University stipulates font for printing emails

eco print From 26/03/10:

The University of Wisconsin at Green Bay announced this week that it was switching fonts to save money, from Arial to Century Gothic.

[The University] says that while the change sounds minor, it will save money on ink when students print e-mails in the new font.

Diane Blohowiak is the school's director of computing. She says the new font uses about 30 percent less ink than the previous one.
That could add up to real savings, since the cost of printer ink works out to about $10,000 per gallon.

That's nothing to sneeze at, to be sure. Except for that little part about printing emails.

Who prints emails these days? Why not just disable that function? With the exception of things like concert tickets, boarding passes, and so on, what needs to be printed? 
Another, probably more impactful tool for university officials who want to go green: Buy and install printing optimization software that removes unnecessary images, cuts HTML headers from web pages, and prevents printing those one-line or blank pages that so often make their way into printouts.

N.B. Eco Printer Ink and Paper saver can be a Godsend here or for the web, try the Aardvark Firefox extension.

If you're already thinking about switching fonts, why not consider the "eco-font"? By incorporating tiny holes into each character, the company behind ecofont says it saves 25 percent or more of the ink over traditional fonts.

Or what about specialist ink-saving software such as the excellent eco-print or Inksaver. I’ve vouched for this type of software before and seriously, I just couldn’t be without it.

The eco-font idea is kind of funky, particularly as the font displays on-screen without the holes. It is said that it’s the little things in life that can make big changes and I guess mandating a more ink-conservative font when printing emails might be one of them.  It’s also preferable to removing the possibility of printing emails all together, though it wouldn’t surprise me if some overbearing universities choose to go this route in the future. the greenest font is the one you never use


  1. Tight gits!!!

    Students sometimes print off emails if they contain assignment questions - or is just that my university is too mean even to give out printed copies of same? Hmmmm.....!!

  2. and century gothic will contribute to global warming by getting me so overheated that i will explode.

  3. Good point Minxy. They've certainly got a nerve, the amount that they charge their students for photocopying and other facilities.

    Lol, SW.... but Century Gothic is actually quite innocuous IMO.

  4. Good approach on the part of University......

  5. Apart from the obvious stupidity of this... Century Gothic is wider than arial so it'll use more paper surely?

  6. Good point, Luke. :-)

    I think you're right in that it would use more paper but the main cost-saving issue was ink (or toner) which is far more expensive for each print job than paper. So even though it would use slightly more paper, switching fonts would still save the uni money overall.


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