RISO - a Japanese print success story

Born in 1924, Noboru Hayama actually operated far away from the print industry. As the only son of an officer, his destiny was a successful officer's career in World War II, defending Japan. But the sudden end of the war opened up entirely new opportunities for him and his innovative mind - a success story in printing.

September 2, 1946: Noboru Hayama opens his own mimeography printing company: RISO-SHA (理想 社 = Ideal Company). RISO ("Ideal") was chosen under the strong impression of the war. The founder wanted ideals to be preserved in his company. He saw no future for the people of Japan without ideals.

1948: The family business, known for its quality and in demand, moves into a sales office in Tokyo's business district. At the same time also renamed RISO Insatsusha 理想 印刷社 ("RISO printing company").

1954: Noboru Hayama brings the RISO ink to the Japanese market.

1955: The printing company to transform into the manufacture of sought-after inks, the "RISO Science Laboratory Limited"

1958: RISO launches its own mimeograph, the RISO-GRAPH

1963: The company gets its final name: RISO KAGAKU Corporation (理想科学)

RISO Historie Gründung Tinte Riso-graph
1946: Noboru Hayama (3rd left above) found RISO-SHAH. - Photo from a promotional poster for RISO inks, which hit the Japanese market in 1954. - At that time, still a screen printing device: the RISO-GRAPH.

1965: Foundation of the first, large factory in Kasumigaura

1966: RISO FAX makes use of the effect of infrared light on the RISO MASTER. Artwork, which had to spend hours and laboriously created by hand, is now created in 5 seconds.

1968-69: RISO moves its headquarters to Shimbashi/Tokyo and opens sales offices in all major Japanese cities.

1972-74: Flash light and its heat generation proves to be even more efficient than infrared light. RISO TARPEN-UP TU-230 and RISO OHP 750 reach market maturity. They are replaced in 1974 by their further development: RISO XENOFAX FX-150 and RISO XENO MASTER.

1977: After years of investment and new developments, RISO succeeds once again with a resounding market success: the PrintGocco プリントゴッコ

RISO Kasumigaura Print Gocco Tokyo
1965 Kasumigaura production facility opens its doors. - The new RISO headquarters in Tokyo's Shimbashi district. - A gigantic market success, paving the way for further development of automated printing systems: the PrintGocco.

1980 is the birth year of the RISOGRAPH. Two products were launched under this name: RISOGRAPH AP7200 (for master creation) and RISOGRAPH FX7200 (for fully automatic printing).

1980: Graphic designer Shigeo Fukuda gives RISO the now familiar logo and logotype.

1982: RISOGRAPHS become a crowd puller at the CeBIT Hannover.

1984: The RISOGRAPH 007 combines master production and print in one machine. Its successor in 1986, the RISOGRAPH 007 DIGITAL, is only available to the Japanese market.

1989: The Risographs reached maturity for the German market: Launch of the RISOPGRAPH RC-series.

1993: Launch of the RISOGRAPH RA-series.

1994: Launch of the RISOGRAPH GR-series.

1999: Launch of the RISOGRAPH FR-series.

2000: Launch of the RISOGRAPH RN-series. In the same year, RISO introduces the V8000, the world's first duplicator that prints two colors in one paper pass.

2001: Launch of the RISOGRAPH KS-series for the global market. A new, now soybean oil-based formula makes RISO ink the more environmentally friendly as well as more sustainable product. Initially it is only available in black

2004: Black isn´t the only available color of the soy oil-based RISO ink anymore. RISO SOY INK COLOR extends the color spectrum for printing. Launch of the RISOGRAPH MZ-series.

2008: Launch of the RISOGRAPH EZ-series.

2013: Launch of the RISO A2 for A2 formats. It was not meant for the domestic market, nevertheless a few machines made it to Germany and found their sphere of influence here. 

2014: Launch of the RISOGRAPH ME 9350 and SE 9380.

2016: Launch of the RISOGRAPH SF 9350.

2017: Launch of the RISOGRAPH MF 9350.

2019: Launch of the RISOGRAPH SF E II-series and the MiScreen a4, a small device for the production of screen printing masters.

2021: Launch of the RISOGRAPH MH 9350.

RISO Geschichte RISOGRAPH CeBit AP7200 FX7200
Fully automatic master production and print: RISOGRAPH AP7200 and FX7200. - Calm before the (on)storm: the RISOGRAPHs are shown for the first time in Germany in 1982 and attract all the interest of CeBit visitors. - Master production and print compactly in one machine: the RISOGRAPH 007.

RISO Deutschland Hamburg Risographie Timeline Zeitstrahl Historie Produkte Maschinen Risografie

1986: With RISO INC. in the USA, RISO opens its first subsidiary outside Japan. This is the starting shot for further expansion worldwide. RISO can now be found in over 190 countries and regions.

1989: RISO enters the Japan Stock Exchange (JASDAQ).

1989: The first European subsidiary, RISO EUROPE LTD. opens in London.

1990: RISO (Germany) GmbH moves into its premises in Hamburg.

1991: In Lyon, RISO's current European headquarters, RISO FRANCE S.A., opens its doors.

1995: RISO moves into its new headquarters building in Tamachi, Tokyo.

2002: RISO IRELAND LABORATORY LTD. In Maynooth the first software design center outside Japan is set up.


2005: Based on years of experience in fast, efficient and cost-effective InkJet printing, the first InkJet machine is launched: RISO HC5500. It is the solution for businesses to take advantage of high print speed as well as color printing. HC5500 prints in CMYK at 120 ppm.

2009: Launch of the first ComColor-series. The compact machines print in CMYK at 150 ppm. With the Multifunction Finisher, they allow stacking, punching, folding and even binding of the prints in just one step.

2013: Launch of a new ComColor-series: ComColor X1.

2016: Launch of the ComColor FW-series, which is awarded the Blue Angel.

2017: Launch of the ComColor GD-series. It not only outperforms the X1-series, but at 160 ppm, it is the fastest InkJet printing system in the world. It prints in 5 colors: CMYK and gray.

2019: Launch of VALEZUS T2100. With five-color printing in CMYK and gray at 320 ppm, it reaches completely new levels of production printing.

2020: The ComColor FT-series replaces ComColor FW. At 140ppm, it is much faster than its predecessor.

2022: The ComColor GL-series replaces GD. With five-color printing and now 165 ppm, it remains the fastest InkJet cutsheet-printer in the world. The same year  the VALEZUS T1200 is launched for selected markets.

2023: Launch of the VALEZUS T2200. The second generation of the tandem highspeed printing system prints CMYK and gray at 330 ppm with even better quality and image sharpness.

RISO Historie InkJet Zentrale VALEZUS ComColor HC5500
RISO HC5500 enables top-speed multi-color printing at 120 ppm for the first time. - Flexibility, economy, sustainability, high printing speed, small footprint: with these qualities, RISO continues to serve the needs of diverse markets unchanged. RISO KAGAGKU COOPERATION's headquarters in Tamachi, Tokyo.

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