Akzidenz Grotesk vs Helvetica Neau

sg238's picture

Does anyone prefer using one to the other? Just interested really, as I saw a graphic design student in my class use Akzinenz and I wondered why this was.
Any thoughts?

riccard0's picture

I saw a graphic design student in my class use Akzinenz and I wondered why this was

Because it’s trendy, because it says “others use Helvetica because everyone does, I know better, so I use its ancestor”.

Nick Shinn's picture

Some people are especially attracted to things with sharp, pointy-looking names. Ironic double-entendre too, like Gotham.

***

Because it’s trendy, because it says “others use Helvetica because everyone does, I know better, so I use its ancestor”.

A contradiciton; either that student is following the crowd (“trendy”) or avoiding it (“better”).

If it’s a question of how the face looks, I’ve always loved the “2” in Akzidenz Grotesk.

Nick Shinn's picture

BTW, Helvetica “just say Neau” is a keeper!

oldnick's picture

I wondered why this was

Ask him or her. Mind-reading is an amusing pursuit, but it isn’t always as fruitful as going to the source.

riccard0's picture
Because it’s trendy, because it says “others use Helvetica because everyone does, I know better, so I use its ancestor”.

A contradiciton; either that student is following the crowd (“trendy”) or avoiding it (“better”).

A juxtaposition: there are various levels of trendiness, and of snobbery.
AG is the new Helvetica is the new AG.

analisa's picture

I prefer Akzidenz personally, but I can see arguments for using either in different cases. They do have very distinct personalities. I don't see them as interchangeable.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Some people like rough stones, some the ones that have been rounded of by eons in a riverstream. Same with AG (rough and full of character) and Helvetica (streamlined, everybody’s best friend).

I know which one I prefer. And I also like the modern takes that keep the character and raise the usability, like National and Founders Grotesk.

quadibloc's picture

Personally, I prefer Helvetica to both Helvetica Neue and to Akzidenz Grotesk (Standard). Maybe that just shows that I lack taste.

But that's a general preference, and there are times when the other two typefaces have their place, depending on what mood one wishes to create.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

If we allow students to believe that AG and Helvetica are completely interchangeable than we have failed.

paragraph's picture

Are you a teacher now? What if "than" is not completely interchangeable with "then"?
This is off topic, sorry. Moderators: is it also too personal? Feel free to delete.

rs_donsata's picture

Akzidenz is much better for paragraph setting.

sko's picture

Do the Capitals of Akzidens Grotesk have a heavier relative weight to the lowercase characters compared with others? I read a book set in AG and after a while the Capitals starting sentences started to stick out to me. Or is that something common with all of it's relatives?

hrant's picture

David Berlow once nicely explained the rationale behind that. But these days when I search for old Typophile stuff I get exhausted.

hhp

eliason's picture

This completely broken search really eviscerates Typophile.

huxley_'s picture

I like both, I just like Akzidenz better. Just seems to have what Helvetica sometimes seems to lack.

Mark Simonson's picture

Helvetica = White; Akzidenz Grotesk = Whole Wheat

Mark Simonson's picture

Also: Arial = White with added fiber (wood pulp)

Té Rowan's picture

Oi, @Mark, don't forget that sometimes grasswood (particle board) is just what you need.

Iranon's picture

Helvetica stands out for being very clean and tidy without being severe. A somewhat rare and likeable combination.
Very regular spacing, the characters tend to end in a neat horizontal line instead of emphasising the shapes, curves flow neatly into straights.

However, I find Helvetica a surprisingly poor text face - much worse than most that look almost identical at first glance. The same regularity coupled with a large x-height makes it tiring to read because there is little to guide the eye.
Akzidenz Grotesk fares much, much better.

Stressed capitals:
I found these helpful if the author uses long sentences in a language without gratuitous capitalisation: names and starts of sentences are things that the reader may want to find quickly.
They break the flow and become seriously annoying if there is too much capitalisation though; German set in typefaces with shouty capitals is a pet peeve.

Syndicate content Syndicate content