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Changing fonts to save ink dates back as far as 2008

Image: Lifehacker
Ecofont reduces the amount of ink required for printing by adding tiny holes to the strokes.

You may recall that about three weeks ago a teenager made national headlines by coming up with an idea to save on printing costs by changing the font used. As it turns out, young Suvir Mirchandani was not the first to have the idea.

Yes, the teen did an interesting study to prove his hypothesis, and it made a great science fair project. But the idea to change to a font with skinnier strokes dates back to at least 2010, when Lifehacker reported that Century Gothic uses 30% less ink than Arial. And that story was a follow-up to one they ran in 2008 about a University of Wisconsin professor who proposed the use of a new font — Ecofont — that was specifically designed to use less ink. 

No one is trying to rain on Mirchandani’s parade. He did the research, proved his point, promoted the idea to his school, and published it. Ultimately he calculated the potential savings for the US Government Printing Office, and national media picked up the story. But changing fonts to save ink is an idea that originated at least as early as 2008.


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