Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have noticed that some fonts have the letters BE or BQ appended to their name. What does this mean? Is this a standard code for some features of the font? Extra glyphs perhaps? Or is this just a naming convention of a specific foundry?

For example, what is the difference between these two fonts? I am trying to decide which one to buy. The price is exactly the same.

Akzidenz Grotesk BE

Akzidenz Grotezk BQ

share|improve this question
up vote 10 down vote accepted

What do they mean?

The BQ and BE OpenType Basic versions correspond to the Berthold BQ and Adobe BE PostScript Type 1 Legacy versions.

What is the difference

The Berthold BQ and Adobe Berthold versions are derived from the same data source and so the character outlines are almost identical. The metrics (spacing and kerning) will differ considerably as the Berthold BQ versions have extended kerning for European languages (German, French, Italian etc.). Other additional benefits of the Berthold BQ versions include:

  • The Berthold BQ versions sometimes offer weights and versions not available in the Adobe Berthold versions (e.g. Imago, Bodoni Old Face Expert).
  • Berthold BQ versions always offer full character sets whereas some of the Adobe Expert fonts have incomplete character sets.
  • Some of the most popular Berthold BQ versions include the EURO symbol

Kudos for Illan and Glen for pointing me towards the right direction.

share|improve this answer
I think you should mark this as answered. Good question though! – GoofyMonkey Jun 17 '14 at 17:16
Thanks! I can't mark it until 2 days because I answered myself. – cockypup Jun 17 '14 at 17:26
It's absolutely not "bad taste" to answer your own question! It's encouraged! – Brian S Jun 17 '14 at 22:02
@cockypup 2nd link seems to be dead now, but thanks very much for the answer! Seems like anyone would want the BQ version. – Matt Mc Aug 8 '15 at 19:38
@MattMc: Thanks for noticing the broken link. I have removed both links just in case. – cockypup Sep 22 '15 at 17:06

It is probably short for "Berthold Exklusivs" collection.

share|improve this answer
+1 Hmmm. Interesting. That would be BE. What about BQ? – cockypup Jun 17 '14 at 16:56
@cockypup Quality (or the German word for that) – Keep these mind Jun 17 '14 at 17:03
@Glen The Udderboat: good find. – GoofyMonkey Jun 17 '14 at 17:15
Short for is what we'd say in English. – TRiG Jun 17 '14 at 20:11

This will answer your questions. E is for exclusive and Q for Quality

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.