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Ink-Saving Fonts You Don't Want to Miss

Everywhere we look we see "green" products: appliances that use less energy, clothing and recycling that are made from recycled goods, cleaners and household products made without chemicals. Green is also the new color of technology. Computers have power-saving modes that conserve energy, printers have draft modes which use less ink, and many ink cartridges and paper options are eco-friendly. Printing is an area that costs businesses more than money; it takes up valuable resources. There are many ways to cut down and reduce waste associated with printing, and your font selection could be a big part of that.

A sign that many businesses are starting to post around their printers and copiers is, "Think before you print." Before you print those emails that just become forgotten in a file or you print a copy of your office memo, think about alternatives. Can you email memos and announcements? Can you store files electronically? Can you have documents signed electronically? Do you really need to print out directions or can you enter them into your phone, GPS, or even just write them on a scrap of paper? Can you print just a section of a document instead of the whole thing? All of these questions are important, as is just taking a few seconds to think before hitting the print button.

You may also think about which font you are printing your documents in. Unless you are required to print in a certain font, consider using Century Gothic. Different fonts use varying amounts of ink based on how thick or decorative the font is. For instance, Franklin Gothic Medium and Heavy are both very thick, dense fonts. In fact, a page printed in Franklin Gothic Medium has 5.5 percent ink coverage. Arial, which is most often used, has 4.97 percent ink coverage. Switching to Century Gothic will save ink: this font has only 3.45 percent ink coverage.

The different between 5.5 and 3.45 percent may not sound substantial, but over the course of thousands of pages, it quickly adds up to significant ink savings. And significant ink savings translate directly into savings to your budget. The thinner, more basic fonts are more cost- and eco-friendly.

Dutch company, Spranq, has developed Ecofont, an eco-friendly font based on the more standard, Verdana. The Ecofont website proudly tells visitors, "After Dutch holey cheese, there is now a Dutch font with holes as well." The creators wondered how much of a letter they could remove and still have it be legible and clear. They developed the font using small circles. When the font is blown up, you can clearly see the "holey" cheese effect. When it is printed in smaller font, ideally size 9 or 10, it is a fine font to use and the circles are barely discernible. If you weren't looking for them, chances are you would not notice at all.

Ecofont uses up to twenty percent less ink to print than standard fonts, which can be a considerable savings. You can download Ecofont for free from the website. Test it out; it is certainly ideal for day to day printing, even if you decide on another font for professional pieces.

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