Primary coloured polka dots flirt with tangerine foliage. Hands, eyes and limbs dance among zig zags. Bananas bounce, and palm trees are pink. Welcome to the world of RISOTTO.
By layering bold colour and playful patterns, Gabriella Marcella’s design swirl and oscillate upon the surface. Her studio, RISOTTO, is based in Glasgow and specialises in the magnificently experimental medium, risograph, that you’ll find adorning print, stationery and apparel. Alongside this print service she is prolific in set, mural, branding and interior design, and is always on the hunt for a new material to work on.
Back on terrafirma after a recent trip to India, we caught up with Gabriella. We were particularly excited to hear about an up and coming collaboration with Papersmiths favourites Slowdown Studio, her sticker collection and the hidden gems of Glasgow.
What was it about riso that got you hooked?
RISOTTO was set up through my desire of owning the means of production. Being able to play and experiment with the processes at my fingertips has been so influential to my design process and work. The risograph was therefore the perfect print machine as it encourages experimentation, quick outputs and a wonderful, limited ink spectrum. Being a print service has also allowed me to meet and work with many different creatives, both locally and internationally. In parallel to this, we producing new product ranges each season - and this grants me a regular outlet to play with my own designs and marry them with my love for stationery.
Earlier this year Liberty London began stocking RISOTTO’s stationery, and you’re constantly working on commissions, murals and designs outside the studio. What would be your dream collaboration and what surface would you like to see your patterns adorning next?
I love the idea of working with new materials and scales. Interiors are really interesting to me. My dream commission would be to design a game show! 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. We will also be launching a new RISOTTO capsule collection in Spring, which will feature all over print garments!
Your studio at The Glue Factory looks incredible. Do you have any favourite objects in this space?
I think it would be all the weird and wonderful machines and tools for making all sorts of paper related things! It’s a fun workshop to play in.
How do notebooks, sketchbooks, pens and pencils play a part in your creative process? Do you have any favourite tools for creating?
Unglamorously - I mostly design on my computer! I jot down random thoughts and plans on anything that’s in front of me and I love making lists as many others do. I think that’s why we made the Hit List Notepads and Weekly planners. They’re geared up for people like me!
Do you collect anything a little bit zany? Tell us about your love of zines.
I’ve collecting Panini stickers for years now. My Fiorucci collection is almost complete, and there are some real gems in there. I buy and hoard anything that has colourful design on it. 40s music sheets, 60s packaging, 90s zines - so many unassuming delights!
Take us off the beaten track in Glasgow. Where are your favourite hidden gems?
Glasgow has had some real gems. Food wise it has to be Alchemilla - a friend launched this last year, and it’s doing amazingly well. Best place in town. Instrmnt are a really interesting watch company and their concept store has a great collection of magazines, selected clothing and furnishings. The Modern Institute is round the corner from here and is one of the best galleries for contemporary art. These are both in the Trongate area, which is packed with galleries, creative spaces, restaurants, and interesting shops.
If you’re looking for baked goods - then I’d go to Cotton Rake - delightful pastries, and I recommend the black pudding sausage roll to anyone that hasn’t been.
Name an artwork or piece of design that made you go ‘woah!’ in the last week.
David Mendez Alonso and his company Outsiders Division. I’m pretty sure he started out as an illustrator, and this stuff with fashion he’s doing now blows my socks off - I love it all!
What does 2018 hold for you and Risotto?
I’m keen to head back out to India to continue on with some projects that have been ongoing for the past few years. Block printing and screen printing in the workshops there is such a hands on experience, and being able to work directly with local artisans is really fulfilling. Aside from this, there will no doubt be more collaborations, more travel, more workshops, more products and more printing!