A university CIO says that sysadmins determined to do their bit for the environment - and save cash on printer consumables - should switch fonts wherever possible to Century Gothic. Diane Blohowiak, Director of Computing and Information Technology at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, says she has switched the college's …
The best solution would certainly be to print only what you really need as hardcopy (usually not even half of what is printed in the average office is even read - based on unscientific observations), but the following sentence amazed me:
"She says that printer ink costs her department $10,000 per gallon, though obviously it is supplied in smaller units."
Is she really saying that a University is pissing expensive ink on paper when there are cheaper (toner based) printing options? Time for a budget cut me thinks.
Can El Reg do the same please
I like the idea, would be grateful if the default font of this site could be changed as well, that way when I print stuff off to read on the way home from work will be saving ink
Re: Can El Reg do the same please
Except that Bootnotes should be in Comic Sans, as an extra hint for the humour impaired.
ugly font is ugly
shame century gothic looks like poop really.
A sad day
And so dear friends we commend our brother Ariel to the earth. Not for him the everlasting glory of print, not for him the wonders of being read, but consigned to the annals of history, an ex-font if you will.
Farewell friend I raise a glass!
Just remove the bloody printer.
Everywhere I've worked in the last 5 years has a recycling bin right next to the printers because it's guaranteed that 90% of the output is never collected. In one case, we once took away the out tray so stuff went straight in. No one noticed, despite the fact it was emptied every other day!
We tried it a while ago, and found that people just pick up their laptop and take a screen with them now. Fair enough, that wasn't a valid approach 5 years ago, but it is now. We've even seen people use a blackberry, a hand mirror and a projector...
I print everything...
Font recommended for small quantities of text
The font itself includes a description which says
"... Useful for headlines and general display work and for small quantities of text..."
which sounds to me like "not the best for lots of text"
lorel ipsum duller
Why print using 100% black? Wouldn't a medium shade of gray use less ink? Or am I a dithering fool?
I see what you did there :)
What a complete crap!
Using inkjets for printing is the first major mistake.
Just thinking of the heaps of packaging and used cartridges from all that mess... AAARGH!
Set up a few B/W lasers around the office, and ONE colour laser.
Also, get a swipe-card system for them, so that after the (l)user has 'printed' something, he has to swipe his card next to the printer in order to actually get the output.
With a setup like that, you can cut it down to TWO print queues,(BW and Colour) and the user get his output from whichever printer he happens to be closest to when he needs it.
The major problem with networked printers is the heap of printouts that are never collected by the sender. Either because he 'didn't need it after all', or because the daft bugger couldn't remember which printer he sent it to. (And usually sent it to another printer when he couldn't find it)
Another bonus with Lasers is that, unlike an inkjet, leaving it unused for a few weeks doesn't mean you have to discard clogged printheads or dryed out ink carts.
Also, a decent laser is built to handle a lot more printouts than an inkjet, typically 25 - 50.000 pages/month for a 'workgroup' printer. Many inkjets are completely worn out after 10.000 pages.
At my previous employer I managed to send a print job to a printer in another building. Then to top that, I was at the US office and discovered by accident that I could still send jobs to the printers in the UK. Fortunately it was only a couple of pages, not a 100-page PDF.
1 - I just took my old HP Officejet K550 out of storage. It's been there for over a year. Cleaned twice, printed two sheets - it now works. No clog, despite just simply disconnecting it to take it out of service.
2 - The early wear may be true, but there is a LOT less mechanics in an inkjet. I also happen to be the person who had top brass Canon execs visit me when they discovered there was a reason I was going through twice as much ink as they though was possible: I was printing stock barcode labels with a BJ130 and tractorfed labels. The most entertaining statement was "It will only work for a couple of months" - it was at that point I told them the printer was already two years old :-).
In those days, specialist barcode printers costed a ruddy fortune, so I just coded a Psion Organiser II to drive the Canon, happily dumping reams of the stuff to label all incoming boxes. The inkjet just worked, whereas the previous victim, a Star SR10 dot matrix wasn't just noisy and slow, it also failed rather spectacularly when the head deservedly overheated - a few pins stayed out, and on carriage return this ripped the ink ribbon cartridge to shreds and took most of the rubber of the roll. It was work a try - wouldn't have costed much if we had to buy a new one every half year, instead it did it for 2 years at which point we finally got our own laser printers (oh yes, skunkwerks with budget aren't new either).
Ah, those were the days (etc)..
Century Gothic is not one of the supported fonts in OpenOffice 3 (at least not on my Mac), so phooey on the author. Arial pleases my old eyes.
But there is a bigger issue in this story. When Liberal Arts Colleges hire from their own graduate pool they tend to dumb down their own IT departments, creating droves of yes-people with pixel-counting methodologies and overly simplistic theories.
I supported a corporate tech-writing group "way back then" when we got a "save money or die" edict from on high. They came up with numerous new requirements - like font changes and thinner paper - ignoring bottom-up suggestions such as fewer inch-thick printouts in the first place.. Sometimes the bottom line really is the bottom line, but in this case the changes actually increased ink/paper/energy use. Technology changes, but people stay more or less the same.
Ariel on a Mac?
Me thinks you must have a Microsoft font pack, possibly for the Mac version of Office.
I cannot say for sure, but I would not expect a Microsoft specific font to be shipped with OSX.
If this IT department owns the computers or the printers they can substitute any font they like. Either they install the font and configure the email / browser software to use it by default, or they tell the printer to substitute it when printing. If it saves them 30% on ink then it sounds like a good idea.
I havent used OpenOffice on the Mac but I expect it does what it does on every other platform and supports whatever fonts you have installed on the PC. It just trawls the fonts folder and picks up whatever TrueType / OpenType fonts it finds there.
what do you mean...
...usenet, remember that?
still use it almost daily!
But email doesn't even need fonts
Email is, after all, a plain text medium. It's only dear MS's confusion between the RFCs for email and for newsgroups that led to native html email.
I deliberately use an antiquated email client that can be told "do not attempt to interpret html" because I don't want it fetching images, scripts and style sheets and bringing onto my machine any associated malware.
Dear Diane Blowmehard or whatever her name is would do better to forbid the htmlization of email. And to disable direct printing from email clients. Silly woman.
Plan to go Green?
'Diane Blohowiak, ... says she has switched the college's email system from Arial to Gothic default as part of a "five year plan to go green".'
Wouldn't it be a lot greener to save 100% of the ink and NOT PRINT email messages at all?
Shouldn't this one...
...have waited till next Thursday?
寫中文 - See, now wasn't that easy?
What do you mean, “[5BEB][4E2D]”?
Use a smaller font, print less...
Arial (pseudoHelvetica) is an economical font that's easy to read. I can't see any other font, Century included, producing similar savings. The real savings come from small fonts, not a lot of printing and avoid pictures, especially those with large areas of block color.
I do all my draft work in Arial 9 or 10 point close spaced....you'd be amazed how your rather sparse document pads out when you start using 'normal' formatting.
I'm just speculating
I haven't run the numbers, but isn't Century Gothic rather a wide font?
What does this do do paper consumption?
Even better - print to PDF first.
Make it impossible for the email clients to print directly to a printer, and force them to go via PDF.
Then, everyone gets an automatic 'print preview' in which to spot that they actually printed the wrong email, too big, and only wanted Page 2 anyway.
- I found Outlook 2003 extremely annoying in that it had no print preview and couldn't be made to print a single page of a long email containing loads of lines of rubbish, like massive pointless 'signatures'.
One of the Morse Code fonts even better!
Do all your printing ...
... in green ink.
Inkjet printers flush their liquid money into gutters at the edges of the page. It's a solution for stagnant pigment clogging the nozzles, with a pleasant side effect for the printer manufacturer . Thin font or fat font hardly matters. The difference ends up in a large sponge at the bottom of the printer.
Epic fail for a university IT department not figuring out a paperless workflow at least 10 years ago.
Seems to be a difference of opinion!
Here's one way to stem the red ink on the balance sheet.
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has switched its stationery font from Century Gothic to Arial, saying it will save thousands in ink costs.
The new font uses about 30 percent less ink.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/weird_but_true/weird_but_true_uyyQVKHaFd9oIm4VQgZliM#ixzz0jKnIKPnT
I can't think of an apt, yet snappy, title...
People around here (and I mean like the local schools and public information office and all) are rather fond of Comic Sans MS (or its various clones). It's a nice headline font, and it is useful for web pages to make something stand out from the normal serif/sans-serif combination. But, um... for everything? It is certainly overused, and just looking at it, it looks like a typestyle that will be heavy on the ink side.
Printing emails? Die! Die! Die! Seriously, if you are printing so many emails you need to cost-calculate the price per gallon of ink, your best bet is to simply remove the printer. Or paste each print job through a server that docks people $0.10 per page from their next pay packet. I bet there would be a month of chaos as people argue their way through $100 deductions, and then - as if by magic - a ream of paper would probably last a fair old while.
Printer consumables? If ever there was something the ever-watchful government ought to regulate, it's printer refills. Why? Simple. I have three different printers here that I have acrued. My old Epson Color inkjet. A bit cartoony but it is fairly forgiving in what you throw at it. Useless for decent looking printouts as it is too old and dithers visibly, but good for dumping pages of code to read on break. Not used much now because it has some weird pressure-gravity deal that makes refilling carts a pain (not a bad as the HP DJ500 series, but still pretty bad). Then there's the Lexmark Z23. Lovely printer. Bargain basement crap that actually had some performance behind it. Brilliantly stupid "is this a new print head" system so you could pull out the print head, refill it with pretty much ANYTHING, pop it back it, tell it the print head was new... Yonks ago I bought a couple of print cart kits and I refilled them up until physical cartridge failure (head-in-the-cart). But, problem. Buying a colour and black set now actually cost me more than... the little Brother printer I have. Not terribly exciting, but it does pretty nice photos. It's a scanner/printer/copier combo. I'm not sure the scanner part actually talks to the PC, but since I scan most stuff directly to an SD card and crop it later... for me that usually works out faster. The ink can have a dendency to leave little drips from time to time, but NOTE that it is running on cloned ink. Why? Because it is nice that the printer has four separate colour carts (which are ink ONLY, no print head), but they are small and pricey. To rekit the thing would cost about the same as buying a NEW printer with a colour LCD and WiFi, which I might consider doing this winter.
Anyway - the point of the previous paragraph is... if it is cheaper to chuck the printer and get a new one, then there's something very badly wrong with the pricing of ink cartidges.
Hooo-ray for the bean counters
I mean, wow. How innovative - Not. But clever, undoubtedly clever
I don't know, does the sentence DON'T FCK PRINT BULLSHIT ring a bell?
Here comes the green people. Soylent green! People!!!
Seriously, I think there's one thing that makes the difference, it's installing a pdf tool and telling users how to avoid stupid things like printing a certificate to scan and then mail the jpeg file (yes, it really happens!)
Actually, teaching users how to print that only page that matters from a 325-page report is something that may save some trees and buy some time to mankind.
Ways to go green:
1. Use the "Draft" font. Prints fast, uses the least ink.
No "Draft" font?
2. Get a dot matrix printer. When you think about it, in the end, the ribbon of the dot matrix printer does loop around and can be looped around quite a few times before it has to be replaced. Yes it's noisy, but noise is the lesser of evils, correct? Plus, it makes (l)users think twice before they click the "print" button.
Windows won't allow you to use the "Draft" font?
3. Switch back to MS-DOS and Wordstar (or, use Linux and emacs, vi, nano, pico or your other favorite text editor). That not only fixes the problem, but also give the poor, old P90s a new lease of life. If on MS-DOS, give it UW Pine for e-mail and lynx for web browsing.
you should have done the article in century gothic.
Would be more useful comparing it to Calabri wouldn't it? Ariel was phased out after office 2003...
Why do people feel the need to print out so many emails anyway?
Much research has been done on font legibility
A great deal of research has been done on typographic legibility. The most legible fonts -- those which can be read, error free, at the smallest font size -- have a stroke width that is 10 ~ 20% of the character height.
Legibility and saving ink are two sides of the same coin. You can save ink by using thinner strokes, but then you will need to increase the font size to be able to read it. Thus wasting ink, and paper, and energy.
Not surprisingly, the fonts with the best legibility scores are those originally designed for official sign writing. An illegible road sign can kill, but the cost of the "ink" is very high indeed. Frutiger is a good example of such a high-legibility font.
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