2D Prototyping Studio

In Depth File Preparation

Here’s an example of a print, broken down into grayscale layers, as it’s sent to the printer.

To replicate a color breakdown in photoshop, there are many methods one could use. We suggest researching methods and testing to find one that works best for you! There are also a few websites and apps in circulation that help in separating your images such as Spectrolite and https://www.risoseparator.tools/. Color Library https://colorlibrary.ch/test-it/ allows you to test different color profiles for your image before printing.

Most illustrators who are working digitally will work in transparent layers and clipping masks. Those wishing to color separate photographs, scanned images or pieces made without riso in mind can use cmyk separation or can hand separate their image with black and white adjustment layers. Feel free to talk to the lab technicians about this if you have any questions!


Here’s a simple breakdown of a method one could use in photoshop to create a print ready, grayscale image that can also simulate how the image will look when printed in color.

To begin, create a folder for each color you are planning to print with. In each folder put a black and white adjustment layer found in the adjustment layer tab. This layer will easily keep your image in grayscale for you.


To then add color, attach a clipping mask to your folder and use the paint bucket to fill it. The 2DP website has hex codes of each of the colors we carry in the lab that you can plug in when doing this. Many riso colors are hard to replicate digitally, especially the fluorescent colors, but these hex codes are extremely helpful in getting an accurate representation of how your image will look when printed. You can easily paint bucket in different colors to try out how they may work with your image.


To mimic the transparency and mixing abilities of the riso, set your clipping mask to “screen” and set your folder to “multiply.” 

You can now create your image within these folders! 


Once you are happy with your image and your layers and folders are clearly labeled you can send your file in to be printed at the lab via our digital submission form! 


This is a very simple method- there are plenty of other methods you can find. Experiment and find one that works for you! 

Here’s some resources for file preparation: