Even when thinking about methods of cost reduction, we tend to take fonts on our computer documents for granted. They typically only get changed for dramatic effect, such as if we want a Georgia headline to stand out or a Bradley Hand piece of text to look handwritten.
Yet, font choice can have a significant impact on the cost per printed page of your organization. By changing the default font, you could achieve notable cost savings in terms of ink and paper used. You may even discourage people from printing altogether when they discover fonts that look great on-screen.
So start changing those defaults and encouraging staff to do the same in order to achieve these printing cost savings.
Which Fonts Save and Which Ones Squander?
Generally speaking, the larger the font in terms of spacing and ink used, the more ink wasted. Unfortunately, many font choices have counter-intuitive results in terms of on-page performance.
For instance, serif fonts seem to have extra ink dedicated to all the little horizontal crosses and details. These fonts, which include Times New Roman, Courier and others, have embellishments on the end, including thorns and caps. Developed by early printmakers, these marks allowed letters to be more easily distinguished from one another, even when cramped together. They also add a bit of style and class, similar to chiseled Roman letters that preceded movable type.
On the other end of the spectrum are sans-serif fonts. Arial, Trebuchet, Helvetica and other fonts are all popular in use with digital products because they scale easily and make text layouts look less cluttered. While these sans-serif fonts lack the embellishments of serifed fonts, they actually use up more ink.
Why? Because, true to their purpose, serifs allow letters to be written more slightly, with thin strokes used in between the bolder areas. Sans-serif fonts have mostly uniform widths within their strokes, meaning many font lines end up far bolder than they appear. The on-page result is that sans serif fonts use more ink and cover more of the page, resulting in increased per-page costs.
You can learn more about which fonts are the most economical in this handy write-up.
Tips on Cost Reduction by changing Fonts
Because it can be read even at small sizes, many institutions have switched to Century Gothic at size 10 when printing. According to the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, they saved 30 percent on ink when they switched from 11pt Arial to 10pt Century Gothic.
Other ways to save include decreasing the space between lines or paragraphs. Widening the margins never hurts, either, and it does not sacrifice readability.
Of course, the ultimate solution is to invest in a document management system that encourages smarter printing. With the right software ecosystem, your staff can preview all documents before they are printed, resulting in less mistakes. They can also choose to share a document instead of printing it. In fact, one of the reasons Microsoft switched the default font in Office to Calibri was that they hoped a sans-serif font that looked nice on-screen would tempt people to print less.
Learn how to master your cost per printed page with the help of vendor-independent document management consultants like Freedom Profit Recovery. We find ways to help you save that don’t hurt productivity or the value-add elements of your business. Discover how we can help you wrest control with effective methods of cost reduction by reviewing our document management consulting services.