October 17, 2018

Font

Cost Cutting Measure of the Day: Ditching Arial Typeface

This story is republished from CFOZone, where you’ll find news, analysis and professional networking tools for finance executives.

Looking for an easy way for your company to save a few bucks on office supplies? Change the font in the documents you print, reports the Associated Press.

The idea is simple enough: Certain fonts use different amounts of ink. That Arial font Word formerly defaulted to actually cost you money compared to using something like Century Gothic. For example, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has asked its faculty and staff to switch to Century Gothic for all printed documents. By doing so, the school figures it could save between 5 and 10 percent on its annual $100,000 ink and toner bill.


But such a switch could create more problems, because documents printed in Century Gothic tend to run longer than others. So while you may save on ink, you’re now getting smacked by bigger paper costs.

But it’s certainly interesting to think about how typography affects our business world. I highly recommend the documentary “Helvetica“, which explores arguably the most used typeface in Corporate America (think New York subway signs, American Airlines, AT&T and Jeep, among many others) and why we find it so appealing.

The AP story offers up a great example of how powerful type can be. In order to discourage people from printing too many documents, Microsoft even switched its default font from Times New Roman to Cambria for serif type and from Arial to Calibri for sans-serif.

The thinking? “The more pleasing a font looks on the screen, the less tempted someone will be to print,” the AP reported.