I get so many questions about Gocco…which is awesome, by the way! I love mine and with the recent threats of RISO discontinuing them (RISO Press Release), I’m hoping that enough people will jump on the Gocco bandwagon and save it once again (p.s. www.savegocco.com)
I’ve put together this tutorial to hopefully show you how simple Gocco is. Believe me, if I can do it…any one can. So please enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!
I use a Gocco PG-11 for 99% of my printing. I have the smaller PG5, but the registration plate and wider screen on this model make printing invitations much less frustrating. However, the actual printing size is still the B6 (just under 4″ x 6″)
First, chose your images. These were for a wedding invitation set I was working on.
The print area of the Gocco screens is a little under 4 inches by 6 inches, so make sure your images aren’t too large.
Gocco uses carbon-based ink to burn the screens so make sure you have a photocopied version of what you plan on printing. I know there are certain ink jet printers that also work – some HPs and my Canon PIXMA both work, but I’ve found that the quality is much higher when you go with a photocopied image.
These images were printed from my computer and photocopied earlier today so we’re good to go!
Mini-Disclaimer: I get lots of questions about where I get my images and fonts. Please understand that I’ve put a lot of time and money into these designs and don’t feel comfortable giving out, specifically, where I get my images. I almost always use purchased royalty-free clip art that I’m sure you can find if you try (I did, right? ).
Just make sure that you read the fine print. Some clipart and stock photo services have awesome images, but they are for promotional uses only and are not intended for commercial items.
I hope this doesn’t come across as rude, I’m just very protective of my work and am hesitant to give out information that can directly lead to someone recreating my designs.
Next, line up your image exactly where you want it to appear on your card. Taking the time to center it now, will definitely save you a headache later. I usually add a very small piece of tape to hold it down. You don’t want to make a tape loop and stick it on the back or tape over the image because this can result in an uneven burn.
Now you’re ready to burn the screen! You will need one screen and two bulbs to do it.
Luckily, screens are sold in packs of 5 and bulbs in packs of 10 – so you’re always even.
Next, insert the bulbs into the lamp unit that came with the Gocco.
Like I said, the PG-11 comes with a registration plate to help you line up your print runs. You’ll need to set that up before you burn your screen.
See the little crosshair in the middle? If you line them up, your print pad will be centered and you’ll be able to move the pad to line up your print.
Once the pad is centered, line your card with your taped-on image, right up against the registration plate in the top left corner.
Next, you’ll need to insert your screen. Take one screen and push it into the to top of the Gocco. There are little notches that will hold the screen.
Make sure that you push the screen all the way in so that it locks. There are two gray things (for lack of a better word) on the left that have springs. They will hold the screen under two notches on the right.
When you put the top down, you’ll be able to see your image. Here you may want to adjust the print pad (by turning the knobs and shifting it around) so that your image is more centered within the screen. If an image is too close to the edge the burn won’t be even and the printing may come out blotchy.
Next insert the lamp housing. You’ll want to push firmly so that it snaps in place, but not so hard that you prematurely burn the screen.
Just make sure the metal sensors line up – although the lamp housing won’t actually snap into place if it’s not properly aligned.
Now the fun part! Burning the screen!
Press quickly and firmly and don’t look directly at the Gocco.
When you lift the lid again, most likely, your image will be stuck to the screen.
At this point, you’ll be able to see the burned image on the screen and should be able to tell if you got a clean burn.
Part one is complete!
Now to add ink!
Take the screen out from the Gocco and pull back the plastic that covers it.
In order to keep the ink where I want it and not use so much. I usually add some foam tape around the image. Some probably came with your Gocco kit. Just cut, peel, and stick to the inside of the screen (under the plastic covering).
Then, add your ink. Again, under the plastic cover. Don’t be shy about applying the ink either. As my aunt would say, “Glom it on there.” You can always scrape it off later to use with another project. Plus, it’s a pain to have to re-ink every few prints. I probably used about 2 tablespoons for this image.
Once you have the desired amount of ink on there, put the plastic cover back over the ink and re-insert it into the Gocco – the same way you entered it to burn the screen.
Remember to lock everything into place:
OK, now we’re going to register our design.
The PG-11 comes with this clear plastic registration plate the clips onto the Gocco. You’ll print once on there, then you’ll be able to see your cardstock through the plastic to line it up…it makes sense when you see it.
Push down firmly and steadily to imprint your image on the plastic. If you’re not taking photos of yourself Gocco-ing, I recommend using two hands.
The plate will probably stick to the screen, so just gently peel it off, but still leaving it snapped onto the Gocco. This gives you a preview of how your image will look on the card. If it’s not where you want it, turn the knobs at the bottom and more the print pad until the card and image are lined up.
Take the plate off – it just pops off with a gentle tug.
Confirm that your paper is in the right place:
Press firmly and steadily, again I recommend two hands.
Lift cover, peel off paper (either from the print pad or the screen – wherever it stuck) and…
Now, print lots more!
…and my I recommend having lots of the drying racks on hand. They’re sold by RISO and they make the job so much easier – especially when you have cats that like to jump on table that would otherwise be used for drying cards.
I think that’s it! If I didn’t explain something thoroughly or you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!