Interview with Risotto Studio director, Gabriella Marcella

Risotto is a leading Scottish Risograph print specialist and stationary company, who produce their own products (including posters, cards, notebooks and apparel) as well offering a printing service and in-house design. Their clients include leading arts organisations (such as the Modern Institute and Tramway), record companies (NMBRS), and bands (Franz Ferdinand)

We chatted to founder and director Gabriella Marcella to learn more about the rapidly growing company.


Tell us a little about your practise and how you got into Risograph printing.

I had my first shot on a Risograph whilst studying in New York. I had taken an independent publishing class run by designer and publisher, Duncan Hamilton, and fell in love with the process pretty quickly. From here I started obsessing over zines, and publishers like Nieves books - who I later went to intern for. I found the speed and unpredictability of the riso printer fascinating. It would never behave quite how I would expect, and these happy accidents accompanied by my developing colour experimentations are what really shaped my practice.


What is your favourite step in the creative process, from idea generation or receiving a brief, to creating a finished product?

For me it's being able to have control over all of these steps that bring me the most joy! Whether that's becasue I'm a control freak... or because seeing a project from start to finish is really rewarding. Producing products in house grants us the control and flexibility to implement creatively throughout every stage of the process, allowing us to constantly refine our work and experiment.


(Photo by Future Positive Studio)

Does collaboration play a big part in your practise?

It's probably a quarter. It's a really exciting element as it allows us to work with other studios or designers who also have a niche expertise; and the combination of strengths often results in new and exciting outcomesWorking with different surfaces, materials and formats keeps things fresh and and satisfies a certain spot in my practice.


 (Photo by Alex Martin.)


Why did you choose to stay in Glasgow after graduating, and have you ever felt the pressure to move elsewhere to grow your business?

Definitely not! Glasgow is the reason for RISOTTO's success to date. The city offers affordable rents, a really supportive creative audience, and the space to trial and develop ideas without the constant stress of money/time. The studio is currently at a great size, where my time is largely focused on my strengths as a designer rather than dealing with cash flow, managing projects or people. 


Where do you draw inspiration for your work? 

My creative references are almost always visual - and the subject of which depends on what books are piled on my desk. The Memphis group probably dominate most of my bookshelf (Ettore Sottsass and Nathalie Du Pasquier’s work in particular)


(Photo by Future Positive Studio)


How do you find the creative / design scene in Glasgow? Has it changed at all since you’ve lived here?

It's always getting better! 


Visit the Risotto website to shop their products and learn more about riso printing.