TPI Solutions Ink Blog: Printing with "Green" Fonts


Do you print your documents and emails with eco friendly, "green" fonts? I'll be honest, this is something that had never crossed my mind. Sure, it's pretty obvious that printing out emails or documents that can be read online is not a "green" thing to do. Digital printing on demand, only the required amount of materials for your job, is certainly more environmentally friendlprinting with green fontsy than offset printing large quantities of materials that will become obsolete. These things I know, I am aware. Why had I not thought about font choice when outputting documents within our own printing company? We strive to be environmentally friendly. It makes sense that using larger, bolder fonts would use more ink or toner. Let me fill you in on some new tips I learned yesterday and some other tips that I was reminded of.

There are a few ways that you can begin to conserve ink and toner and therfore reduce your internal printing costs.

    • Print only what you absolutely have to print, read what you can online.
    • When printing a Microsoft Word document switch to "draft output", this uses less ink.
    • When printing a web page print only what you need, not all of the images and advertising.
    • Make the choice to use an economic font, one which uses less ink when printed.

There are a couple of studies that I came across on the topic of economic font choices. The first was done by a Dutch company, They ranked the following fonts from one to nine, one using the least amount of ink.

1. Century Gothic; 2. Times New Roman; 3. Calibri; 4. Verdana; 5. Arial; 6. MSSans Serif; 7. Trebuchet MS; 8. Tahoma; 9. Franklin Gothic Medium.

The next study was done by Matt Robinson of the UK who has a degree in communications design. I found this study quite interesting. The graphic below gives a visual of how much ink each typeface, that he tested, uses. For more detailed information on his study check out his link.

printing with green fonts 

In his study Mr. Robinson finds that Garamond is the most economic of the fonts that he tested. Comic Sans and Impact fell to the bottom of the list. Though this study is not exactly scientific it makes a point nonetheless.

Have you thought about this subject before? Am I just behind the times? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic of "green" fonts. Have you implemented any of these ideas at your workplace? If so, have you noticed a cost savings or a positive impact on our environment?

About The Author

Carrie is currently the President and Co-Owner of TPI Solutions Ink. She is a graduate of RIT with a BS in Printing Management. Carrie has over 40 years experience in the printing industry.