An Eco-Friendly FONT?

Ginny Figlar Colón by Ginny Figlar Colón | March 30th, 2009 | 3 Comments
topic: Green Living, Green Tech

I recently had to order printer cartridges on eBay and have them shipped to me from China. (I will spare you the details, but it involves incompatibility issues with European-sold cartridges.) This makes me feel extra guilty about anything I print now.
So I was happy to discover that a Dutch creative agency, SPRANQ, has found a way to reduce ink usage by up to 20 percent with its recently developed Ecofont. The font is designed with holes in the middle of the letters – sort of a Swiss cheese effect – and is free to download for personal use on a Mac or PC.

This got me thinking about other tricks and techniques I could be using to make every printer cartridge last a little longer. Here are some ideas I found to avoid unnecessary around-the-world ink shipments:

  • Print in grayscale – at 80 percent black, you can also reduce ink consumption by 20 percent.
  • Avoid serif fonts. The little tails on the letters use more ink. Stick with the thinnest sans-serif font you have.
  • Switch to a smaller font, which can also reduce paper consumption.
  • And if you want to be really extreme, stop using capital letters. (Although this last option may not be appreciated by everyone who gets your printouts.)

And when your ink cartridge eventually does start printing on empty, don’t forget to recycle it. Staples office supply giant offers $3 toward the purchase of a new cartridge when you drop off the empty one at any of its retail stores. Office Depot has a similar incentive program, and both offer remanufactured cartridges to lighten your impact even further.


  1. This is an amazing idea! These little things that really dont seem so big in the grand scheme of things, are what will really make a difference in the long run.

    mike | April 1st, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  2. Staples no longer offer the $3 toward purchase of ink cartridges, they alleged to send you a $3 rebate in the mail at some later date. I am still waiting for some of mine from 2008! But heads up, Walgreens does refills $10 for black, and $15 for color. It should offer a savings for many. But careful it may make you want to do more printing, now that you are saving right!

    Donald White | June 3rd, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  3. Ecofont has a good tutorial for installing fonts at (We do not allow links in comments) – Never knew how to install a new font on my Mac before this!

    Josh | November 16th, 2009 | Comment Permalink

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