18 Facts About Akzidenz-Grotesk


Akzidenz-Grotesk is a sans-serif typeface family originally released by the Berthold Type Foundry of Berlin.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,862

Akzidenz-Grotesk's design descends from a school of general-purpose sans-serifs cut in the nineteenth century.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,863

The source of Akzidenz-Grotesk appears to be Berthold's 1897 purchase of the Bauer u Cie Type Foundry of Stuttgart ; Kupferschmid concludes that the design appears to be related to a shadowed sans-serif sold by the Bauer Foundry and reviewed in a printing journal in 1896.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,864

Two design patents on Akzidenz-Grotesk were filed in April 1898, first on the 14th in Stuttgart by Bauer and then on the 28th in Berlin by Berthold, leading Reynolds to conclude that the design was executed in Stuttgart.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,865

Light weight of Akzidenz-Grotesk was for many years branded separately as 'Royal-Grotesk'.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,866

Gunter Gerhard Lange, Berthold's post-war artistic director, who was considered effectively the curator of the Akzidenz-Grotesk design, said in a 2003 interview Akzidenz-Grotesk came from the Ferdinand Theinhardt type foundry, and this claim has been widely copied elsewhere.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,867

Kupferschmid and Reynolds speculate that he was misled by Akzidenz-Grotesk appearing in a Theinhardt foundry specimen after Berthold had taken the company over.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,868

Reynolds additionally points out that Theinhardt sold his foundry to Oskar Mammen and Robert and Emil Mosig in 1885, a decade before Akzidenz-Grotesk was released, and there is no evidence that he cut any further fonts for them after this year.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,869

Akzidenz-Grotesk commissioned some custom uncial-style alternate characters to print his poetry.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,870

Akzidenz-Grotesk was popular in this period although other typefaces such as Monotype Grotesque were used : a problem with use of Akzidenz-Grotesk up to the late 1950s was that it was only available in individual units of metal type for manual composition.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,871

Metal type declined in use from the 1950s onwards, and Akzidenz-Grotesk was rereleased in versions for the new phototypesetting technology, including Berthold's own Diatype, and then digital technologies.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,872

Contemporary versions of Akzidenz-Grotesk descend from a late-1950s project, directed by Lange at Berthold, to enlarge the typeface family.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,873

Particular criticism of Akzidenz-Grotesk however, has often been that the regular weight has capitals that look unbalanced relative to the lower-case, as shown on the cover of Designing Programmes, which is problematic in extended text.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,874

Akzidenz-Grotesk Book is a variant designed by Lange between 1969 and 1973.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,875

Akzidenz-Grotesk Schoolbook is a 1983 variant of Akzidenz-Grotesk Buch designed by Lange.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,876

Swiss digital type foundry Optimo has released an alternative digitisation of Akzidenz-Grotesk named "Theinhardt", which Spiekermann has praised as "the best" Akzidenz-Grotesk digitisation.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,877

Besides use in Swiss-style poster design and in New York City transportation, Akzidenz-Grotesk is the corporate font of Arizona State University and the American Red Cross .

FactSnippet No. 1,268,878

Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has used custom versions of Akzidenz-Grotesk supplied by Berthold as a corporate typeface, amongst other typefaces.

FactSnippet No. 1,268,879