Akzidenz-Grotesk is a grotesque typeface originally released by the Berthold Type Foundry in 1896 under the name Accidenz-Grotesk. It was the first sans serif typeface to be widely usedand influenced many later neo-grotesque typefaces after 1950.
The design of Akzidenz-Grotesk was theorized to be derived from Walbaum or Didot, as demonstrated by the similar font metrics when the serifs are removed. However, the font family also included fonts made by other foundries, such as the c. 1880 typeface Royal Grotesk Light from the Berlin foundry Ferdinand Theinhardt Schriftgiesserei, designed by Ferdinand Theinhardt for the scientific publications of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin. FTS also supplied the regular, medium and bold weights of the typeface. While Hermann Berthold took over Theinhardt's Berlin foundry in 1908, it wasn't until the fall of the Prussian monarchy in 1918 that Royal Grotesk was published as part of the Akzidenz-Grotesk font family and renamed Akzidenz-Grotesk Condensed.
Contemporary versions of Akzidenz-Grotesk descend from a late-1950s project, directed by Günter Gerhard Lange at Berthold, to enlarge the typeface family, adding a larger character set, but retaining all of the idiosyncrasies of the 1898 face. Under the direction of Günter Gerhard Lange, he had designed 33 font styles to the Akzidenz-Grotesk family, including AG Extra (1958), AG Extra Bold (1966) and AG Super (1968), AG Super Italic (2001) and Extra Bold italic (2001).
In May 2006, Berthold announced the release of Akzidenz-Grotesk in OpenType format, under the name Akzidenz-Grotesk Pro. The Pro family offers extended language support for Central European, Baltic and Turkish as well as Welsh, archaic Danish and Esperanto and is available in CFF PostScript OpenType. Berthold also released Akzidenz-Grotesk Standard, which includes glyphs of Western European character set, in both PostScript and TrueType flavored OpenType.
In May 2007 Berthold announced the release of Akzidenz-Grotesk Pro+, which includes Cyrillic and Greek characters.
Akzidenz-Grotesk and Georgia are the official fonts of the American Red Cross. Akzidenz-Grotesk is used on the national logo and national guidelines require the font to be used on all chapter logos. All American Red Cross publications must be printed in Akzidenz-Grotesk or Georgia fonts.
Akzidenz-Grotesk is also the font used in Arizona State University brand logo.
Akzidenz-Grotesk is also the font, in extra bold italic form, used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the driver's surname placed on the windshield of the race cars.