05 Jul 2019
Liza Enebeis is the Creative Director at Studio Dumbar (part of Dept), an award winning international agency with a Dutch heritage, specialising in visual branding. She is directly involved with all main projects such as the visual identity for the Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, NGO Alzheimer Nederland and Transavia airlines. She is an MA Design graduate from the Royal College of Art, London. Before joining Studio Dumbar she worked for Pentagram London for several years.
In 2004 Liza co-founded and co-hosts the podcast station Typeradio.org with Donald Beekman and the type foundry Underware. Typeradio has an archive of more than 500 interviews for download.
Liza will be speaking at the last #tptalks session on Thursday 11 July 2019 at Le Tank. Registration will open on 2 July 2019!
What brought you to found Typeradio in 2004 together with Underware and DBXL?
Liza Enebeis We founded Typeradio in 2004, Underware the type foundry (Akiem Helming, Bas Jacobs, Sami Kortemaki) were invited to speak at TypoBerlin and came up with the initiative to have a mobile radio station on site at the conference. They approached Donald Beekman and myself to join as hosts of the radio show.
We hardly new each other but we all shared the same spirit of adventure and inquisitiveness. We had no experience in the journalistic field but were and are very curious by nature.
The idea of talking about Typography —on non visual media— is a paradox itself and that was the challenge and the instigator for us to do this.
On the other hand, Typeradio is just as much about the type as it is about the designers themselves. Donald and I just want to understand and get to know the person behind the work. Their rituals, religion, passions, their family history —the ingredients that makes up a person and in turn makes up the work.
We want to give a voice to design that is more than just listening to the established. We want to capture the moment of this time.
At Typeradio, who looks to be very type related, how do you choose topics or people would be interesting to talk about for the audience?
The choice of people varies, from well known to upcoming talents. We want to give a voice to design that is more than just listening to the established. We want to capture the moment of this time. The topics of course vary depending with each person. But the person behind the type is central to our inquisition.
At Studio Dumbar you tend to work and play with type to get powerful and attractive visual identities. And you make it mostly with grotesque and geometric sans-serif typefaces and no serif typefaces. Do you believe it’s already an identifying feature of the studio?
Typography is not so black white there are myriads of colours and nuances and serif and sans is just one small part of it.
We pick the typefaces that we think are most suited to the project. We don’t out rule certain styles from the start.
Design is not solitary even if you work on your own.
When you started, who were the teachers or professionals who had the greatest impact upon you?
There are so many people that helped me a long the way, that I am always grateful to them. First of all my parents, that supported me through my education, which gave me the grounding that I needed. But beyond that there was a teacher in my Batchelor degree —that taught me team work. Design is not solitary even if you work on your own. I learnt to respect different opinions, acknowledge my strengths and weakness this in turn helped me in the long run to eventually create a strong team at Dumbar. And there is one close friend that probably had the biggest impact, Michel Mallard, he OPENED MY EYES, he introduced to me to Dutch Design, and really encouraged me to study at the RCA in London. He believed in the work I was doing and really pushed me to look further.
What is your ratio of self-initiated projects vs. working for clients? Which do you tend to be more passionate about making?
There is no difference between the two. My passion is design and one is not lesser than the other.
I prefer a dedicated space, one anchor point to allow everything else to change.
Do you prefer a permanent/dedicated workspace, or do you like to keep mobile (i.e. cafes, outdoors etc)
For me design means constant change, looking searching, moving forward so in terms of work space I prefer a dedicated space, one anchor point to allow everything else to change.
Favourite kind of music to listen to while working? (or absolute silence)
For the last year I have been listening to Jay Z, I usually listen to one artist over over and over again till I get an over dose and then make a change. I had a Nick Cave time, Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, Dead can Dance, Eminem time…
Do what you love to do and everything else will follow.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone wanting to become a designer / type designer / art director?
I always say just do what you love to do and everything else will follow, and not what anyone expects from you, not your parents, not your teachers. It doesn’t matter what career you choose as long as you love it —it’s your life.
Thank you very much, Liza!
– Interview by Gina Serret.