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Ah, typefaces. The subject of nerdy designer conversations everywhere. Well now you can have your input at the Nespresso machine too, with our sustainable font guide!

Certain fonts reduce the amount of ink required to print a document and others reduce paper usage. At Ecco Marketing Adelaide, we have found some “superfonts” that have low ink, low paper usage and score well in readability.

Why think about less ink?

We all know the benefits of using less paper, but ink usage should be on your radar too. When a design uses less ink, it saves you money in printing costs and is more sustainable. This is because it ensures that your document can be easily recycled and created with less printing chemicals. 

Many businesses are reconsidering their ink. In 2014, 14 year old Suvir Mirchandani proposed the US Government use Garamond in Government documents instead of Times New Roman to save money, concluding that Garamond used 30% less ink than Times New Roman, equating to up to $370m per year (The Guardian, 2014)!

 Best Heading

Century Gothic

Get out your black eyeliner… The font that satisfies both readability and low ink requirements is Century Gothic. Its thin lines keep it light, while the higher lower case letters enhance readability at smaller sizes. Studies have shown that it uses less ink than even Ryman Eco and Ecofont, fonts developed specifically for this purpose.

Sans-Serif fonts, although less readable due to the absence of serif lines that guide the eye, are more legible. They are therefore suitable as headings, as is the case with Century Gothic.

However, the font’s width makes it most suitable as a heading or feature text because it takes up more space than other fonts, using more paper. If you would still like to use Century Gothic, you can always overcome this by adjusting your margins to compensate.

Best Text 

Ryman Eco Garamond


Of the two remaining fonts that used the least ink (the free Ryman Eco and paid Ecofont), Ryman Eco uses slightly less ink.  It uses 33% less than standard fonts while claiming to be the “world’s most beautiful sustainable font’. Both fonts use holes in each letter that fill via ink bleed once printed. This will create significant savings on both ink and paper to create both a serif and san-serif option for your documents. 

Other fonts that use slightly more ink but allow for versatility and readability are serif fonts Garamond, Baskerville and Caslon, with Calabri being a great sans-serif choice for both ink and paper consumption.

Please consider readability. Ink and paper savings are no use if the document can not serve its purpose due to an illegible font choice. Garamond scores high in readability and was voted the world’s most beautiful font, while New York Times writer Errol Morris and Cornell University psychologist David Dunning suggest that people who read text in the ink miser Baskerville were more likely to believe what they were reading – bonus!

Bad Type…

Arial uses over 20% more ink than other standard fonts and is best suited to screen use, according to studies. 

Other Tips

  • Reducing the size of your fonts can help. Garamond is partially so economical as it is naturally smaller at 12pt than most other fonts. You can achieve the same effect with larger fonts that suit your purpose, however please remember to prioritise readability or legibility.
  • Bold text and underlining requires a greater amount of ink than normal text. If you need to bring attention to something, try italics or a different font.
  • You can try printing internal documents in draft mode to save on amount of ink used to print the same content
  • Where possible, try to encourage a digital office, and only print out items where necessary. The most readable fonts online are Verdana 10pt for body text and Arial 12 pt for headings.

Back to Work!

There are so many choices for eco-friendly fonts. I encourage you to make the change to an eco-friendly font like Century Gothic, Ecofont, Garamond and Calabri, and take note of your savings. For more sustainable and eco-friendly business ideas, please check out my blog. And if you are interested in creating sustainable business solutions for your business or company, please contact