what is gocco?
Gocco (officially: Print Gocco) is a Japanese color screenprinting system developed in 1977 by Noboru Hayama and produced by Riso . Resembling a toy, the compact and completely self-contained printer is clean, quick and easy to use. Gocco became immensely popular in Japan and it was estimated that at one point a third of all Japanese households owned a Print Gocco system.
what does 'gocco' mean?
The name "print gocco" is derived from the Japanese word 'gokko', loosely translated as 'make-believe play'. Riso Kagaku president Noboru Hayama explained, "We (as kids) learned rules and knowledge through make-believe play. The spirit of play is an important cultural asset. I thought that I wanted to leave "play" in the product's name."
how does it work?
The system works using flash bulbs, a carbon-based image or photocopy and an emulsion-coated screen. When the bulbs are manually flashed, the carbon in the drawing or photocopy burns the screen into a stencil. Several colors of ink can then be applied at one time and multiples can be stamped out, as many as 100 before re-inking is needed. Fans of Print Gocco appreciate its size, cleanliness, relatively inexpensive cost, and the fact that several colors can be printed in one “pass.”
the fun comes to an end
In December 2005, Gocco’s parent company, Riso Kagaku Corporation, announced it would end production of the Gocco system due to low sales in Japan. As of June 2007, Riso Kagaku Corporation had resumed production of several lines of Print Gocco units and they were available in Japan and through limited import retail stores in the United States. But, this too, was destined not to last. On May 30, 2008, the Riso Kagaku Corporation announced that it will stop shipping Gocco printers in June 2008. They blamed the sharp decline in demand for their printers on the increase in use of home computers and printers. It's unclear if they will continue producing supplies for the printers.
will gocco ever come back?
In the last 30 years, Gocco had gathered a world-wide following of avid users, including artists and designers. Its apparent death wasn't taken sitting down. In response, Savegocco.com was started in 2005 by Jill Bliss in the hopes that a letter-writing/petition campaign would encourage Riso to reverse their decision to drop Gocco. In December of 2008, Riso shipped their last stock of supplies to loyal vendors and closed its doors on Gocco. In 2009, the campaign was resurrected by Katie Stephenson in hopes that fans could retrofit, reinvent or otherwise keep Gocco alive themselves. If you're interested in joining the Save Gocco campaign, be sure to visit savegocco.com and show your support.
(sources: Wikipedia, Savegocco.com)
gocco today - here and now
As far as we're concerned, Gocco is alive and well among collectors, artists and designers who still cherish their dwindling stock and are happy to share their views on the Gocco saga with share some candy readers! We have no less than 13 amazingly cool Gocco users from around the world - USA, Canada, Portugal, Australia, UK and New Zealand. Be sure to check out our exclusive Q&A's with each of them, plus...