Using the Risograph Print Pack for Photographs in Photoshop

Using the Risograph Print Pack for Photographs in Photoshop

Are you looking for a way to add unique texture and personality to your photographs?

The Risograph Print Pack for Photoshop will transform your photography into analog Risograph prints.

In this tutorial, we'll examine how to use the Risograph Print Pack for Photoshop to create stunning Risograph effects in just a few simple steps. Whether you're a seasoned designer or just getting started, the Risograph Print Pack will help you achieve a professional and eye-catching look.

Prepping your Photograph

Like in traditional Risograph printing, you'll need to separate your image by color. This is accomplished through Photoshop's Channels Window. It is an easy process that will become second nature in no time.

Photo of a parrot by Nan Zhou from Unsplash.

Photo provided by Nan Zhou through Unsplash.

    1. Convert your image to CMYK by clicking Image>Mode>CMYK. This mimics the physical pigments in Risograph printing.
    2. Open the Channels Window. If it is not already open you can access it by clicking Window>Channels.
    3. Click on the Cyan channel then click the dotted circle to "Load channel as selection."
    4.  Invert your selection by clicking Select>Inverse.
A screenshot of Photoshop illustrating using channels to color separate a photo of a parrot.

Now that you have the first channel selected we'll need to fill it with something so we can apply the Risograph texture to it.

  1. Navigate back to the Layers Menu and create a new layer.
  2. Fill the layer by clicking Edit>Fill. You can choose any light blue color you'd like. Pure cyan works, but you can choose another light blue or even teals and greens for a more interesting effect. Traditional Risograph printers don't always have the exact color you'd like so you have to get creative!
  3. Repeat the steps above until you have created a new layer for every channel.

IMPORTANT: The Channels Menu will reference everything that is visible.To ensure you are only making selections from the original photograph you must toggle off visibility for each separation.

A screenshot of Photoshop showing a photo of a parrot separated into CMYK.

With the channels separated and set to Multiply we can get an idea of what our final image will look.

A Print Shop in Your Computer

Create the authentic look of Risograph prints quickly and easily with our extensive range of Risograph actions, templates, and more.

Adding Texture

With all the channels separated into their own layers, we can now add the Risograph texture. There are a few different ways to achieve this. We'll be using the Print Pack Smart PSD Template. Note that if you use the Print Pack Action, you'll want to fill all your layers with pure black.

A screenshot of Photoshop showing the blues of a parrot with the Risograph Print Pack applied.
  1. Open the RSCO Risograph Print Pack Template. Navigate to Color One in the Layers Window and toggle off the example art.
  2. Select the first color layer in your photograph by hitting ctrl/cmd+A on your keyboard, then copy it by hitting ctrl/cmd+C.
  3. With the Color One example artwork selected, hit ctrl/cmd+V on your keyboard to paste your photograph above it. Reposition and resize as necessary.
  4. If you'd like to swap out the intensity of the Risograph texture applied to this layer, you can do so now or at the end.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4, moving from one color to the next until all color layers are pasted into the template.
A screenshot of Photoshop showing a photo of a parrot with the Risograph Print Pack applied.

Unlike traditional Risograph printing, you don't have to worry about wasting ink or ruining masters whenever you change your mind. You're also not limited by what ink your print shop offers. Whether you're just playing around or creating iterations of a design for a client, you'll be able to mock up exciting color combinations in minutes.

Another advantage of a digital Riso printer over a physical one is the ability to achieve unique effects that aren't possible in the real world. Play around with changing each layer's Blend Mode to see what you get. In the example below, we achieved a vibrant pink by changing that layer's blend mode to Linear Light.

A photo of a parrot with Riso effect split into three color ways.

It's easy to get various effects by changing colors and blend modes.


We've guided you through the steps to prep your photographs and apply a Risograph effect using the Risograph Print Pack. Now it's your turn to give it a spin! Remember, the Print Pack includes more than just a template, so once you get the basics under your feet, experiment and play around with everything else it has to offer. We won't be surprised if you get lost making different color combinations of your work; it's so much fun!

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