Can You Really Save Printing Cost Just by Switching Fonts?

Back in 2016, a young man named Suvir Mirchandani thought he could save the government millions of dollars of printing cost by using the font Garamond instead of the Times New Roman font, that they had been using all along. He thought the Garamond font would use less printer ink. Considering the number of documents, the school board and local government used, this would add up to millions of dollars being saved.

Perhaps you remember how viral this story went, calling Suvir enterprising, genius, the boy wonder of fontsmanship…. Alas, a man named Thomas Phinney disputed Suvir’s theory and established that there would not be such a large amount saved after all.

This story should not stop you from considering the fonts you are printing because the long and short of it is certain fonts use more ink than others. So, what should you do?

Reduce Printing Cost What Should you do?

Usually, you think of fonts in terms of the creative look for such things as brochures and flyers, whereas for documents you think of readability. The thing is research does show certain fonts use more ink than others. The question is, which ones will save you money?

“Back in 2010, the folks at took on this question and found some answers. Using two popular printers—Canon PIXMA MP 210 and Brother HL-2140—to simulate both home and office laser printing use, they used an assortment of ten commonly used fonts sized either 10 or 11 to track results over time. They used software to establish how much coverage each font required, and adjusted size to establish a control on paper use. What they found was pretty shocking:

The difference between choosing the most ink-friendly font and the worst in the study came to more than $27 for home printers over the course of a year. For businesses, the cost savings amounted to more than a hundred dollars a year.” (Source:

Changing from Arial to Century Gothic saved an extra $20. Ecofont was created with the environment in mind, which should not be mind-boggling, yet it is in that there are people thinking of these very things mentioned in this post and that we are writing about it!

Not Only Font but Also Paper

When considering reducing your printer expenses by changing your typing font, also consider the kind of paper and the number of sheets of paper you are using as well. Some paper is not good for the readability of some of the money-saving fonts.

It is important to track your ink and paper used to determine your printer expenses and savings. Considering the type of font, you use, as well as using draft mode can decrease your ink usage. You can also print on both sides of the paper or use the backs of botched sheets for less important documents, which will result in reducing costs over time too. In our research, we did not discover whether Suvir’s idea of using Garamond would, in fact, save money in home offices. This leaves you to try out different fonts and determine which ones save you money. Leave us a comment if you figure it out!

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