Which fonts use the least amount of ink and toner? It’s a hotly debated topic in the world of replacement printer cartridges. After all, replacement ink and toner is the most expensive part of owning and operating a printer. You can increase the lifespan of your ink and toner cartridges by switching to low-consumption fonts.
Here at Toner Buzz we decided to put these “eco fonts” to the test. We took seven of the most popular low-consumption fonts and ran pages until our ink ran out. What did we learn? Surprisingly, several modern, eco-conscious fonts used the most ink, while old classics flexed their storied reputations. Score a win for the senior citizens of the typeface world!
How We Chose These Seven Fonts
We scoured the internet, poured through old design magazines, and waded through dusty typeface tomes to narrow down our field of economical fonts to these seven:
- Century Gothic
- Ecofont Vera
- Times New Roman
- Ryman Eco
- Courier New
Again and again, these seven fonts turned up on lists of low-ink consumers. Are these the most economical fonts out there? Well, they’re certainly the ones that get the most press. But can you believe the hype? Are these fonts truly low ink consumers? Which one is best for printing your long, text-heavy documents? Check out the results below.
Print Test Results
|Fonts||Pages printed before ink started to run out|
|Times New Roman||166|
Print Test Analysis
Calibri, what happened to you? You failed! Badly! Calibri has long been celebrated as a good font when looking to save ink and toner. But our in-house tests showed otherwise. Calibri debuted with the release of Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista, and it remains a popular, easy-to-read font, especially on screen. However, if you’re printing out page-after-page, you’ll find Calibri sucks a lot of ink and toner.
Like Calibri, Century Gothic also let us down in our ink consumption tests. Century Gothic has been around since 1991, and is a clean, sans serif font that makes reading a pleasure. It has also earned a reputation as a low-consumption font. However, our tests showed that if you print long reports in Century Gothic you’ll waste a lot of ink or toner. Century Gothic tied with Calibri as the worst performing font in our ink consumption test. Boo!
Shame on you, Ecofont! You call yourself a money-saving font? You only eeked out one more printed page than those losers, Calibri and Century Gothic! While the idea of poking holes in traditional fonts like Times and Verdana may seem like a logical way to save on ink consumption, our tests with Ecofont San Vera were disappointing. While Ecofont software claims to reduce ink and toner consumption by as much as 50% we saw no such savings, only a strange font looks blasted with shotgun pellets at larger point sizes.
Times New Roman
Sometimes old school is the best school. Times New Roman has been a newsprint staple since 1931. This elegant, thin-lettered font was designed for economical ink consumption and it performed admirably in our tests, besting more modern, ink-savvy typefaces (we’re looking at you Ecofont Sans Vera!). An oldie but a goodie, Times New Roman isn’t the most economical font, but it’s far from the worst.
Now we’re talking serious ink savings! Developed by UK office supply giant, Ryman Stationary, Ryman Eco’s letters are made of thin lines. This is the same “hollow letter” concept behind Ecofont, only Ryman Eco seems to actually work. You don’t notice the hollow letters at smaller point sizes, and even blown up, Ryman Eco remains easy on the eyes. If you believe its creators, Ryman Eco we could save 490 million ink cartridges and 15 million barrels of oil if used worldwide. We know Ryman Eco produced 71 more pages than Calibri and Century Gothic, a 49% performance increase! Believe that!
Old school strikes again! Garamond is an elegant serif typeface developed by French publisher and type designer Claude Garamond in the 16th century, back when fonts were cut into the faces of metal punches and stamped onto parchment, or cut into wood. The secret to Garamond’s low ink consumption lies in its small, tight letters. Garamond looks a bit smaller than other fonts of the same size, but its clarity still makes it an easy read.
Ah, Courier, the classic “typewriter font,” how we love you! Your big, round, airy letters may look dated, but they’re easy to read and sips ink like its Dom Perrigon. In our tests, Courier produced 111 more pages than Calibri and Century Gothic, a massive 77% increase in output! Economical, easy to read, and retro cool — what’s not to love about Courier? Nothing, that’s what! If you’re into computer coding or screenwriting, the Courier typeface is an old friend. If you need to print a long document, save yourself some ink or toner and use Courier!
The Right Font For You
The goal here is finding the right font for you that strikes a balance between readability and reasonable ink consumption. Classic ink sippers like Times, Courier, and Garamond are reliable typeface choices. But we also like the direction Ryman Eco is taking modern eco-fonts.
In general, big, bold, flashy fonts consume a lot of ink and toner. But, surprisingly, even simple fonts, like Ariel, are hogs when it comes to ink and toner consumption. Stick with the classics and save yourself some money!