Portrait of Felix Fénéon by Paul Signac

Paul Signac, Portrait of Félix Fénéon, 1890. Museum of Modern Art, New York

What’s in a name? Feneon

October 14, 2021
Typeface naming

The lines doubling back on themselves which characterize the design of Feneon help to explain the type’s name: they resemble neon signage. More subtly, the single-width back and forth lines also evoke works in wrought iron, thus the “Fe” at the beginning of the name—“Fe” is the chemical symbol for the element iron.

Neon sign, New York City. Photo: Dan DeLuca, CC BY 2.0
Feneon 60
Ironwork, Charleston, South Carolina. Photo: Spencer Means, CC BY-SA 2.0

Feneon's name also honors Félix Fénéon, a French art critic of a century ago. Fénéon promoted innovative painters who rethought how light and color could work a generation before neon signage was invented.