14-Year-Old Shows How Changing Fonts Can Save Gov. $136m

If you were to ask someone if printing off copies of something is wasteful, most will respond that it is. However, when people say that, it is normally because of how inefficient paper is, but a 14-year-old in Pennsylvania has revealed that ink is incredibly wasteful as well.

14-Year-Old Shows How Changing Fonts Can Save Gov. $136mIt all started when Suvir Mirchandani, a student at Dorseyville Middle School, picked up on the fact that he was receiving far more handouts than when he was in elementary school. Mirchandani’s main concern when he realized this was that it could be a wasteful activity to hand out such a significant amount of paper.

Upon completing a few calculations that compared some of the most popular fonts (Century Gothic, Comic Sans, Garamond, and Times New Roman), he discovered that by switching from Times New Roman to Garamond, his school district could save $21,000 annually. Since the savings were so substantial on a small scale, he began researching what the switch would do for the US Government.

The government currently has an annual ink budget (yep, that is a real thing) of $467 million and based upon peer-reviewed calculations led by Mirchandani, switching to Garamond would save the US $136 million.

According to CNN, a media manager for the Government Printing Office responded to the study by saying that the teen’s work is “remarkable.”

Mirchandani was able to get his work published in the Journal for Emerging Investigators and since doing so, he has received a ton of attention.

Not only is it amazing that such a simple change could yield multi-million dollar savings but the fact that a young teen discovered the impact that it would have is very impressive.

Since the Garamond font is by no means odd or unprofessional, it is possible that some government agencies will actually adopt the change. Even if the government doesn’t, at least school districts like Mirchandani’s will have a new way to save money.

Question – Will the government switch to Garamond now that the benefits have been pointed out?


Summary: A 14-year-old has published a peer-reviewed study that shows how the government could save $136m each year. The study shows that the savings come by simply changing the font that is used on handouts.

image credit: paper-leaf