Think before you print: a simple tip, but easily overlooked

As a change maker you try to make the world a better place whenever and wherever you can. Part of this is looking out for the environment. To help you lower your ecological footprint, I’d like to share a simple printing tip that’s often overlooked. 

ECO CONSCIOUS PRINTING 

So, if you need to print something there are three things you should keep in mind: 

Most of you probably already know about choosing a environmentally friendly paper. Another thing you could consider is using eco-friendly ink (e.g. plant based ink) instead of standard ink, which are chemical based. But the thing most people don’t consider when printing is which font you’re using.

Some fonts use more ink than others. If you take a look at the image below (by Tulika Patel), you’ll see a list of frequently used fonts and how much ink they use compared to each other:

saveink poster

 — Image: Tulika Patel on Behance

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FONT

The reason why some fonts use more ink than others has mostly to do with the thickness and size of the characters. The thicker and bigger the character, the more ink it uses and vice versa. E.g. Garamond has thinner and smaller characters than Verdana, which explains why it uses less ink.

The more you print, the more your choice of font will impact the environment. A while ago a student suggested that the US Government should switch from Times New Roman to Garamond to save ink. A change on such a scale will reduce the impact on the environment significantly. Not to mention printing costs.

There’s a drawback, though. Garamond has smaller characters than Times New Roman. This makes it harder to read when used at the same font size. And legibility is of course crucial to a text.

But, I have a solution that saves ink and doesn’t reduce legibility:

TWO SUSTAINABLE FONTS

Several years ago a Dutch company developed a font called Ecofont. It claims to save you up to 20% ink. And a printing company in England developed a font called Ryman eco. Supposedly it’s the world’s most sustainable font. I’ll tell you a little bit about both of them:

ECOFONT

Software (for Windows only), investment: $19,95. Demo version available.

|atelier pan| ecofont

— Image: PCworld.com 

Ecofont is available as a piece of software that turns a selection of frequently used fonts into ink saving font that save up to 50% ink. It’s also available as a True Type font (Ecofont Sans) that can save up to 20%. How it works? Instead of making the font thinner or smaller, Ecofont makes small holes in the characters to save ink. This way the text stays legible even when using a small font size.

Download a free demo version (for Windows only) at Ecofont.com.
More information about Ecofont Sans (also for Mac) can also be found there.

RYMAN ECO

Open Type font (for both Windows and Mac), investment: free.

|atelier pan| ryan eco|

— Image: Kconf

Ryman eco is available as a free to download font. It uses up to 33% less ink when compared to regular fonts. How it works? It’s works quite similar to Ecofont —but instead of using small holes, it uses thin lines to save ink. It stays legible for small font sizes due to the fact that the thin lines optically blend together. This short video explains the font in more detail:

To download Ryman eco, visit: Rymaneco.co.uk.

HOW MUCH IMPACT CAN A FONT HAVE?

Some critics say that saving ink (up to 50%) is just a mere drop in the ocean, and in a way I agree. However, I’m a firm believer of every little bit helps. When we all make a little effort, things will start to matter.

And if you think about it, saving ink (especially for inkjet printers) doesn’t just save ink, it also uses less electricity and it saves plastic cartridges and packaging that you don’t need to buy when you use a sustainable font.

Less ink, less waste, less costs.


GOING FORWARD

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With pleasure,​

Simon

Atelier Pan | Brand Design for Conscious Entrepreneurs

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