Akzidenz Grotesk web font?

workwork's picture

I'm in the process of redesigning my website, and since my identity uses Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk, I was wondering if anyone knew if there was a web font version of Akzidenz available, or anything very close.

I didn't see anything on Typekit or Webfonts.com, so I thought I would ask the insiders before giving up all hope.

Thanks

blank's picture

Try my Armitage family which is available for web use from Fontspring. It’s not a perfect match, but it’s relatively similar to Akzidenz, albeit wonkier.

workwork's picture

Holy cow, that is freakin' beautiful! Alright, this will be my text face.

Thanks and nice work.

Té Rowan's picture

Too true. Armitage is quite the looker.

blank's picture

Thanks for the compliments.

apankrat's picture

Yep, what others have said. Most importantly it looks excellent in smaller sizes, e.g. 13px. Great job, James.

blank's picture

The wide letters and loose spacing are really what makes it hold up on screen. But Armitage is not manually hinted for TrueType, so XP users are seeing something very different.

apankrat's picture

... XP users are seeing something very different.

Hmm... this is what I am seeing in FF on XP. Is it far off?

blank's picture

Ok, it looks better than I remembered. I was thinking about what XP looks like when it tries to render the Postscript font in B&W, which is very different.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

If it doesn't hold up, why on earth would you sell web licenses?

blank's picture

If it doesn't hold up, why on earth would you sell web licenses?

For the same reason I license heavy fonts that can’t hold up at small sizes in print: most people won’t use those fonts at such small sizes. Further, I don’t have much sympathy for people who still run Windows XP with anti-aliasing disabled. I’m not going to be held back by people who insist that their desktop experience should not move beyond the 1990s. I stopped using X Windows on Solaris in 2005; they can stop running Windows XP without Cleartype.

Nick Shinn's picture

Arial is practically identical to AG at web text size, and is delta hinted.

workwork's picture

I agree, Nick. To date, I've been using Arial Bold with my raster Akzidenz Medium heads. I was hoping to replace all type images with a web font, but Akzidenz is unavailable. I also want to use sizes in the 14-24px range, and the bigger Arial starts to looks too different.

Does 'hinting' have to do with letterspacing, or does it affect how type renders? If the Armitage font isn't hinted for TrueType, what's the potential damage? Will a segment of my audience see type that isn't anti-aliased, or will the spacing be weird, or something else?

blank's picture

Does 'hinting' have to do with letterspacing, or does it affect how type renders?

Hinting affects how type is scaled to fit on a raster grid, including spacing.

If the Armitage font isn't hinted for TrueType…

Well, technically it is hinted for TrueType. But the hinting is Fontspring’s particular application of automated hinting. It’s not the size-specific manual hinting found in fonts like the Microsoft core web fonts or Font Bureau’s Reading Edge fonts.

…what's the potential damage?

The potential damage is that Windows XP users can disable anti-aliasing entirely and just see black-and-white text. Without manual TrueType hinting the black-and-white rendering is just gross. The number of users in this situation seems to be relatively small but they’re often office workers whose computer settings are completely out of their control.

I see this situation as being similar to the implementation of USB. Around 1999 Apple decided to drop parallel, serial, SCSI and its proprietary hardware interfaces in favor of USB and Firewire. People claimed it was a disastrous move that would be one more nails in Apple’s coffin. Meanwhile PC makers kept using parallel, serial, SCSI, and PS/2 ports on everything just to satisfy the occasional user who refused to get a new scanner/printer/etc. Apple told people to suck it up and get new hardware. Guess which computer maker has the higher market capitalization today?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

In another thread here we figured out that as much as 31% (declining) of all computers on the web see Windows standard greyscale rendering, which - unless blurring at small sizes is specified in the font - is just b&w pixels.

blank's picture

…Windows standard greyscale rendering, which - unless blurring at small sizes is specified in the font - is just b&w pixels.

Windows greyscale rendering is not just black and white; it’s got shades of gray to provide some antialiasing. To be just black and white a user has to disable all font smoothing, not many users actually do that. The Fontspring autohinting works well for Windows grayscale until you get below 12 pixels which is too small for many fonts to render well anyway.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

These numbers are for grayscale GDI (Standard). This is a mess, by all means, but in Win XP the user can choose between Standard and Cleartype rendering. Both make use of shadings to rasterize letters, but unless specified by the type designer, Standard is all black and white at text sizes in a font exported from Fontlab.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

jasonc's picture

>>These numbers are for grayscale GDI (Standard). This is a mess, by all means, but in Win XP the user can choose between Standard and Cleartype rendering. Both make use of shadings to rasterize letters, but unless specified by the type designer, Standard is all black and white at text sizes in a font exported from Fontlab.

Correct me if I'm wrong.
<<

He's talking about the GASP table settings, which are used under the "standard" settings. In that table it's often specified to use B+W rendering at smaller "text" sizes.

FWIW, if you do need to do manual TrueType hinting, let me know. ;)

Jason C

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