Teenager: Printing Everything in Garamond Could Save Government $400 Million

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 29 2014 1:31 PM

Teenager: Printing Everything in Garamond Could Save Government $400 Million

166062167-copies-of-u-s-president-barack-obamas-budget-proposal
Copies of President Barack Obama's budget proposal are seen in stacks at the Government Printing Office on April 8, 2013

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Most people don’t give a second thought to fonts. We just use one we’re comfortable with and get on with our days. Turns out though, picking the right font could save you lots of cash. That was the conclusion 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani came up with when he analyzed his school’s ink and font usage and came to the realization that ink consumption could be cut 24 percent by switching to Garamond, reports CNN.

Mirchandani went on to publish a study in the Journal for Emerging Investigators, where he took on a far larger target: the federal government’s $467 million annual ink budget. And his conclusion? Switching to Garamond could save the government $136 million per year, while state governments could save $234 million as a whole if they also followed the lead. CNN talked to the PR manager at the Government Printing Office, who called the study “remarkable” but was unwilling to commit to changing fonts. Still, even if Mirchandani doesn’t get the government to change its ways, he’s hoping others will listen: "Consumers are still printing at home, they can make this change too."

396pxadobegaramondsp_1

Wikimedia Commons

Advertisement

Update Monday, March 31: Fast Company offers a rather persuasive debunking of Mirchandani's claims: "Using less ink might cost the government slightly less money, but it's not going to come from switching to Garamond. Garamond's letters are smaller at the same height as other fonts, making it less legible at the same size when printed out." Read the full detailed rebuttal here.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.