The casualty ward in an Esperanto-speaking hospital?
A gothic hard rock band?
No, Akzidenz Grotesk is the 1896 typeface that, 50 years ago, inspired the Haas Type Foundry in Muenchenstein, Switzerland to design Helvetica. Helvetica is 50 years old. Hooray. You can see why they changed the name.
"Ms Jones, type my letters in Grotesque Accidents, will you?"
"So, what font were you thinking of for your company logo?" / "Well, Akzidenz Grotesk says it all ..."
Not going to happen.
Much cleverer people than me can probably explain why different fonts work in different ways. Generally I would say a san-serif font like Helvetica (or Arial, the digital version) is okay for a sign or a headline but not for a large body of text; and yet, our company newsletter is set in the san-serif Futura and looks fine. Maybe it's because Futura is just a little bit more compact. Not to mention art deco. Here's Helvetica:
and here's Futura:
Almost the same, just subtle differences here and there that take up less space.
Maybe said cleverer people could also explain why these two Helvetica/Arial characters:
are exactly the same as this Futura pair:
-when they don't look remotely like each other, which probably leads us into whole new realms of psychology and human perception.
One day I shall devise my own font. It will be called Benface and will be large, friendly and well rounded.