Our brains are drooooooling looking at the wonderful world of RISOTTO. Owner and founder, Gabriella Marcella, welcomed us in with open arms and we didn’t want to leave this world of colourful explosions. Gabriella fills us in on how she developed her style and why Glasgow is her ideal city.
What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened? With the prospect of graduating, it pushed me to look seriously at my options of remaining in Glasgow.
The city doesn’t have a wealth of edgy design studios, but what it does have is a very active and supportive creative community with the added benefit of affordable studios/spaces. So I just found myself a studio and set up RISOTTO
Whats your take on internships? (do you take interns now?) I think they’re really important. When I was studying, most of my summers were spent interning — in all different shapes and sizes. Whether it was a month sleeping on a distant relatives’ couch in Zurich, working for free, but learning the ins and outs of a small publishing business. Or being put up in an a fancy apartment in Philadelphia, where I interned in the design department for a massive company where the perks were flashy, but I learnt just as much. The experiences were invaluable to my understanding of where I wanted to be, and so, although RISOTTO is a tiny company, I’m keen to offer something back. Sometimes we do get funding to pay our interns which is amazing, but most of the time we offer our print facilities instead.
‘I hope the work I make is accessible and brings a smile to your face.’
Tell us a bit about yourself and the studio that you work for. RISOTTO is Scotland’s leading risograph print specialist, and stationery co. We produce creative print for a range of clients; from leading art organisations to bands and brands; quickly and sustainably.
‘Risograph printing is similar to screen-printing, using rich spot colours and stencils to create tactile and vibrant prints, affordably and with little impact to our environment.’
RISOTTO has tailored their services specifically to the needs of the creative industries. This, coupled with in-house production, allows RISOTTO to celebrate craft and design, building an environmentally conscious and community-focused business along the way.
RISOTTO makes all paper goods from their zero-waste workshop in Glasgow, where a small and passionate team work hard to design, test and launch new products; sustaining the power of small-scale artisan quality, as an alternative to mass production.
The house style is notoriously bold and playful, and can be seen across the limited edition products that emerge seasonally through the store.
Best-known for their vibrant calendars and graphic t-shirts, the studio has recently accelerated their product lines; launching wonderfully colourful collaborations, bursting with pattern. Products are shipped worldwide, all year round.
Tell us about any collaborations you have been working on. Recent collaborations include a suitcase design for Away. We’re taking it a step further this January, and I’ll be flying out there to paint one of their flagship stores in LA. I’m also working with Oiôba on a new swimsuit, and with Slow Down Studio on a blanket for 2018.
How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others? I’ve definitely seen a change to my design work through 7 years of printing with the riso. Initially my work had a DIY approach (cut and paste) as I was could only envisage it’s Riso output. All compositions were in black and white with varying textures and gradients. There wasn’t any purposeful outcome, just curiosity and play. My work now encompasses a variety of applications; including party posters, public art, apparel collections and publications, so it’s no longer limited to a process, but is always designed with a means to decorating a surface; using pattern, colour and type as tools to transform a shape. These are very instinctive elements of my work – and there is often more time spent in toning it all down – and fundamentally I hope the work I make is accessible and brings a smile to your face.
What is the design landscape like on your city and where do you fit in? The city has done me so many good turns so far, and has proved to be an ideal basecamp — it has a wealth of new talent that move here regularly, and the city grants you the space, time and money to make your own work.
RISOTTO’s print studio keeps things local, while the design work isn’t bound by location at all, thanks to the internet!