Large 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.