Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Ink Saver

As a science fair project, 14-year-old middle school student Suvir Mirchandani discovered that switching to Garamond as the typeface font for printed documents could save thousands in the cost of ink -- and on a larger scale, millions:

"Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume," Suvir says with a chuckle. He's right: Chanel No. 5 perfume costs $38 per ounce, while the equivalent amount of Hewlett-Packard printer ink can cost up to $75.

The young teen theorized that his school district could save as much as $21,000.00 by switching to the thinner Garamond, which uses less ink, and went to do the same math for the federal goverment:

Using the General Services Administration's estimated annual cost of ink -- $467 million -- Suvir concluded that if the federal government used Garamond exclusively it could save nearly 30% -- or $136 million per year. An additional $234 million could be saved annually if state governments also jumped on board, he reported.

So will everyone switch over to Garamond to save all that expensive ink? Probably not -- but I can tell you from now on I'll be using it instead of Times New Roman or Arial for what I print out.

Related links: Make your own fonts for free with Fonstruct

5 comments:

  1. This post points out problems in the kid's study, particular that he's comparing fonts from two different sizes.

    http://www.thomasphinney.com/2014/03/saving-400m-font/

    Mind you, it's good he's using his brain. But this is why it's better to have people looking over your work.

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    1. Interesting points and conditional cautions from a typeface expert -- and he even admits his first draft of the post made him sound like a jerk, which he has not yet entirely escaped. :) Thanks for the link, Bill.

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  2. Wow. Pretty cool kid. Actually I use this font a lot when I write up something. I'm never happy using the same ole same ole standard.

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    1. While the link Bill posted has some good debate points, the idea of using a thinner or smaller point font for personal printing still appeals to me. I use Garamond anyway instead of Times because it reads easier for me, so not a big change on my end.

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  3. Fran K3:37 AM

    Wow, while I'm impressed that a kid is actually using his brain for something other than gaming, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of "font" knowledge I now have after reading the relevant articles. I never knew such a thing as a "font geek" existed - you learn something new every day.

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