Calculate your savings
Saves costs & environment
Try free demoversion
Are you a green type?
Are you a green type? The new Ecofont, from the Dutch marketing firm SPRANQ, aims to be one. Co-owner Alexander Kraaij says it uses less ink than other typefaces, thus saving money and resources. In fact, he contends, a company with 5,000 workers could trim up to $125,000 a year from its printing costs.
The circles are the secret. SPRANQ found that if it used rounded holes—stars and stripes were too conspicuous—a fifth of a 10-point, Verdana-like letter could be removed without ruining readability. Savings shrink at smaller sizes; holes are obvious at larger ones.
Still, legibility isn’t the same as likability. Font scholar Frank Romano dismisses the Ecofont as a gimmick, unsuitable for serif typefaces and inexact ink-jet printers. He also thinks its cheeselike holes are an eyesore: “If I wanted Swiss type, I would use Helvetica.” Kraaij says that’s hardly the point. While a professional, multialphabet Ecofont is available, the Ecofont is intended primarily for home and internal office jobs.
“Even if its use is limited,” says Alissa Levin of Manhattan’s Point Five Design, “it makes you think hard about ink, not just paper and printers.”
Less is more
Based on a typeface called Bitstream Vera, the Ecofont tends to look best at about 10 points—a bit bigger than the words in the main text on this page. It can be downloaded for free at ecofont.eu.
Jeremy Berlin, National Geographic Magazine, August 2009