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14-Year Old Figures Out How U.S. Government Can Save $400 Million by Changing Fonts

First, he charted how often each character was used in four different typefaces: Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans. Then he measured how much ink was used for each letter, using a commercial tool called APFill® Ink Coverage Software.

Next he enlarged the letters, printed them and cut them out on cardstock paper to weigh them to verify his findings. He did three trials for each letter, graphing the ink usage for each font.

From this analysis, Suvir figured out that by using Garamond with its thinner strokes, his school district could reduce its ink consumption by 24%, and in turn save as much as $21,000 annually.

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Broken Window Theory says

we should use more ink, to increase GDP.

I don't prescribe that theory (fallacy) but I bet it wouldn't be too hard to find someone to say that decreasing the ink used would reduce sales for companies and be bad for the economy. (not to worry that 40cents of each dollar spent on ink is borrowed (printed), right?

This study should be extended

This study should be extended to include refilling used ink cartridges instead of buying new ones as well.

In the past few years I've refilled probably at least 10 times so far, maybe more. The refill kit cost under $20 while new ink would have been more than 10x that amount.


Corporate world works the

Corporate world works the same way

When I was in the Air Force...

I remember we were a month away from the end of the fiscal year, and we still had money in our budget. So they asked anyone if they wanted an extra gortex jacket or work boots. I didn't need them but I figured it was free stuff at the time. They had to spend all their unit budget or it would be cut down the next year, and nobody in government wants that.

The more important printing....

When you can print as much money as you need, and few understand that scam, does it matter how much is spent?

Imagine a government

That held contests -- with cash prizes -- where people could come up with cost saving measures -- that were implemented.


In America a third of the population wouldn't have to work anymore.
They could live off the prize money -- because there is so much waste.

There is a whole lot of truth in your comment

Back in the day I had a very close friend who worked in a mid management level in a government department. He witnessed hundreds of millions of dollars of flat out waste due to mismanagement.
What he proposed to was to be hired as an independent, forgo any benefits, retirement, salary, car etc and be paid only on a commission based on <1% of the savings he would propose, that was turned down flat.

Another way would be to give the people who work in the bureaucracy an anonymous "suggestion box", and pay a one time bonus of any cost savings based on their suggestion.

The fact is there is so much mismanagement and abuse entrenched in the system through regulations that it would take a miracle to change it. Remember the Grace commission report? What ever happened to that?

In news that even I could have told you..

This 14 year old is smarter than the whole department of Treasury.


Honestly, I would rather

They completely waste the money on ink, then spend it toward their tyrannical projects.

"Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito."

Ha! They'll do both

Ha! They'll do both

Inklings and Hobbits being thrifty and "helpful".

Now they're meddling in Government matters, we'll send the Orks to pay them a little visit.

With all due respect, I will no longer be a voting prostitute for Constitution rejecting harlots.

I'm sure the knee jerk reaction by government to this is

that's too little to bother with. The truth, is that the money is spent by government and no one in the government much cares what they spend, its not their money.

Pass it locally.

It can save your local governments some cash, they'd be more likely to respond to this. Or a school district. Pretty simple, just change the standard font.

It's not that it's saving a huge amount, but that it is saving some through a very simple reform, and that it may inspire similar saving in other areas through the same approach.

Even just getting a reform that is a simple money saver will promote fiscal responsibility.

Jack Wagner

Might not work.

HP ink cartridges have a page counter on them and report empty even when it's still got lots of ink left.

You can hack it with some tricks to get the rest out, but it would waste time.

The same thing applies to many of the laser printer toners. Hackable, but they want you to trash it when it's still full.


Black electrical tape over the "window" in my laser cartridge

gives another 6+ months.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know Peace." - Jimi Hendrix

Call me cheap, but

I have a HP laserjet and I take the cartridge out when it starts printing faint and shake it. Then it's good for another few weeks.

I don't even hack it!

I have been printing on these same cartridges for at least 3 months after the warning first appeared! I just leave them in despite the warnings until nothing comes out! They still work!

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


I do the same

then take out and re-insert, then run the little swiper/cleaner deal thing once that doesn't work any more, then once that stops working, I cover the side of the laser with electrical tape. After the electrical tape my record is about 6 times I thwarted it. This easily makes the ink last twice as long, and actually lets it work until the ink is actually kind of fading or printing poorly.

The problem is that many

The problem is that many manufacturers install a microchip on the ink cartridge and once it switches to "empty" mode, there is no easy way to circumvent....should be grounds for some kind of a class action fraud lawsuit...


Does that chip violate your liberty? Who's the victim of the crime? Haha, just kidding.

Its ink theft..haha

Its ink theft..haha

my family is in the ink business. ..

Coincidentally I don't like this at all.

Defeat the panda-industrial complex

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tasmlab's picture

Yah, we new "big ink" would quash this

Have your lobbyists go push Gill Sans Ultra Bold.


Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

respectfully disagree - everything the government publishes...

should be in comic sans.

Defeat the panda-industrial complex

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And in purple

And in purple