Teen’s inky idea can save government millions

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Garamond is a much thinner font than others.

Having your own printer at home is extremely convenient, but as many first-time owners soon discover, refilling the ink cartridges can be surprisingly pricy. Even the USA government has set aside a mega $1.8 billion budget for printing alone! However, thanks to 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani’s discovery, they could save millions of dollars just by changing the font style of the text!

The idea started off as a project for a middle school science fair. Mirchandani was thinking of the volumes of paper handouts he usually receives, and then began to wonder how much money the school was wasting on them.

In order to find out, he analyzed the most common letters in the English language: e, r, t, a, and o. He printed them in four different styles – Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans – and then measured how much ink was used across the different typefaces.

According to his results, Garamond is the most money-saving choice. He calculated that his school district could save about $21,000 if they made the switch to this thin, elegant font. If the Government Printing Office opted for the same font, it could save them around $136 million per year! Finally, all of the state governments put together could keep a cool $234 million in their pockets by jumping on board. In fact, some government officials are quite impressed with his work, but they probably won’t make the switch anytime soon. Still, Mirchandani says people at home would benefit from the information.

Featured image courtesy of DragonLord on Wikimedia. Image of font comparison courtesy of the Journal of Emerging Investigations/Suvir Mirchandani.