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How Much Money Could a Font Change Save?

Personally, I vote Star Jedi, but that wouldn't save any money.
Personally, I vote Star Jedi, but that wouldn’t save any money.

Looking at the number of fonts these days, it’s a wonder that the most-universally accepted font happens to be Times New Roman. Still, could a simple font change make any difference?

Some say that the font you choose says a lot about you. For example, you would never expect, say, The New York Times, to issue a story printed entirely in Comic Sans. Comic Sans is reserved for lemonade stands. Incidentally, The New York Times uses Old English Text for the heading, and Times’ Cheltenham, a proprietary derivation of the century-old Cheltenham, originally designed in 1896. The US Government has settled on Times New Roman.

Interestingly, in spite of computers and the internet promising the paperless office, we are using more paper and ink than ever before. As it turns out, there is nothing like a physical piece of paper, from last weekend’s vacation photos to this morning’s company-wide memo from the head cheese. As a result, today’s office is even more paperful than ever.

According to some great research done by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, middleschooler Suvir Mirchandani, a simple font change could save the United States, if both both federal and state governments were on board, some $400 million. According to Mirchandani’s findings, the Government Services Administration reported the United States federal government’s ink expenditures at $467 million per year.

Then, calculating ink usage between printing documents in Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic, and Comic Sans (is the US Government a popcorn stand?), Mirchandani found that Garamond used about 30% less ink per page than the current Times New Roman. The font is still just as readable, but the thinner strokes of the Garamond font end up using less ink. The savings estimate for the font change would amount to some $136 million per year.

I wonder what the emissions savings would be, considering the manufacturing that goes into ink and paper.

Image © Jerew Independent Research

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