Carrer Blanquers, 126
17820 Banyoles (Girona)
+34 872 980 977
646 963 672
620 683 498
I visit Enserio’s studio. When they open the door for me, the first thing I say to them, even before good afternoon, is that they should set up another company with the name Cheerfully, a branch dedicated to humour, pranks, practical jokes, activities that are as or more necessary than oxygen or vitamin E.
Enserio laughs in his own way, with a discreet style but not lacking in slyness. Then they continue with their work. Ignoring me is one of the attitudes I value most in the people I know. I see here the members of Enserio design around a ping-pong table. What does that mean? It means that the game is present in their working day. But let’s look at the detail: they have chosen a ping-pong table and not a football field, not a basketball court, not a water polo pool. That must mean something. Ping-pong helped President Nixon befriend Chairman Mao. This is called ping-pong diplomacy: playing at the service of peace, friendship and also creativity. Because that rapprochement between two antagonistic powers was also a great demonstration that stretched diplomacy had other versions: creative and recreational.
I tell all this to Enserio and their laughter, this time, has a touch that goes beyond slyness. It’s like they were trying to make a wild joke. This time I choose to observe them while working with the will to try for my shoulder. From one end to the other of the ping-pong table, Enserio, Ferran and Miquel, or Miquel and Ferran, launch ideas at the Asian speed of the ping-pong balls. The ideas are collected and relaunched at a typhoon rate. And so, and on that table, the most surprising, diverse, nutritious, sometimes scandalous creations are shot, sometimes on the edge of provocation, always, of course, honest and brilliant. Being honest and being bright are not always conditions that can come together under one roof.
In the study of Enserio there is, beyond the table of ping-pong, an element that overflows and neutralizes the aesthetic balance that designers impose: in a corner of the wall there hangs a dry sausage. Beneath this valuable piece is a small counter with a good knife that, from time to time, slices the sausage. To receive the client or to face the boldest campaigns it is good to have a little sausage on hand. I'm already salivating. I continue saying that in the farmhouses, years ago, they received you with a box of cookies or some sausage cuts, and the wine jar or the bottle of grenache, and I say that Enserio is part of this tradition. The sausage, then, is not a joke, I add, it is not a provocation, it is part of the philosophy of the house that is always based on having one’s feet on the ground, not losing sight of the world around them, to assume that they and the sausage are part of these days and of these landscapes. The sausage, I continue, reminds us that everything ends and at the same time everything begins again. The wheel of time, in this case, is represented by a sausage hanging from a nail on the wall, a sausage waiting for visits or simply trusting the hunger of Ferran and Miquel. At the end of all these barbarities, I get what I intended, i.e., cuts of sausage and a piece of bread with spread tomato. I say I’m in a hurry and I have to go. I say goodbye and take the door to the street. These young lads, as they would say at home, work long hours.
I am on the stairs that take to the street. And every time I close Enserio’s door I feel like I’ll hear the frenzied ball hitting impatiently on the ping-pong paddles. Or the even more electric step of the ideas of these two. But I don’t feel anything, just my steps hitting the ladder. Sometimes I am tempted to undo the way and spy on them through the lock hole and see them work, elucidate, eat a lot of sausage, play and make jokes in the style of two clowns that make a great battle of cakes. Who knows if I have been listened to and the Enserio have finally created the famous division of Part de Riure dedicated to the game, to joke, to the most animal provocation? Then I think of an idea that has a dismantling lick: if Enserio works on a billiard table and with a hanging sausage, perhaps, and forcing the breakage of moulds and the most delirious provocation, De Part de Riure would work on a banker’s caoba desk and what he would have hanging on the wall would be the views of a tropical beach at dusk, following the delusional Muebles la Fábrica style.
I put my hand on my forehead and I don’t have a fever. I’m going down the ladder. To get out of the labyrinth. Before I get down, I hear a scream that stops me. Someone said: “Aguirre, we have started another langue. You don't want it? That is Mick's voice. I answered with a slightly hurried and a little gluttonous. Then there are laughs over the entire tunnel of the staircase. I don’t know if I’ll go back to school or not. You what would you do?
Writer and journalist
The Enserio guys... I just love them. Our offices are next door. We are friends. It's been a long time since they took charge of the Escenaris Especials (Special Scenes) design. It all started in 2009, when Miquel Amela came to me and told me that he would give me a logo as a present for this project that I was just starting, which had the aim of teaching act to people with disabilities. Since then, more or less every time I have had to make an important decision in life, I have explained it to Miquel Amela. The Enserio team has the talent to see beyond the horizon; they are tidy, sharp and modest, they have the ability to surprise you every time with a new idea, which at the same time makes you feel like at home. Like tasting an ice-cream you've never tasted before, which brings back memories of childhood. A very weird feeling. They are brilliant. The most exciting part for me is when they show you the idea. Both Ferran and Miquel sit in front of you and explain the graphic image they have thought of for the new show. And you look at them, listen to them and think: "Why didn't I come up with the idea? Of course! It could only be like this! For me, the Enserio team does the same as a good scriptwriter writing a good ending for a film: when you watch it, you think: "Wow, what a plot twist! I didn't expect it! It could only end like this". If you are lost, if you have existential doubts, if you would like to get your life back on track... or if you simply want a logo: call them. They will listen to you, they will understand and they will come up with a good idea. From then on, you won't be able to live without them and you'll want to have them with you all the time, like next-door neighbours.
Playwright and director of Escenaris Especials
Alícia told me to go to them. And I did because you should always listen to your friends. And so it is that I showed up at Enserio’s office. I spoke to them in English to sound cool; they immediately realized, but I was cool to them anyway. Miquel and Ferran, the perfect couple. They are really one of a kind. Ferran and Miquel. God, I can't wait to see them now. We always meet for work (that is, for life) and we laugh out and aloud. Isn’t that what life is about? Together, we go for the thrill of things: our jobs, our wine and our small-town-lives. Around people, with our ancestors, about our passions, in our madness. Rim and Enserio. Enserio and Rim. We even have a Whatsapp group. I like their studio because it's not in the middle of Barcelona’s hype, it's in Banyoles and Banyoles is cool. Both Miquel and Ferran are locals in here and one can totally feel warmth in that. Rim went in naked to them and came out fully dressed: nine labels defining a vigorous life. Their creations are like great songs: you can listen to them in a loop and they'll still give you the bumps. It's serious stuff, that they do.
In Enserio I learned how to ride a bike and, first and foremost, I learned how to use InDesign. I learned how to name files, to listen to Nada Surf on Fridays, to debate about feminism-separatism-cycling and not to get to any conclusions (or that’s what we believed). I learned to laugh about everything, to speak on the phone without, almost, a shaking voice. I learned how to get obsessed with work, and how to not get obsessed with it, too. I learned to go over this text 38 times, to write it in a notebook instead of opening a file on a Word sheet, I learned to cross things out. I learned not to hate my bosses, to shoot hard in ping-pong, to understand the most authentic Catalan idioms —Tu rai! —. I learned to eat healthily, to have a sweet afternoon snack, to share sandwiches, but I did learn how to eat healthy food, alright?
Coats are not to be hanged on a chair, order is very important in anything, obsessions are not that bad. I learned that we, designers, are here to have fun, that Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad, that nothing beats living in your town. I also learned that there’s nothing more annoying than the light’s reflection on the computer screen (well, there is: a boss reminding you of it all the time).
And I don’t know. Rushing is bad but it cannot be avoided. Internet is nice but it’s even better to lock yourself into a room without wifi, only with a pair of scissors and a couple of cardboard boxes. I learned that a two year-old girl can make your day in a 15-minute visit. I learned that is hard to write a letter of appreciation and not to sound like Paulo Coelho at his worst.
We arrange a meeting over the phone. We have an exhibition design going on and the graphic image has to be proper, a team work for a unified result. We get to the studio. We start with a bit of small talk before we get going. When talking about everything and nothing, we always come up with some funny knowing fact. “The other day I read that the origin of the skater pools is in Finland...” We sit down and tell them about the exhibition project. They listen. They rarely say something. A one-off question, especially about the concept. You can tell that those two brains are analysing what we're saying. They store information and keep quiet. They listen. Some people hear and others listen. Enserio listens and understands. We tell them were the proposal comes from and the reasons why it cannot be otherwise. They listen. We keep explaining until there is not an inch left to explore. It's funny, but they always like the proposal. We're done. We can always be at ease, we know that the job is on track. We end up again talking about stuff. When we meet again they show one only proposal. It's how it got to be. There have to be no other options if you are clear. They got the message. They show a graphic image which perfectly matches the idea we had in mind about the space. A precise, meticulous, rigorous and smart result. Just flawless. Enserio listens, understands and resolves.
Ephemeral architecture and design
Summer 2014. I was hired for an editorial project and told I would have to work with an agency called Enserio (which literally translates as seriously). Hmm… This name doesn’t sound too promising, I thought sceptically: an agency that wants to come across as if they don’t take themselves too seriously, but who produce quality work – and at the same time they come up with such a silly name? (Are you serious?)
With these low expectations we met for the design presentation of our first book together. With a quiet confidence they presented a design that turned a project that started as a serious and academic endeavour into a unique series of books: serious but fun, almost playful. I couldn’t help but fall for it.
Since then, this story has repeated itself multiple times: confident presentations and unique designs – serious but fun, almost playful. Their proposals are crafty and unconventional, sometimes requiring me to sleep on them, but never just because and always meticulous.
Don’t call them if you just need somebody to replicate what’s already in your mind. They don’t work like that, and be warned: they are very stubborn.