This paper considers the significance of the emergence of a new category of publisher: small, independent publishing houses that employ digital duplicating machines. The recent uptake of digital duplicators — mostly Risograph and Ricoh machines, based on technology developed by the Riso Kagaku Corporation in 1986 — represents a distinct counterpoint to the dematerialization (i.e., electronic delivery) of independent art and graphic design practice. Many publications emerging from this sector take the form of the fanzine, and the politics of zine-making is reproduced also: many of these publishing entities are established with a mind to democratize access to printed communication. Importantly, these small presses are not print-on-demand providers — they represent a new publishing niche. These presses are analysed in terms of the significance of this model as an alternative to conventional modes of publishing. This paper also proposes the notion of publishing-as-practice, and so contributes to discourses on design authorship, i.e., critical and self-initiated forms of graphic design practice.
|Keywords:||Risograph, Publish-on-demand, Independent Publishing, Design Authorship, Digital Duplicator, Small Press|
Lecturer, Department of Design, Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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