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


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

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

    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.

  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.

    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.

  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.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.