Teen Shows US Government How to Save $234 mn: Change The Font!

Suvir Mirchandani

Now this, is genius. 14 year old Suvir Mirchandani has just told the US Government how to save $234 mn: just change your font!

The sixth grade student at Doresyville Middle School started this as a science project. The premise, CNN reports, was that ink is costlier than french perfume! Suvir analyzed different handouts he received in school and figured out that using the Garamond font (which is thinner), his school district could cut down ink consumption by a fourth! That is, $21,000 in savings a year!

The US government has an annual printing expense of $1.8 bn. The government’s General Services Administration has an estimated annual cost of $467 mn on Ink. By using Garamond everywhere, it could save up to 30% or $136 mn every year, Suvir reported in the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI)

Here’s an excerpt from his findings

A Government Services Administration study (6) had estimated the cost of ink (toner) to be 25.86% of the total cost of ownership of a printer (Footnote 2). Assuming this percentage, the estimated 2014 ink cost by the federal government is $467 million. A savings of 29.24% by switching to Garamond translates into an equivalent dollar amount of more than $136 million at the federal government level.

The estimated total printing expenditure by all state and local governments taken together is $1.28 billion per year. This translates to a savings of $97 million with a font switch. Including the savings at the state and local levels leads to national savings of more than $136 + $97 = $234 million just by switching the font type to Garamond.

Here’s the full study.