Save ink, save the planet. Eco-friendly font helps both your budget and environment

Updated: 2021-06-25

I was once told that the price of printer ink is double that of luxury champagne per the same volume of liquid used? Did you know that? It would be a big waste of such a precious liquid if even one drop went to waste!

This article on how to prolong the useful life of ink cartridges likely won’t give you tips on how not to waste champagne, but it does contain a summary of how to avoid wasting the precious printer ink.

Don’t worry about your printer’s warnings about low ink levels

Do you have an ink-level warning on your printer that flashes all the time and constantly reminds you that the ink level is critically low? You can simply ignore the warnings in the beginning. According to a PC World magazine lab test, the average cartridge still had between 8 and 45 percent of their ink remaining when it started giving the warning message.

By changing the font, you can extend the life of the cartridge by 30%

Many decorative fonts and bold fonts eat up a great deal of ink. There was a case, which made its way through the media a few years ago, in which a 14-year-old boy proposed cost-saving measures that were supposed to save the US government $136 million. The only thing the government had to do was switch to a more economical font when printing public government documents. 

Yes, things as simple as the fonts that you use can either contribute or neglect green printing.

Formatting the files that you need to print can save more than just trees. Clearly, formatting the files or printer setting does not only save on paper but also on other resources like ink or toner and energy.

When formatting the text you need to remember:

  • Selecting the right font and the right font size can allow you to maximize the amount of characters in a page. This, in turn, reduces the amount of pages that you have to print.
  • It will also be worth it to keep in mind to choose a font that is not very wide. For example, the Courier type of font has wide letters so that each word typed will occupy bigger spaces on the page. Try Arial Narrow to see the difference, narrower font types can help increase the amount of words per page.
  • As much as possible, avoid typing with boldface fonts because this does not only consume more ink or toner, it also takes up more spaces on the page. In both cases, you do not only save on the number of pages consumed when the document is printed. You also get to save on your ink or toner as well as on other resources like time and electricity.

Did you know that you can save 30% on ink if you replace Arial with Century Gothic in your printed documents? 

Garamond family fonts (Linotype Garamond, Monotype Garamond) are considered to be the most economically sound typeface ever created (among the most widely used types). The same is true for Century Gothic.

Times New Roman or Courier are also some of the most economical fonts available. In contrast, fonts, such as Impact or Cooper Black, are big, fat, ink-draining fonts.

Cost-efficient and eco-friendly fonts

Eco-friendly font options are not a new concept. Printing less means decreased paper consumption, less ink used. Using Ecofont, you can change individual characters in any font (regardless of how it looks) to a more economical version. 


Ecofont is the name of both the family of ink-friendly fonts and the dutch company that developed them in order to reduce ink consumption when printing.

Each character in the Ecofont family of fonts contains tiny holes. The Ecofont company claims that this reduces the amount of ink needed by approximately 15 per cent when compared to the original, standard font. 

While you probably won’t be able to tell the difference if you look at the final printout, your ink cartridges will be much fuller as they would be if you had printed the document the usual way.

Ecofont is also the source of what is claimed to be the world’s most economical font. Ecofont Vera Sans characters contain small holes, which makes printing with this font more economical. In small print sizes, the “holes” are almost unrecognisable.

Ryman Eco Font

A similar idea came from the British office supplies company Ryman Stationery. Their Ryman Eco is supposed to be the most beautiful eco-friendly font in the world. You can download this font for free, and it requires only a third of the ink that conventional fonts do.

Be sure to check the printer settings and take advantage of the additional print modes that your printer offers

Did you ever take the time to go over the software options for the printing preferences in more detail? Yes, even the operating system on your computer has several options you should consider before printing:

Black and white printing

When you print your documents in black and white, all the colour sections, including charts, headers, footers, and images, are converted to greyscale, so they look like black and white. And your computer will consume only the minimum of the colour cartridges.

Economy mode

With the economy mode, you can save significantly on printing cartridges. Often, lower ink consumption comes at the expense of reduced print quality as part of the trade-off. Economy mode, also known as eco mode or draft mode in English, is frequently used to speed up the process of printing a document, most often for preview purposes. However, for many types of documents, its quality is more than adequate.

Multiple pages per sheet

If you print multiple pages per sheet, you can save a lot of ink and paper. Easily choose the number of pages you want to fit on a single page using the print preferences. Perfect for printing lengthy powerpoint presentations.

The highest print resolution is really only beneficial when you are going to print photos. In nearly all other cases, it’s a waste of ink. Unless you have a highly specific need, you should test your printer’s output quality at the lowest resolution setting possible to verify whether it is sufficient for your needs. In most cases, this will be more than sufficient for printing documents.

Use print preview and don’t print unnecessary pages

It is especially important to do this when printing emails or web pages. There are some people who open up the print dialog box and click straight on the “print” button, however, it is very likely that they’re printing a lot of blank or very poorly covered pages.

The print preview function allows you to see what the resulting document will look like before printing. If you throw out unnecessary pages, you will be able to save tons of office paper, but you will also ensure that you do not exhaust your ink cartridge as quickly.

Inkjet printers need regular printing

Unlike laser printers, which require almost no maintenance, inkjet printers are prone to drying out of the ink. Every time you print, the print head nozzles become clogged with ink, and if they are not used regularly, the ink in the nozzles will dry up.

Ink build up in the print head is handled automatically by the printer, which automatically triggers nozzle cleaning mode if the print head becomes caked with ink residue from the previous print. The question is, at what cost?

There is a lot of ink used in the cleaning process. Printing regularly is the best way you can prevent losing valuable ink unnecessarily.

Get a bargain on consumables

If you are looking for cheap printing as your number one priority, you should consider buying compatible cartridges in addition to the advice above. It is a new, unused cartridge (not remanufactured) that is not manufactured under the company’s brand but by an external supplier, which is not part of the manufacturer’s chain of manufacturing.