The Dutch company SPRANQ has released a new environmentally friendly, free to use font called “Ecofont.” The idea behind Ecofont is to use small circular holes in the letters, cutting ink usage by 20%. Using the new font can reduce operating costs and the company hopes it will also help spread environmental awareness.
SPRANQ’s earlier font design included zebra-like stripes and using thin or partial letters. “It turns out that it’s necessary to preserve the size and outline of letters to keep them readable,” company co-founder Gerjon Zomer says. However, with plenty of testing, the team established that the Swiss-cheese design was the most efficient. After extensive trials, the company found out that the Ecofont is most effective at the sizes of 9 or 10 on paper.
SPRANQ provides Ecofont free for home users and for businesses, and there is also a sans serif Verdana version that would be suitable for internal company printing. By using the new font companies and individuals can cut up to one fifth of their ink costs with minimal effort.
The team at SPRANQ also hopes that the font will increase environmental awareness, giving a few tips such as to mention that home users should only print when necessary and use a modern, efficient printer with unbleached paper. Graphic designers should use advanced colour separation techniques to prevent pointless ink wastage. People should try to use plant-based ink and to avoid conventional laser techniques that make ink inseparable from the paper.
Not only is the font is a free, but is also open-source and the company is inviting developers to enhance the Ecofont further. Zomer says Arabic and Hebrew versions are already under development.
TFOT has previously written about “Printing in Green,” which is the world’s first “green” laser toner that is derived from soybeans. You can also check out our article about a green computing study and practice of efficient and eco-friendly computing resources, and Xerox’s Inkless Printer which does not require ink of any kind.
Additional information on the Ecofont can be obtained at the company’s website.
Anu has a bachelor's degree in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering from Monash University Malaysia. She is currently working as a Research Assistant at Monash. Anu has published an academic paper on robotics and artificial intelligence at MTC 2008 – IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference in Victoria, Canada.