Green Printing

The Ecofont

Impact on Green Printing

It was released late in 2008, but I've been waiting for the verdict on the Ecofont for a while. Based on Vera Sans, the font was created by SPRANQ, a creative communications agency in the Netherlands. It was designed and billed as an eco-friendly font because it uses less ink. National Geographic just featured it in their latest issue, so does that mean the Ecofont is catching on?

The Ecofont is full of holes, “like Dutch cheese,” and because of all these holes, claims to use up to 20% less ink. At a small font size, the holes are almost invisible, with the ink bleeding through to fill the holes. As the website says, “the results vary depending on the software and the quality of your screen.” So what do users and green print lovers have to say?

The opinion shared by those from Treehugger to Lifehacker seems to be that it's a great idea. A really super, clever, thoughtful idea. That being said, does the font save ink more than printing in greyscale or using a skinnier font? No. Does it look better than other ink-saving options? Not really. Does it have widespread commercial applications? On the contrary, it's really best suited to throwaway desktop printing needs.

However, all that being said, the Ecofont, having spent the last eight months out in the big, scary world, is still a great thing for the creative communications industry. Why? Because the future of what we do is all about innovation, and in particular, green innovation. Maybe all our ideas and prototypes won't be planet-savers, but hopefully, idealistically, like the Ecofont, they won't be hurting anyone either, and maybe, just maybe, these little gems of optimism and inventiveness will be enough to keep us talking, and keep us moving forward into a sustainable future.

That's the real success story of the Ecofont.


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