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.
Clàudia Cedó 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.