Teen shows how changing font on U.S. docs could save millions

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(luchschen/shutterstock.com)

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, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

A U.S. teen has outlined how Garamond uses up to 30% less ink than other similar fonts.

There are already ways of cutting down on printing costs. Print on both sides of the paper, use a smaller font size, or of course, try not printing at all.

But even in a world that's quickly going 100% digital, printing is still a necessity and ink jet ink is costly. So costly in fact that it is more expensive per millilitre than oil, champagne or any designer perfume.

Now, 14-year-old U.S. student, Suvir Mirchandani, may have come up with an ingenious way of cutting back on printing costs, and all you have to do is swap Times New Roman for Garamond.

A favourite font of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, a special Apple version of Garamond was the company's typeface for nearly 20 years, the font for advertising, brochures and user manuals and its iconic "Think different" campaign and strapline. But as well as being a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to other serif typefaces, Garamond actually weighs less too.

Mirchandani's discovery started out as a science fair project aimed at highlighting potential savings at his own school but quickly morphed into a research paper, published by the Journal of Emerging Investigators applying his findings to the U.S. government.

In it he detailed how the use of Garamond, instead of Century Gothic or Times New Roman, in its own printed literature could result in savings of $136 million US a year -- roughly 30% of the government's annual ink costs ($467 million).

To reach his conclusions, Mirchandani used APVSoft APFill Ink Coverage Software to calculate how much ink was being used with each typeface.

However, in his initial research into his own school's ink use, he also went as far as to print individual characters in different typefaces on paper and then weigh the sheets to check how much ink was used in each case.


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