(PCM) A Pittsburgh area middle school student, Suvir Mirchandani, was working on a school project when he discovered that a simple change to the font or typeface on paperwork produced by government officials and authorities could save as much as $400 million dollars every year.
The basis for the school project was a look at the ways in which computer science could improve evironomental stability. Mirchandani analyzed the typeface on teacher handouts and the amount of ink used for letters that appear repetitively. He was then able to make the conclusion that if the school were to go with the thin and light weight Garamond typeface rather than a thicker font, his school would be able to reduce their overall ink consumption by 24% and save about $21,000 per year.
Mirchandani’s findings were incredibly impressive to school officials and the real-world application was quite apparent. The school challenged Mirchandani to apply his findings to the government printing budget which equals out to about $1.8 billion per year. The students results were exactly the same, so therefore if the U.S. government were to change its’ typeface/font, they would be able to save as much as $400 million dollars annually.
The school was the US Printing Office aware of Mirchandani’s findings, however, while there were incredibly impressed by the work, they would not comment on whether or not they have any plans to change the typeface. Currently they are in the process of switching over most of the paperwork to an online format going forward in the future.
While there many not be any big changes coming from the government printers, we can use Mirchandani’s research in our homes and offices as well to reduce our own printing costs over times.