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Looking for an Akzidenz Grotesk Alternative? Try One of These 10 Fonts

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Creative Market June 3, 2024 · 2 min read
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The story of Akzidenz Grotesk—one of the most famous sans serif typefaces—has been intriguing for over a century. We know that Akzidenz Grotesk was first published in 1896 by the Berthold Type Foundry in Berlin. While many believed that the company’s founder, H. Berthold AG, created the font, this isn’t entirely accurate.

The true origin might be more complex. Berthold acquired Bauer & Co. in 1897, which had released a sans-serif typeface known as Schattierte Grotesk. Akzidenz Grotesk was based on this design, but with the drop shadows removed. Thus, it appears Berthold may not have directly designed the font, but rather adapted it from Bauer & Co.’s earlier work.

Despite its mysterious beginnings, Akzidenz Grotesk quickly became beloved for its neutral appearance and utility in commercial use. Its influence is profound, shaping many subsequent fonts, including the more famous Helvetica. While it’s speculated that fonts like Franklin Gothic were inspired by Akzidenz Grotesk, this hasn’t been definitively confirmed.

Given its classic design and widespread use, it’s no wonder Akzidenz Grotesk remains a favorite among designers. This brings us to our list of 10 alternative font styles that share its readability and display quality while offering unique characters of their own.

10 Fonts Similar to Akzidenz Grotesk For You to Try

Il Increments: Sans Serif Font

With Il Increments: Sans Serif Font, Increments Type Factory delivers a typeface inspired by the Grotesk design principles while delivering a musical flourish to proceedings. The typeface is rhythmic – almost balletic – in its construction, with its use of a structured grid lending it a degree of harmony that is in keeping with the principles that underpin the sans serif typeface family.
Starting at$75

Another Grotesk

As the name implies, this is another font inspired by the early grotesques – Akzidenz Grotesk being chief among them – only you’ll see that there are slightly more contemporary touches added. The images highlight how the various weights offered lend themselves to color – perfect for print purposes. However, there’s no loss of legibility within the letterforms, making Another Grotesk Complete Family as viable for web use as it is print.
Starting at$105

Bio Sans

As alternatives go, Bio Sans leans on the more minimal side thanks to its melding of a more modern style with just a few subtle hints of the strong geometric shapes present in Akzidenz Grotesk. Neutrality is the name of the game here – the typographers have designed this as a multi-use font – with it finding its best uses for headings and headlines in advertising that takes a more subtle approach. Legibility is also considered, with the typeface’s large X height ensuring its clarity across almost any type of media. Add in support for various languages through a vast character selection – as highlighted in the second image – and you have an extremely versatile Akzidenz Grotesk alternative.
Starting at$30

Substance Family

A family of 16 fonts – all purchasable separately or as part of a bundle – the Substance Family is referred to by its creators as the “grotesque workhorse.” That moniker implies versatility, with many likely recognizing some similarities to Arial along with the hallmarks of Akzidenz Grotesk in its design. The key here is that the font emphasizes the content on the page through the use of several subtle OpenType features. These include small sizes used for the caps, as well as providing the user with a choice of desired lining. There’s a whiff of the corporate in this collection – not a bad thing for design work in modern business – along with distinct spacing that gives each character room to breathe.
Starting at$12

HK Grotesk Pro

HK Grotesk Pro wears its influences on its sleeve – as you can tell by the name – as it’s a sans serif font that draws directly from the grotesques that have so heavily influenced that particular font family. Perhaps its best feature is that it’s inobtrusive. Every character is clear and correct, with defined geometry that ensures you can distinguish each from the other. That’s why it’s no surprise that Hanken Design Co. call this a multi-purpose font. It’s as comfortable on packaging and print documents as it is when used for web copy, making it a “jack-of-all-trades” in the Akzidenz Grotesk alternatives category.
Starting at$14

Classic Sans

Often dubbed “the mother of sand typefaces” – a distinction for which it competes with Akzidenz Grotesk – Classic Sans was developed in 1880 by Ferdinand Theinhardt. Its purpose was simple: It was to be used in scientific publications to ensure clarity in the author’s writing. That purpose also makes it clear why Classic Sans is such a great Akzidenz Grotesk alternative. The clarity on display, along with the serifs applied to its letters, make it an excellent choice for modern flyers and advertising documents, in addition to ensuring it’s still a strong performer for its original scientific role.
Starting at$72

Craft Gothic

Featuring 19 font styles – with condense, bolded, and even extended versions that pull the lettering out to make it wider – Craft Gothic is sleek enough for use in a hold logo while also having a humanist touch that gives a handwritten feel. Granted, that feel is best when the font’s block capitals are used. But if you need an Akzidenz Grotesk alternative that lets you play around with proportions and dimensions, there are few better choices.
Starting at$12

Supria Sans

Supria Sans aims for memorability with just a dash of the restraint needed to make it a neutral font that can be used for many purposes. The curves are what set this font apart – as evidenced by the clear faucet inspiration in the “r” – giving the font a charm that pulls it away from the neo-Grotesques that came in Akzidenz Grotesk’s wake. Like HK Grotesk Pro, this font is a workhorse that features 18 styles to ensure you get the text design you need for any purpose.
Starting at$50

Pragmatica

A collaborative project between Vladimir Yefimov and Olga Chaeva – who first developed Pragmatica in 1989 and spent the following 15 years tweaking it – this font is more directly inspired by Helvetica than Akzidenz Grotesk. But that’s what makes it such a perfect alternative to the latter: Helvetica itself was inspired by Akzidenz Grotesk. As the name implies, pragmatism is the main strength of this font. It delivers a similar level of precision to its characters as Helvetica, making Pragmatica a solid choice for books, magazines, and even headlines in marketing materials.
Starting at$25

Equip

Available in 16 styles – including condensed and heavily bolded versions – Equip is built on a geometric base and uses low contrast in its lines to ensure it stands out. It’s open without feeling emotional. Practical without losing sight of the human touch. And thanks to Microsoft’s OpenType technology making its curvatures commonplace in the digital realm, it’s an excellent choice for those who are little tired of using Calibri in the Microsoft suite.
Starting at$49

Frequently Asked Questions

Which typeface inspired Akzidenz Grotesk?

As inspirational as Akzidenz Grotesk has proven to be, it was not a wholly original creation. The font draws its own inspiration from Schattierte Grotesk – a typeface that made use of drop-shadowing – that was also developed by Bauer & Co. in Stuttgart. In fact, simply clipping away the drop-shadowing seen in Schattierte Grotesk essentially gives you Akzidenz Grotesk, albeit with a handful of minor design tweaks.

Is Akzidenz Grotesk available in Microsoft Word?

Strangely, Akzidenz Grotesk isn’t available in Word – despite serving as the foundation for many fonts that Microsoft does make available – without the use of a third-party download.

What is Accidenz-Grotesk?

It’s the exact same font as Akzidenz Grotesk, only with a slightly different spelling. Though practically out of use today, Accidenz-Grotesk was actually the original spelling for the font’s name, with the switch to Akzidenz Grotesk occurring soon after release as the use of “cc” in the German language became less common.

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