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?