Tools + Supplies

Published on April 19th, 2010 | by Julie Finn


Crafting a Green Font: A Review of Ecofont

ecofontMy Papa, bless his heart, cannot STAND to see someone hemming and hawing in front of an open refrigerator door trying to decide what they want. It makes him sweat, like he can literally feel the pennies draining out of his pocket along with all that cold air.

I feel the same way about my printer ink. Seriously, I will do anything to avoid printing. And when my girls print stuff, and what they print is usually completely ridiculous and non-essential, I cannot STAND it. I can literally feel the pennies draining out of my pocket as all that pricey ink is frittered away.

Therefore, I heart Ecofont.

Ecofont markets itself as an eco-friendly typeface. It does this by being a holey font. When you print a document written in Ecofont, you’ll notice that the outline of each letter is present, but that the majority of the interior space is taken up with little blank spots. In a 10 or 12 point type, this isn’t noticeable. When the font is printed much larger, it becomes an interesting design element.

By putting holes in its type, Ecofont claims that it uses less ink; up to 25% less ink or toner. Mind you, I have no way to verify that data, and I don’t keep careful track of my own ink usage (those little girls and their ridiculous print jobs, remember?) to tell the story from my own perspective, but it does seem to make common sense, you know?

The Ecofont Vera Sans is a free font, and it’s the one that I use. Ecofont also offers a software package, for a fee, that says that it will turn any of YOUR fonts into an Ecofont. My graphic designer husband is tempted by this one, but so far we’ve confined ourselves to frequent home use of the free one.

An eco-friendly font is obviously of the greatest use to those who write a lot, like me. However, I also use Ecofont in craftier aspects. It’s interesting to use in scrapbooking, for instance. I’ve used it in a few layouts, and I occasionally use it in signage and banners and other situations in which the font is large enough that the holes have real impact.

What do you use cool fonts for? DIY business cards? Craft fair signs? What else?

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

3 Responses to Crafting a Green Font: A Review of Ecofont

  1. Eco font is great! I’ve been using it over a year as the headline font on the green news page in First News, the children’s newspaper in the UK. Just make sure you always use it on a white background because if it’s on a coloured background you end up using more ink than you would with a standard font.

  2. Jamie says:

    You might also try Century Gothic. The University of Wisconsin did some research and found that using Century Gothic when printing save about as much ink as using EcoFont and it’s already on most computers.

    Article over at Re-Nest

    Info at U of Wisconsin site

  3. Julie Finn says:

    Those are both AWESOME fonts! My husband is a graphic designer, so I’ve picked up a bit of pickiness about fonts from him, so that I won’t actually use a font unless I personally really like it. My guy, however, is such a font geek that he can recognize pretty much every font, and it really annoys him when fonts get overused–don’t even get him started on Comic Sans.

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