Could this be the David that takes down Goliaths like HP, Canon and Epson?

Architects have been using perforated metal panels like this for a long time. The holes are spaced and cut in a way that does not compromise the overall strength of the material, while removing a substantial portion of the weight, making it easy to use these panels for applications from facade to railing panels (with the bonus of allowing some light through and sometimes making interesting patterns from).


What happens when the same spirit is taken to typefaces? That’s what happened to Ecofont (a free font), designed with minute perforations in its face without sacrificing legibility:


The Ecofont is developed by SPRANQ, based on a hunch of Colin Willems. We tried lots of possible ink-saving-options. From extra thin letters to letters with outlines only. We have ommited various shapes: dashes, squares, triangles and even asterisks. In the end the circle was choosen as the best candidate for the job.

With the Ecofont SPRANQ hopes to increase environmental awareness too. Increasing customer awareness about printing behavior: is printing really necessary or (partly) a waste of ink and paper? We also hope to inspire software giants and printer manufacturers to innovate in an environmentally conscious manner.

Would this be a small catalyst that dramatically reduces printing ink needs? Probably not – but still, I liked the interesting thought and cross-field application of the same concept!


2 comments so far

  1. Sean on

    Interesting idea. As an architect, I am familiar with this strategy (used in structural elements in addition to panels). However, I am skeptical how effective this current design really is. I mean, you have to be using giant letters to see any real savings in ink and it would be unnoticeable when used at a traditional size (10 or 12 point). this would be great for building signage or any large-scale advertising or signage in general.

    Maybe there’s a more spartan design that would be both legible at typical scales and achieve the goal of using less ink than ecotext.

  2. Jochem on

    The free Ecofont vera sans has evolved into software that shoots holes in your fonts.
    It works with your current fonts, so no need to change your docs or house style. Although you don’t see the holes, they are there and save toner.

    Despite what some vendors say, Ecofont works on all brands such as Xerox, HP, Canon, Ricoh or lexmark.
    Since Ecofnt saves 25% toner it is not hard to imagine why printer vendors are not happy with Ecofont

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