• Ink-efficient fonts. Yes it’s a thing!

Ink-efficient fonts. Yes it’s a thing!

Choose the right font and you can save on ink (or toner) usage. Yes, it’s true. - some fonts are more ink-efficient than others.

And yes, we know that ink coverage isn’t everything – legibility being the main concern whilst style and brand come into it too – however, for the purpose of this article, we want to talk about the font in terms of ink coverage.

Four years ago, a 14-year-old student in Pittsburgh created a stir on CNN by announcing that the US government could save $234 million a year by printing its documents in Garamond instead of Times New Roman. While that discovery was eventually discredited—due to a point size issue unique to Garamond—the teen's instincts were right: Your choice of typeface can make a difference in ink consumption.

According to Patrick Austin at Consumer Reports, Arial is one of the worst offenders: “…we got 27% more mileage when using Times New Roman rather than Arial, a default font in many browsers. Calibri and Century Gothic both outperformed Arial, as well.”

Of course, it may sound obvious, but for fonts, size matters. So look for terms like Thin, Condensed or Narrow, as they usually indicate that the font has been designed to use less ink.

Another rule of thumb is to choose fonts that are sans serif, as those little flourishes can add up to a lot of extra ink usage. Note that the “sans” rule isn’t a hard and fast rule—Times New Roman has serifs, but it’s still more eco-friendly than some sans serif fonts out there.

So here’s a round up of 5 fonts that will cut down on ink (or toner) use with a few fun font facts.

Apple used ITC Garamond as their corporate font from 1983-2001. Simple and readable – a popular global choice.

Century Gothic
The University of Wisconsin found that Century Gothic uses 30% less ink than Arial. The catch is it may increase paper consumption since it uses wider letters.

This innovative typeface won numerous design awards including the SMEs Innovation Top 100 in 2013. However, bigger than 12 point, and the holes are visible on the page.

Times New Roman
The default for MS Word until 2007. Serif fonts, like Times New Roman, are recommended for easier reading as the tails on the tip and base of every letter form an invisible line that makes long blocks of text flow together.

This typeface was made to resemble the output from a strike-on typewriter and soon became the standard font in the typewriter industry. Because all characters have the same width, it always delivers perfectly aligned blocks of text.

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