So much ballyhoo was made recently about the University of Wisconsin’s novel cost-cutting measure: Changing the default font in their email system from the standard Arial typeface to Century Gothic. They discovered that Century Gothic is a lighter, thinner font that uses about 30% less ink than Arial when printed.
As news of the university’s discovery streamed over the radio, the question I asked myself (like I’m sure so many others did) is why would anyone be printing emails in the first place? Sure, everyone prints an occasional email now and then. But enough to save thousands of dollars a year in printer ink?
As the story went on, it became less clear if so many emails are really being printed as to save a lot of printer ink using the different font. So, it’s the discovery itself that is most interesting here. Not the discovery of Century Gothic over Arial as a toner-saving typeface… rather the example that such small, seemingly insignificant steps can lead to big benefits over time. If reducing the ink used when printing emails saves money, just imagine what savings can be had from managing email files electronically?