to be written. Here, all we have the space to do is lay out the essentials of the development of this technology, and try to straighten out some of the misconceptions that bedevil the field." Duplicators such as the mimeograph, cyclograph, hectograph, papyrograph, and typograph are all discussed.

Risomania was first published in French translation (subtitled Risographe, Mimeographe & Autre Duplicopieurs). It's an interesting account of a technology that's missing from the standard histories of printing, Prints & Visual Communication (by William M Ivins) and the definitive The Art Of The Print (by Fritz Eichenberg).

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