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Save Thousands By Switching Printer Fonts

inkyLarge companies might save tens of thousands of dollars a year by switching to a less ink-intensive font such as Century Gothic, instead of the more common Arial.

This lesson in office cost savings comes courtesy of the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, which found that it could save up to $10,000 by switching to Century Gothic as the default font.

The university, which has 6,500 students, spends $100,000 a year on ink and toner cartridges, reports Yahoo, via Associated Press.

Now, the school is asking faculty and staff to use Century Gothic for printed documents, and the school will change the default font in e-mails to Century Gothic.

In addition to Century Gothic, Times New Roman uses less ink than others, followed by Calibri, Verdana, Arial and Sans Serif.

While Arial is ink-miserly, it’s not nearly as stingy as Century Gothic, which uses 30 percent less ink.

But there can be a tradeoff from switching fonts to save ink. Namely, fonts such as Century Gothic are wider, so some documents that fit neatly on one page in Arial might extend to two in Century Gothic, meaning an increased use of paper.

Using smaller fonts is one of 10 ideas to save energy and prevent emissions around the office from the Association for Chartered Certified Accountants, a UK-based group.

At least one major corporation has picked up on this trend.

To reduce the amount of paper shipped to customers, HP changed the specs of its manuals, which includes smaller fonts and thinner paper, and is switching to electronic delivery.

The effort is part of HP’s new new Environmentally Preferable Paper Policy that outlines its goals to reduce its own paper use, recycle paper when possible and increasingly source paper from suppliers that are committed to sustainable forestry practices.

Microsoft also considers the font in terms of ink usage, but in a different way.

Microsoft changed its default Outlook and Word screen fonts from Arial and Times New Roman to Calibri and Cambria, according to the article. The reason?

Microsoft figures that the more pleasing a document is to look at on a screen, the less likely a user is to print it. Thus, a projected savings in ink.

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8 thoughts on “Save Thousands By Switching Printer Fonts

  1. Let me get this straight. Using a less eye pleasing document will mean less printing. What about reading it in the first plzce. If it is less eye pleasing you may not feel comfortable reading it. This is just plain stupid logic!!!

  2. If you are printing something such as a newsletter, this could save on the price of mailing. I recently saw an ad I think in Smithsonian Magazine for a font that still reads well, but there are small holes in the font that don’t show when printed but still use less ink.

  3. The link to “10 ideas to save energy around the office” is actually a link to “10 steps to reduce emissions”. Not the same thing. Only about half of the *steps* listed there are energy savers.

  4. Also, saving ink only saves energy by secondary effects. Primarily, I would think, in saving the energy required to produce the cartridges. I doubt the energy used to operate the printer changes much if you use a less-inked font.

    I’m not saying that using less ink is a bad idea, but the author is confusing three issues– cost savings, energy savings, and emissions reduction. I’m hoping the author can learn from this and keep things straight in the future.

  5. Donald, I think you may have misread the paragraph about Calibri — the point is that it is MORE pleasing on a screen (easier to read/look at) and therefore does not need to be printed. This of course assumes that Calibri is actually pleasing….

  6. Saving on the energy needed to produce cartridges could be drastically reduced if printer companies didn’t make several thousand dollars a gallon on ink and chip cartridges so they cannot be refilled. Consumers already pay exhorbitant amounts for ink while the manufacturer forces people use single use equipment and cartridges and expects the consumer to cheerfully recycle the products while the company gets off with no responsibility. If we really want to help the environment, let’s go to refillable cartridges and printers you don’t throw away because the ink costs more than the printer. That would really help. Different fonts may save money, but do virtually nothing for the huge environmental impact of throw-away printers and non-refillable cartridges.

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