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Which Fonts Should You Use for Saving Printer Ink

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Ink-Saving Typefaces: The Ecofont Makes Each Cartridge


Dec 13, 2008 · The folks at the Dutch company SPRANQ took this challenge to font design and have come up with a way to make a font that uses 20% less ink. Called the Ecofont, it’s made by placing little holes inside the lines of the font so that when printed at 10 pt or less, it …


This retro, mono-spaced serif font was designed in

This retro, mono-spaced serif font was designed in the mid-1950s specifically to cut down on ink use and extend the life of typewriter ribbons. These days, while personal computers and word processors have replaced typewriters, Courier is still a good shout for anyone looking to cut down on ink costs. When compared to other standard eco-friendly fonts like Garamond, Courier comes up trumps in terms of maintaining readability even when the point size is reduced.

In a rather artful testing of ink efficiency across popular fonts, designers Matt Robinson and Tom Wrigglesworth used ballpoint pens to determine that Courier was second-best-in-class for using the least ink (behind only Garamond, that cheekily smaller font). Check out their work, Measuring Type, to see how the popular fonts fared after they were rendered lovingly in pen on a wall. It’s a sobering visual illustration of how font choice is (or should be) about far more than stylistic preference.

Changing the Font to Save Ink


The aforementioned tip (Ink saving font) will only enhance your inkjet capacity to print and help you save even more. By using your ink to its fullest you are not only benefiting yourself by saving money on printing supplies you are also helping the environment by using less paper and less ink. So if you are one of those planet advocates for …

How Can This Font Help?

Ecofont™ as you can see in its logo, is a type of font that has a lot of holes in each letter printed. Up close, letters may come out a bit queer, but at regular font sizes of 9 and 10 and in some cases up to 12, the letters come out looking as if they were printed in the grayscale mode. Instead of using the regular amount of ink for those holes, the natural course of ink bleeding will fill them all up. That would mean a substantial portion of the ink you regularly use for printing texts was unused. This then reduces your ink consumption.

What‘s even nicer about it is that this eco-friendly font works best with laser printing. Users often complain about the costs of laser ink and toner, although it has been explained time and again that costs of laser ink and toner can be optimized if laser printing involves larger volumes of work. Ecofont™ allows the printer to optimize the laser ink further, since the savings that can be realized in using this eco-friendly font as one’s typeface, is estimated to be as much as 50%. Results are expected to vary and will depend on the kind of platform used. Ecofont™ is highly recommended for those who are using MS Office 2007, Mac OSX, Linux and Open Office.

Ink Adds Up! Use Fonts That Save Money!

Does using an extra drop of two of ink during a print job really matter?

Maybe not.

But fonts that use more ink take longer to print, and therefore, consume more electricity. You’ll also run out of ink faster, which means more energy will be consumed manufacturing and shipping you a new ink cartridge.

Plus, you’ll be adding to a global waste problem, even if you recycle your empty plastic ink cartridge properly. Removing ink from recycled paper is also a chemical-heavy task, and more ink makes it that much more difficult.

Century Gothic

This geometric sans serif font uses less ink becau

This geometric sans serif font uses less ink because it has a thin print line, and it maintains readability by having taller lower-case letters. The thin print line means that, when compared to other sans serif fonts like Arial, Century Gothic uses 30% less ink, thereby cutting printing costs and boosting sustainability.

The font’s eco credentials are somewhat challenged, however, by the wider letters, which take up more of the width of the document, meaning you get fewer words on a line. When it comes to printing, this means the same document will use more paper if you keep the default page setup. A quick and easy workaround, if you want to start printing in Century Gothic, is to make your document margins smaller so you can fit more words on a line.


Ecofont is a family of TrueType fonts developed by

Ecofont is a family of TrueType fonts developed by SPRANQ in the Netherlands. Every character in the typeface contains tiny holes, resulting to 20% reduction in ink consumption when compared to Vera Sans on which Ecofont was based.

The typeface garnered awards during the previous years for its ink and money-saving benefits: the European Environmental Design Award 2010, Accenture Innovation Award 2011, Sprout Challenger Award in 2012, and the SMEs Innovation Top 100 in 2013.

The company behind the award-winning typeface even developed the Ecofont software that lets you print your documents with dotted characters even without typesetting your documents in Ecofont.

But while all of these sound nice, keep in mind that there are important considerationsbefore you switch to Ecofont for printing: For starters, while the dots are not visible at 9- or 10-point size, they’re visible at 12-point size upwards so the font may not look great on documents that require large characters.

In addition to that, the developers themselves noted that the ink savings you get may vary depending on the software you use and your screen quality, noting that it works best for OpenOffice, AppleWorks, and MS Office 2007.

Print Test Results

Fonts Pages printed before ink started to run out
Calibri 145
Century Gothic 145
Ecofont Vera 146
Times New Roman 166
Ryman Eco 216
Garamond 243
Courier New 256

Choosing an eco font

When it comes to choosing fonts that save ink, size matters. The smaller the surface area of the font, the less ink it requires to print. For example, everybody’s favorite default font, Times New Roman, is pretty economical thanks to the thin letters. Look for terms like Thin, Condensed or Narrow, as they usually indicate that the font has been designed to use less ink.

Another rule of thumb is to choose fonts that are sans serif, as those little flourishes can add up to a lot of extra ink usage. Note that the “sans” rule isn’t a hard and fast rule—Times New Roman has serifs, but it’s still more eco-friendly than some sans serif fonts out there.

Above all, keep your font readable. Otherwise, your materials are likely to be thrown away without consideration, which means that all of that ink you might have saved from printing with an eco-friendly font was for naught.

If you need a place to start, here’s a list of some of the best ink-saving fonts that you might want to consider.

  • 1. Ryman Eco

    The letters in Ryman Eco are hollow with very thinRyman Stationery, an office supply chain store in the UK, has created what they call “the world’s most beautiful sustainable font.” Ryman Eco is a free font that uses 33% less ink than standard fonts and looks gorgeous doing it.

    The letters in Ryman Eco are hollow with very thin lines, but when printed at a small enough size, the audience is none the wiser because the ink bleeds together. At larger sizes, the hollow letters are more apparent, but the look is actually quite interesting and may help to engage your audience.

  • 2. Ecofont Sans

    Ecofont isn’t just a font face; it’s aRyman Stationary isn’t the only game in town when it comes to eco-friendly font options. A company called Ecofont is dedicated to helping people use less ink when they print text. Their signature font, Ecofont Sans, has tiny holes poked into the letters to use less ink. Again, at smaller sizes, the holes are negligible due to ink bleed.

    Ecofont isn’t just a font face; it’s also software that can help you poke tiny holes in the standard fonts you typically use, such as Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Times New Roman and Trebuchet MS. Using the Ecofont software, you can reduce your ink usage by up to 50%. Be aware, however, that neither the software nor the Ecofont Sans font are free.

  • 3. Courier

    Courier has a retro typewriter style that might noA much more reader-friendly option than Garamond, the standard font Courier uses letters that are thin but not small, which means you won’t have to make your text any larger than normal to make it legible.

    Courier has a retro typewriter style that might not work for every design scheme, but that’s exactly what makes it so economical—it was designed for typewriters, which means it was designed to save on ink.

  • 4. Century Gothic

    There is a downside to Century Gothic, however; itAgain, thanks to the early days of print, we have ink-saving fonts like Century Gothic that are designed with thin letters for maximum readability and minimal ink usage. Century Gothic is also a sans serif font, so it saves more ink by staying simple.

    There is a downside to Century Gothic, however; it’s wider than most fonts, so it takes up more room on the page. Depending on how much you need to use it in your print design, this could mean needing more paper than usual.

  • 5. Brush Script

    we’re not the biggest fans of Brush ScriptAs you might recall, we’re not the biggest fans of Brush Script. But strangely enough, it actually uses less ink than Times New Roman, even with all the fancy add-ons and curlicues. It’s not our favorite (and it’s not especially readable), but it could make for an eco-friendly alternative for a headline or logo font since it saves more ink than your standard bold fonts.

The key is finding a balance between clean, legible design and eco-friendliness. If you absolutely have to use big, fat, ink-draining fonts because your design aesthetic requires it, find other ways to offset the cost to the environment, such as switching to a recycled stock.

The best fonts to use in Windows and its programs

To give you an idea, since it is generally something we do not usually focus on, next, we are going to talk about the most important fonts used in Windows 10. Specifically, we are going to mention some of the best fonts that you can use in the operating system and its programs at the same time cannot be absent under any circumstances. Anyway, don’t worry, these tend to be included in the vast majority of operating systems, not just Windows, and their corresponding applications.

This allows us to avoid compatibility problems with fonts used by certain documents or installed programs.


First of all, we find one of the most popular and used fonts in the world, In fact, it could be said that it is one of the standards in this regard. This is why Arial is one of the most famous typefaces. It should be noted that this is something that is extended both in paper and on the internet.

To give you an idea, this is the default font used by the powerful online text editor Google Docs . At the same time, it is interesting to know that sometimes this particular font can be found as ArialMT .

Times New Roman

And we are going to continue with another of the classics for many years both in the Microsoft operating system, as well as on the internet and in most applications. Specifically we refer to Times New Roman, which is known as a variation of the old Times of the Serif group. For many experts, this is a font that is characterized by having a more professional appearance than other popular and important ones.

It is precisely for this reason that Times New Rom

It is precisely for this reason that Times New Roman is one of the most used in the media with more formal content. At the same time, this typeface is widely used on news websites and official institutions.

Courier New

It is very possible that many of you are familiar with the font called Courier since it has been with us for a good number of years. Well, now we are going to talk about a font or it is considered as the most modern alternative to the aforementioned Courier. In fact, Courier New is a somewhat thinner and more stylized font than the original. This actually translates to a more visually appealing typeface on screen.

It is for all this that we tell you why most devic

It is for all this that we tell you why most devices and operating systems work to a large extent by displaying Courier New.


Here we have another of the fonts that could not be missing in this selection for Windows 10. In fact, if something characterizes this particular font, it is how easy it is to read and understand. This is something that is made extensible even when we use the font in a smaller size than usual. The same happens when we see the Verdana font on the screen on devices that support a low resolution. It is precisely for all this that this element is used both on websites and in printed catalogs.

Arial Rounded MT

Arial Rounded MT

Next, we will talk about one of the variants that come to us of the previously mentioned Arial. It should be noted that Arial Rounded MT is a variant of it, but with some peculiarities. In fact, we could say that this is one of the versions of Arial that offers a more elegant design. That is why at this time it will already be installed in most operating systems , including Windows 10.

In addition, little by little it is spreading more

In addition, little by little it is spreading more and more in all types of web pages, especially in corporate ones or with more formal content.


This is another of the fonts that practically cannot be missing in any operating system, hence it is one of the most characteristic of Windows. In fact, this is a font that we already found in Windows Vista and that has stood the test of time due to its widespread use. If something characterizes this particular typeface, it is that it is compatible with the Windows ClearType text rendering system.

Baskerville Old Face

The documentary filmmaker Errol Morris ran a cover

The documentary filmmaker Errol Morris ran a covert experiment on 45,000 online readers of The New York Times –showing a passage from David Deutsch’s “The Beginning Of Infinity.”

The readers were shown the passage written in any of the following fonts –Baskerville, Computer Modern, Comic Sans, Georgia, Helvetica, and Trebuchet, and were asked if they think the statement was true.

The conclusion of the experiment: Baskerville confers a 1.5% advantage towards agreement. Next time you have to print something that could use a bit of persuasive, convincing power like a business proposal or an opinion article, give Baskerville a try.

Additionally, Inkfarm.com, a well-reviewed (BBB A+ rating) online printer ink shop based in Seattle, analyzed 134 fonts to find the best font for ink economy – and Baskerville Old Face was one of their top recommendations for long lines of text.

Furthermore, the company’s online ink usage calculator shows that printing Baskerville instead of Arial can slash ink usage by more than 37%.

The idea of saving ink and money by choosing the right fonts may sound new to you. But active bloggers and designers Matt Robinson and Tom Wrigglesworth have known for a long time that not all fonts are created equal.

Their work “Measuring Type” sought to evaluate the ink-efficiency of the most popular fonts by using ballpoint pens to see how much ink a font uses.

The end of their project saw the mono-spaced slab serif font courier almost top the list (second only to Garamond). This typeface was made to resemble the output from a strike-on typewriter and soon became the standard font in the typewriter industry.

Courier looks plain but it has its uses. It conveys a bureaucratic look and mimics the font of a typewriter, and is a good choice for plain text documents and scripts.

Moreover, all of its characters have the same width, hence the term mono-spaced, and works well for perfectly aligned blocks of text.

5. Times New Roman

Believe it or not, the font that happens to be the default for many people is actually fairly efficient when it comes to ink consumption. In a study conducted by Consumer Reports, Times New Roman was determined to be about 27% more efficient than Arial, a common Times New Roman substitute. So, if changing your default font is too big of a change for you, you can take solace in knowing that sticking with Times New Roman isn’t going to break the bank.

Have you made the switch to any of these fonts? Have you found that you aren’t running out to your office supply store to buy ink cartridges as often? Do you have any other ink saving tips? Let us know in the comments!

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