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Save Your Firm Money: Change the Font of Your Emails

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

Before you hit Ctrl + P, pause for a moment.

Think of the environment, and the forest of trees that were cut down just so you could print out that thousand-page deposition. If that doesn't get you riled up, think of how much money you are spending on each document and e-mail you send to the printer.

First, paper costs. Then, printer maintenance costs. Lastly, and most importantly, ink costs. Remarkably, changing the default font of your office e-mail system can end up saving you and your law firm some serious change.

The University of Wisconsin, Green Bay is doing just that. The school has decided to make the switch from using Arial as its default e-mail font to Century Gothic. According to studies, Century Gothic uses about 30% less ink than Arial. And, it's highly readable.

Generally, the "thinner" the lines of the font, the less printer ink it will use, according to CBS News. Serif fonts, like the ever-popular Times New Roman, tend to consume less ink. According to a study by, the top ink-friendly fonts were Century Gothic, Times New Roman, Calibri, Verdana, Arial and Sans Serif.

A gallon of printer ink can cost you up to $10,000, reports CBS News. By switching to a font that uses 30% less ink, your firm could wind up saving thousands of dollars.

Of course, it would likely be impractical for a law firm to mandate that associates only print in one font. But, by changing the default font in a firm's e-mail system, firms can end up cutting costs on e-mail printouts.

Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to switching to a more ink-friendly font. Thinner fonts may end up being wider, like Century Gothic, which can push a printout onto additional pages. While paper costs are not as high as ink costs, the environmental cost of additional paper are higher, according to CBS News.

For firms who want to cut costs on printing, the simplest method provides the most savings: don't print at all. Advising associates and employees to only print when necessary can save trees, ink, and money in one fell swoop.

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