Could changing a font save the U.S. government $400 million?

A study conducted by a student in Pittsburgh claimed that switching from Times New Roman to Garamond would save millions.

Last week, a 14-year-old Pittsburgh student made news by claiming the U.S. government could save $400 million with a simple font change.

Suvir Mirchandani conducted a pretty awesome experiment where he charted Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans typefaces. He measured the amount of ink used for each with the APFill Ink Coverage tool.

Through his tests, Mirchandani concluded that his middle school could cut ink consumption by 21 percent, for an annual savings of $21,000.

He extrapolated from there, and tested five sample government pages. From CNN:

Using the General Services Administration’s estimated annual cost of ink — $467 million — Suvir concluded that if the federal government used Garamond exclusively it could save nearly 30 percent — or $136 million per year. An additional $234 million could be saved annually if state governments also jumped on board, he reported.

Pretty cool, right? Leave it to some—namely the St. Louis Egoist—to rain on the parade:

There are some snafus relating to real world gov’t document printing in that many more documents are digital nowadays, but Suvir argues there is still enough of a demand that some savings could be made. Our only question is: aren’t most high-volume printers laser/toner based and much cheaper than the ridiculously high refill cost of ink-jet printers?

You can watch CNN’s full interview with Mirchandani below:

What do you think, Ragan.com readers? Could a font change save your office some dough?

(Image via)

Topics: PR

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