When considering ways to save a few bucks in the office, printing and related supplies are often top on the list. Buying generic, recycled paper or refurbished parts and accessories, and selling toner cartridges for cash definitely help keep costs down, and perhaps one of the biggest cost comparisons is whether to spend more money on original OEM printer ink and toner cartridges, vs. generic or re-manufactured options that can be found at significant savings. But, here’s a curveball –  what if your choice of font is a major factor in your printing costs?

Arial Wastes The Most Ink

Since it’s one of the most commonly used, default fonts, you may be quite shocked to learn that when you stick with tried and true Arial, you’re actually causing quite a demand on your ink or toner supply. Several studies have shown Arial is one of the worst “font-offenders”, with up to 20% more ink consumption than other fonts.

Don’t despair, if Arial has been your go-to and you now will think twice before selecting from the top of the alphabet on the drop-down list of fonts, there are quite a few, attractive fonts as alternatives that will be less demanding on your ink and toner usage.

Fonts that Use Less Ink

Times New Roman – There’s always tried and true Times New Roman. Often a favorite, Times New Roman dates back to as early as 1931, and overall is pretty economical thanks to its thin letters.  

Calibri & Century Gothic – These two fonts also rank among the top choices for less ink consumption overall, but interesting to note that Century Gothic may be a great option for saving on ink, it is not as efficient with regard to paper usage, due to its fairly wide spacing.

Garamond – a simple, elegant, easily readable choice for a wide range of documents – also earns a top spot as a frugal font.

More Fancy Fonts Use More Toner

Though it’s nearly impossible to monetize the exact amounts of ink or toner one font uses over another, due to many variables such as printer type, and the brand of ink or toner used, it’s certainly clear that some fonts are definitely guzzlers while others are far more forgiving.

If you absolutely have to use one of those bigger, fancier fonts because your specific project requires it, you can still find ways to reduce overall ink usage. Perhaps a larger, bolder, fancier font can be used for those eye-catching headlines and introductory words or phrases, and then a switch to a simpler, more eco-friendly font can follow, so overall they balance each other out to a more neutral consumption of ink.

Ultimately, the choice of font remains a matter of personal preference and the type of document you are printing. Some may regard Times New Roman as a more technical and professional option, whereas Calibri may be thought of as less formal to others. In the end, it’s really subjective and always best to go with what ‘speaks’ to you as the author.