You guys, a 14-year-old figured how to save the federal government $136 million per year. My biggest accomplishment at 14? I learned to ride my bike with no hands.
It started when Suvir Mirchandani was a sixth-grader at a Pittsburgh-area middle school. After realizing his class was using a ton of printed material, he looked for ways to save on printer ink. After some experimentation, Suvir found that his school district could save as much as $21,000 a year–just by switching to Garamond.
After his data was published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators, Suvir took his research up a notch. According to CNN:
“Suvir concluded that if the federal government used Garamond exclusively it could save nearly 30% — or $136 million per year. An additional $234 million could be saved annually if state governments also jumped on board, he reported.”
Some have questioned the actual federal savings on this, but the fact remains: you can save money with the right font.
Fonts Put to the Test
In 2010, Printer.com tested a handful of fonts on two popular printers: “The Canon Pixma MP 210 was picked to simulate the printing of home users while the Brother HL-2140 laser printer was used to test business use,” the site reports.
Starting with Arial 11 as the baseline, they tested ten of the most frequently used fonts, choosing a font size of 10 or 11. They used a software program to make sure each font had the same amount of coverage, adjusting size as necessary.
So which fonts and sizes did they find saved the most?
Fonts for Saving Money on Ink: The Winners
While Printer.com didn’t test Garamond at the time, they found that Century Gothic used the least amount of ink. Ecofont, a font specifically designed to conserve ink, came in second. Times Roman was third.
They found that a simple font switch resulted in a savings of $20 to $80 a year. It’s not like you’re going to buy your first yacht with this savings, no. But a little savings here and there adds up. And you can combine this tactic with other small tips for saving money on printer ink:
- Use the “draft” printer quality setting
- Reduce quality when printing graphics
- Recycle your old ink cartridges for a discount
Do you have any helpful methods for saving money on printer ink? Sound off in the comments.