Olivia Chen

Measuring Type Reveals the Most Eco-Friendly Fonts

by , 07/22/09

green graphic design, eco-friendly graphics, eco-friendly graphic design, matt robinson, measuring type, green communications, eco-friendly communications, eco fonts, eco-friendly fonts, ink efficient fonts, eco-friendly typeface

By now you have probably heard that recycled paper and soy inks contribute to greener graphic design, but it turns out that in the realm of sustainability, all fonts are not equal. In their work, “Measuring Type,” Matt Robinson and Tom Wrigglesworth seek to evaluate the ink efficiency of popular fonts. Using ball-point pens to write the word “sample” in the style of Times New Roman, Helvetica and others, Robinson and Wrigglesworth were able to deduce just how much ink each font uses. So what can an eco-minded graphic designer learn? Use light, serif-based Garamond instead of bold and compact Impact.

While Garamond proved to be a strong competitor, we wonder how it compares to ecofont — a typeface that Dutch communication agency spranq says uses 20% less ink than other fonts. Since ecofont is purposefully punctuated with holes to reduce its use of ink, we wouldn’t be surprised if it did beat even Garamond’s dainty use of ink. Swyyne offers some insight into the use of white space in graphics and why it can be quite pleasing to the eye. But we are taking a moment to ponder about ecofont’s use of white space — is it an attractive and sophisticated solution for an eco-friendly typeface or is it doomed to a future of inter-office memos? What do you think?

+ Matt Robinson

+ Tom Wrigglesworth

Via notcot and worldfamousdesignjunkies

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4 Comments

  1. N.McMillan February 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Ecofont was designed to take advantage of dot gain experienced when pieces are printed on a offset press.
    I would enjoy seeing the same test above done on a offset press to see if the results were the same.

  2. Duda Itajahy August 26, 2009 at 10:02 am

    i try the ecofont in my office but i dont liked the results. I put a post on my blog with the test. I dont know how the people of “Measuring Type” control the use of inks with the pen but the iniciative its wonderful!

  3. Trey Farmer Trey Farmer July 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    http://www.ecofont.eu/ecofont_en.html
    An actual font made to use less ink!

  4. J.D. Hammond July 22, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Thankfully, most uses of Impact are ironic (cat macros and such) and aren’t likely to actually be printed on paper.

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