Please select the weight(s) you want to buy. (All prices exclude VAT.)
- Neon Regular
- Neon Black
- Neonbox Regular
- Neonbox Black
As a font designer for such films as Mission Impossible, Bourne Ultimatum, V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin and Speed Racer, Henning Brehm delivers everything from logos, signage, magazines, newspapers and magazines, to posters with a whip-sharp eye for precision.
I call myself a design tourist becau… read more
I call myself a design tourist because I love to travel and collect graphic souvenirs from all over the world. I had been a curious, flexible, fast and cheap worker that traveled through many fields of graphic design – I designed websites for start-ups, menus for Balzac Coffee, brochures for Die Grünen and typefaces for car navigation systems.
In 2000, I created my ﬁrst “fake product“ for the TV show GuteZeitenSchlechteZeiten (together with my friend Jan Hülpüsch) and since then I have specialized in graphic design for ﬁlm sets. For productions like The Bourne Supremacy, V for Vendetta or Speed Racer I designed logos, newspapers and magazines, personal documents, posters, banners and neon signs.
A short description about the font:
I drew the ﬁrst letters of Agitka after heavily consuming books about Russian poster design during a visit to Moscow. I loved the city, I loved the language and I loved the artworks. When I was back I sketched the ﬁrst set with Latin and Cyrillic
What was the main idea behind designing the font?
For the ﬁlm The Bourne Ultimatum, I had to design a neon sign for a Russian supermarket. I got back to my sketches of Agitka and drew a collection of letters in Illustrator. Additionally, I had to draw neon tubes for the company that was going to produce the sign. That became the special feature of this font! You just put the “neon“ version on top of the “normal“ version. Anyways none of these made it into the movie – the scene was cut out.
How would you characterize your style?
Normally the things I have to create for ﬁlms have to look real, like something the audience knows but doesn‘t really notice. I also have to have a multiple personality. I love overwhelming colors and effects and at the same time I prefer simplicity. When it comes to type design I can only think in geometrical rules. I really admire font designers who create playful calligraphic typefaces!
How did you come up with the name of the font?
Agitka is the name of a filmmaking genre that appeared during the civil war in Russia (around 1917). Agitka-films were modest and straight-foward propaganda pieces produced to raise the morale of the Red Army. My friend Jochen Hellbeck came up with the name in exchange of designing his book cover (Revolution on my Mind) with an early draft of the font. I like it because it has to do with propaganda but sounds like a woman‘s name.
What inspires you?
When I work for films, I spend a lot of time researching. Sometimes I have to search for photographs of shops in post-WWII Berlin (The Good German) or references for a space ship (Pandorum). Sometimes I‘m browsing through Flickr to collect pictures of ads and signs on the east coast of the USA (The Ghost). What would I be without internet connection? But I also get inspired by my design-souvenir collection and of course I own some nice books about design. Depending on the theme I try to visually soak up as much as possible so I can quickly respond the daily changing demands during the production of a ﬁlm.
Which is the bigger challenge: working on your own personal project or for a client with a strict briefing?
When I work for ﬁlms there normally is no strict brieﬁng. My guideline is the script. The challenge is to create a believable picture of a scene together with the production designer, set designers, the set decorator, prop master, craftsmen, painters and many helping hands. This is really work in progress.
You have to develop your own idea but react on other people‘s work immediatly. In a good set the director lets the actors play in it as if it was real. My part of course is small but can be important. When you look at that Russian supermarket – what convinces you that it is in Moscow? The architecture? The snow? Or the cyrillic letters? Hard to believe but this is a Reichelt supermarket in Berlin Mitte! In my personal projects its harder to stay on the right track. I get many things started and I often get lost in what I do. Without motivation and critique by other people working around me I slowly run out of energy.
Do you have a working routine? What are your ideal conditions for you to work in?
I love working in a team. When I‘m surrounded by many talents I‘m inspired and I‘m getting the best results. But as a graphic designer you have to lock yourself in sometimes and concentrate. I feel best with the right mix of busy teamwork and solitary work.
What is the ideal usage of your font?
Be creative! I used the font a couple of times for posters and for book covers. But there are many more opportunities. Especially when you use the Cyrillic letters. The neon versions only work as headline font but I can imagine even the Agitka-Neon regular as a fancy text font.
Where does the font end, where does the image begin? Is there a line to draw?
Many typefaces can very well represent an era, a geographical or social origin – as much as photographs. Only a very few typefaces are really timeless. But that is the challenge for graphic designers – to constantly develop things forward or create something new.
Your future plans/projects?
I‘m 10 years in the business and still feel like beginner. There is so much to learn, see and experience. I hope I will stay curious and I like the fact that I don‘t know where the next trip as a design-tourist will be.