TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Tue Jul 17 12:32:27 EDT 2018






Basic Commercial

Linotype family from 2000-2003. The Linotype site says: "Basic Commercial is a font based off of historical designs from the hot metal typeface era that began appearing around the year 1900. [...] Basic Commercial was distributed for many years in the United States under the name Standard Series. The typeface worked its way into many aspects of daily life and culture; for instance, it became the typeface chosen for use in the New York City subway systems signage." Linotype says at MyFonts that the typeface was designed by Morris Fuller Benton ca. 1900 (not true). What Linotype never states is that Basic Commercial is equal to Akzidenz Grotesk--I mean--electronically identical to Adobe's Akzidenz Grotesk except for the copyright/trademark notices and the name (they should do that). This was detected by Ulrich Stiehl and is documented in this file. Akzidenz Grotesk started out as a Berthold family, which Linotype distributed under license for about 20 years. Bruno Steinert finally explains on behalf of Linotype: Since the 1950ies, Linotype sold its own design adaptions of some weights of Akzidenz Grotesk as matrices for Linotype typesetting machines. Over the years, Linotype created phototypesetting versions and digital fonts of these typefaces. In 1989, Adobe licensed Linotype's version of Akzidenz Grotesk from Linotype as Type 1 fonts. In 1990, Adobe licensed, together with more H. Berthold AG fonts, Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk, from H. Berthold AG. H. Berthold AG went bankrupt in 1993 and ceased to exist forever. In 2000, Berthold Types Ltd. obtained trademark registration for Akzidenz Grotesk. The same year, Linotype started to sell Basic Commercial. Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk is not identical to Basic Commercial. But if one compares older Linotype outline data with newer Linotype outline data, there might be very close similarities. Morris Fuller Benton has nothing to do with Basic Commercial or Akzidenz Grotesk. Akzidenz-Grotesk is a registered trademark of Berthold Types Limited. Linotype formerly offered typeface fonts under the name "Akzidenz-Grotesk" under license from H. Berthold AG. Linotype discontinued sale of those typeface fonts in approximately 2000. "Akzidenz-Grotesk" is offered by Berthold Types Limited of Chicago, Illinois. "Basic Commercial" is in the style of H. Berthold A.G.'s "Akzidenz-Grotesk" typeface fonts. Case closed.

Basic Commercial
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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html