Glasgow’s Risotto Studio is only three years old, but it’s already providing the local community with an essential Risograph print resource, as well as delivering a steady output of vibrant, inky design. Its playful use of color, pattern, and typography are often found gracing gig posters or featured in bespoke print projects for clients, created using the studio’s in-house production facilities. Risotto founder and director Gabriella Marcella first encountered Risograph printing during a publishing course in the U.S., and explains that she fell in love with the process soon after, obsessing over zines and publishers like Nieves, which she later interned for.
Risograph printing, which was originally intended for low-cost, high-volume print runs, has found new favor in recent years with the graphic arts crowd, and publishers and studios alike have discovered new ways to take advantage of its distinctive attributes. For Marcella, it’s the printing process itself that’s so intriguing. “I found the speed and unpredictability of the printer fascinating. It would never behave quite how I would expect, and these happy accidents, accompanied by my developing color experimentations are what really shaped my practice.” Some of her bold use of color is a nod to the work of the Memphis group; Marcella notes that Ettore Sottsass and Nathalie Du Pasquier dominate her bookshelf.
Marcella and her Risograph printer felt right at home in Glasgow’s incredibly active and supportive creative community. That community, plus the availability of affordable studio space, made it the perfect place to set up her new venture. Since its foundation in 2012, Risotto has expanded its remit to offer a wider range of print colors and more in-house facilities, allowing Risotto’s team (four at the moment, but it’s always shifting) to accommodate more bespoke projects. Marcella is upfront about the kind of work clients can expect from her. “People know what they’re coming for. It’s not going to be subtle, and it’s definitely going to be playful,” she says. And with the studio focus on using eco-friendly inks and paper, it’s also environmental responsible. “If I’m going to be producing anything in quantity,” she says, “I want to make sure it’s done sustainably.”