You started using risography in 2015, when it was still almost unknown in Germany. What gave you the idea?
Sascha: As students, we took the Communication Design course together at university in Munich, and we would also work together a lot, even then. Once we’d graduated, Laura got a job with a large agency and I was freelance. But after a while we both needed a change. We sat in the sun with a bottle of wine and threw some ideas around. And one of these notions was risography. Three months later, the joking was over and we were committed. We were living in the same shared accommodation, I had a tiny room there that we put the printer in, and that was where we ran off our first jobs. We stacked the finished work for collection in between the clothes-horse and the bottle return crates.
Laura: One of our friends was at the University of the Arts in Zürich, where they had a Risograph, and showed us the prints he had made. Risography has an aesthetic all of its own. And it was a surprise to be told the technology is not in fact all that new: it was unknown in Munich, but there had been risography studios in London for 15 years past. As designers we naturally fancied trying it out, but nobody had a machine, and so we thought over our glass of wine, why not give it a go ourselves, we could surely manage that. So we decided to hand in our notice and buy a Risograph.
Sascha: This without ever having laid a finger on the machine, mark you. Unbelievable.
Laura: We started off using cheap paper, and our first job literally ran all over the place. The paper was far too smooth, we had not allowed ourselves enough time, and then to cap it all the counterpressure roller packed up. We had to pay for our inexperience. There was no manual, you see, nothing to warn us. And even when you have been at it a while and got some experience with it, you still find the machine has a mind of its own and keeps doing things you don’t understand. There’s an international Riso group, and they all have the same problems. You simply have to learn that some things can’t be done, and stop trying.
Sascha: Otherwise you are binning sheet after sheet of expensive paper and totting up in your head what it’s all costing.