The Ecology of the Font

My friend Caroline is wild about fonts, reading book after book on their variability and creation. I’ve been known to fall in love with a particular font as well. At the same time, I’m one of those environmentalists who cringes when I notice one of my workmates purposefully printing a reverse white-on-black sheet of paper. Sure, it would be nice if we had a color printer, but color or white-on-black has little practical use in our healthcare-related positions.

So it was with interest that I read an article about Suvir Mirchandani in the New York Times a few weekends ago. At 14, he’s published a study of the way entities can save money and ink by judiciously picking a font. Three contenders were Times New Roman, Century Gothic, and Garamond.


Garamond turned out to be the winner as far as using the least amount of ink. Since it is a slightly “thinner” font, I’m wondering if the readability is less than the standard Times New Roman. Since it is lighter, will it cause eye strain? Will agents and editors rebel?

While writing this, I found links to many sites with free fonts to download. (For example Intavant, and Dafont.) Maybe it’s time to give up the dream of a career in writing and revert to making posters for post.

Do you have a favorite font?









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  1. #1 by cryptictown on April 14, 2014 - 7:39 am

    I keep coming back to Georgia. And I know at least one editor who hates TNR, for the same reason I do–it’s too crammed-together.

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