Pondering the EcoFont

Like any workplace, I get my share of internal junk mail. Workshops, vacancy announcements, blood drives and Weight Watchers sign-ups. But I can’t just hit delete because there might, maybe, be something interesting. Today, it was a notice that the EcoFont has been installed on all Windows-based co...

smithsonian.com
Like any workplace, I get my share of internal junk mail. Workshops, vacancy announcements, blood drives and Weight Watchers sign-ups. But I can’t just hit delete because there might, maybe, be something interesting. Today, it was a notice that the EcoFont has been installed on all Windows-based computers within the Smithsonian Institution.

is designed to use up to 20% less toner than standard fonts for printed documents. While not designed for high quality printing such as reports or official correspondence, this font can be used for printing documents and emails that are used briefly and then discarded. This font degrades at font sizes larger than 12 point, but it is quite acceptable for printing in any font sizes up to 12-point, the sizes typically used for normal printing. While EcoFont does not look crisp in Outlook, email messages printed with this font print cleanly and are quite readable.




The font was designed by the Netherlands-based company Spranq and released in December for free (go to the font Web site to download) to “increase environmental awareness” and, apparently, save us some toner. The letters have little holes in them, as you can see, but these should disappear when printing in font sizes of 9 or 10, which they recommend.



Someone in the office heard that the font is fuzzy. I can’t make a judgment on this; the magazine runs on Macs and we don’t have access to the font yet. However, even if it’s a little fuzzy, the idea of saving a little ink and money sounds like a good one. There’s always someone in the office (I’m sure your office has one) who insists on printing every email and document. If we can’t get them to cut back to save paper, maybe we can at least get them to use the font.



Has anyone tried this? What’s your take?
About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

Read more from this author |

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus