Saving Printing Costs: Fonts

I wrote earlier about saving printing costs by how you choose your printers and ink cartridges. Now, let’s look specifically at fonts.

Documents and eMails

The University of Wisconsin at Green Bay chose Century Gothic instead of Arial as their default typeface in basic documents, spreadsheets, and eMail, claiming that Century Gothic used the least ink, even 30% less than Arial.  (But why eMail?  Because you’ll print some of your electronic correspondence, so eMail was also included in the programs with recommended defaults.)


I also learned from this study that ink is 60% of the cost of a printed page.   So, how can you save the cost of ink and paper simply by choosing your fonts wisely? Take a look at the following list of commonly recommended fonts to see how the different typefaces compare.  All are font size 12 and I didn’t make any of them bold. These are all in their normal “weight” and include Campus Crusade for Christ’s official fonts: Atma and Trade Gothic and Cru’s official fonts: Arial, Freight Sans Pro Book, Leitura Roman 3, and Times New Roman.

Fonts example

If your prayer letter or spreadsheet (or whatever document) will fit on one page using Century Gothic, then this font is probably a great choice for cutting ink costs.  You’ll notice, however, that all the other fonts, except Verdana, take up less room.  You may need to choose one of these smaller fonts in order to use less paper.  Sometimes, though, you’ll want to choose fonts for their readability and / or artistic look. (Naturally, you’ll  want to do that.  Go for it! This post is just about cutting costs.)

Of course, you could change the font size of Century Gothic, but you don’t want to have too fine of a print because:

  • You’ll want your older ministry partners to be able to read your prayer letters easily.
  • You don’t want to “cram” a lot of material on to a page.  You need “white space” to make your letter appealing and readable.

Another great idea, if you do a lot of printing, might be to purchase Ecofont software which uses 28 to 50% less ink! They do this by creating “not-visible holes” in all the popular fonts. If your ministry does a lot of printing, this may be worth purchasing.

UPDATE (03/28/2014): If your default is Times New Roman, switch to Garamond. See 14-Year-Old Proves U.S. Can Save $370 Million by Changing Fonts (Mashable)

This post is in the Printer and Printer Tips series.

Saving Printing Costs: Cartridges and Printers

Saving Printing Costs: Settings

Saving Printing Costs: Fonts

Readablity: Fonts


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