Enri is about a summer in Europe.
The typeface is inspired by the French artist, Henri Matisse. In Matisse’s world of colour and papercuts, there is a joy of spring and summer. The abundance, the generosity.
The letterforms aim to mimic his joyousness for nature; the world alike. A simplicity with some quirks. I first interacted with Matisse’s papercuts in the winter of 2014 at the MoMA in New York. So when I had to choose a subject, it was an apparent merger of my many interests between art, papercuts, travel, France and type design.
With Enri, I hope to embody Matisse’s words – ‘Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.’
When I first started drawing letters with Matisse’s cut-outs, I was inspired by works such as Banco by Roger Excoffon and Swift by Gerard Unger. The sharp cuts and smooth movements that felt like papercuts. Upon some initial conversations with the professors, I looked more closely at Matisse’s style of cut-outs. To try and build something closer to his style rather than just paper cuts. The looping nature along with some sharp contrasts helped build ink traps, the play of sharp and curves gave rise to an interesting asymmetric serif as no two cuts can be the same. Enri Black brings out a lot of these nuances forth vividly. And with the display reverse stress, the brief turned on its head – the fun truly came alive.
With Enri, it’s always spring and summer. Time to play?
The 6-week type design programme that you’ve been waiting for starts on 4 June and ends 12 July 2024.