Akzidenz Grotesk Kerning: metric vs optical

leif's picture

hey everyone...
I'm working on a project, I'm using Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk BE medium...
on the flyers the type will be 12pts, but may then be scaled up to make posters etc...

I am not an experienced typographer and i am unsure whether the optical setting looks better...
On a decent font like akzidenz i would normally trust the metric (auto) setting but the spacing just looks not quite right to me...
does anyone have any words of advice? Any tips about tracking would also be welcome...


Nick Shinn's picture

For the sake of the "1", go with optical.

leif's picture

thanks Nick, really appreciate the quick reply!
I think i read somewhere that the kerning on the BE version isn't quite as good as some other versions of Akzidenz, have you personally noticed any problems?
Am i right in thinking that generally speaking on high quality fonts the metric setting should be better as the kerning pairs have been set up by a professional typographer as oppose to the software calculating what should be best?

thanks again!


Bert Vanderveen's picture

Never forget this rule of thumb:
Small sized type needs more tracking than large sized. In other words: when you scale up, make it tighter.

(The one little thing in favour of QuarkXPress: one could set font-wide tracking relative to font-size — I would really like that in InDesign. Hint, hint.)

leif's picture

thanks Bert, thats a great tip to remember! thank you!

Uli's picture

> For the sake of the "1", go with optical.

The original Akzidenz Grotesk font was supplied with ONE and ONEFITTED.

- The figures 0, 1, 2, ... 9 with 0 = ONE are used for tabular typesetting.

- The figures 0, 1, 2, ... 9 with 0 = ONEFITTED are used for ordinary texts.

If your font does not include ONEFITTED, you do not have the original font.

For ONEFITTED see also www.typophile.com/node/31406

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