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Teen to save US government $400m

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#1 Casey_boy


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Posted 29 March 2014 - 12:31 PM

A 14-year-old student, named Suvir Mirchandani, has come up with a "why didn't I think of that" way to save the US government $400 million annually.

In a science fair project Suvir was looking for ways to cut down on waste and reduce expenditures for his middle school. Interested in computer science and in helping reduce our impact on the environment, Suvir decided to investigate how he could help reduce the amount of paper and ink the school was using. He came up with the standard improvements, such as printing in duplex and using recycled paper, but he also came across a novel idea: change the font.

By concentrating on the most commonly used letters (e, t, a, o and r) he determined the amount of ink required to print in four different fonts: Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans. He found that by using Garamond, his school could reduce its ink consumption by 24% or about $21,000 annually.
He then scaled this up to the US government, using several publicly available governmental sources. The US federal government's annual cost of ink is $467 million and the estimated saving would be around 30% or $136 million per year. If state governments are included in the calculation then the saving comes in at around $400 million per year. Since the font is thinner it would also increase the density of words on a page and thus cut down on paper usage too - something which hasn't been added to the savings total.


There is no word if the US government will be taking Suvir's suggestion on-board but in tough economical times where expenditure savings are always welcome - it would seem to make sense for this to be looked at.


Of course, these savings could also be achieved at any other institution - it doesn't just have to be the US government! Perhaps you're in charge of marketing or you're the IT guy at a company - could you see your company moving to a new default font to cut costs?



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#2 StanFF


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Posted 29 March 2014 - 01:09 PM

Well, this is quiet interesting and following the logic, it is completely possible to reduce the costs. On the other hand, I can see that here we are talking only about ink usage. As far as I know, most of the offices which print a large amount of pages on monthly basis use laser printers which rely on using toner. Toner in the last years has become based more and more on chemical substances. I really doubt that US government and also, most of the large offices use hardware based on ink usage.


Anyway, considering the information, it is quite good idea which can really cut costs to those who can benefit from it.




"There isn't a person anywhere who isn't capable of doing more than he thinks he can." - Henry Ford






#3 sreez


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Posted 29 March 2014 - 01:33 PM

Hi Suvir Mirchandani...

First of thanks for efforts and R&D. I was in your shoes before.

Anyways lets meet in person

Shreenivas Banoth

LIFE is so simple, if you know the reason of your existence at certain place. Treat every step as first one and trust god, friends, relatives and everyone.


Its a simple magic trick given to me by one friend also and I am at this stage  :love4u:

#4 911Truth


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Posted 29 March 2014 - 06:13 PM

Sadly, Adobe's licensing fee is $500 million a year....

#5 bludshot


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Posted 29 March 2014 - 06:25 PM

If the US government saved $400 m this way, they would immediately spend it on something else dumb. Net savings, $0

#6 UNC61


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Posted 30 March 2014 - 11:49 AM

The studies I have read indicate that for readability purposes, Verdana at a font size of 11 is the easiest to read. When it comes to government, anything they do to make their printing more readable is certainly beneficial to every citizen and quite possibly, every inhabitant of this planet. Therefore, I do not think that this type of approach gives adequate consideration to the "big picture." Hey, I am just an old, ugly and fat nerd, so what would I know.

#7 MakeItBetter


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Posted 30 March 2014 - 09:18 PM

I'm with UNC81 on this one...


It sounds good (*ahem* "on paper" :) )...but studies have shown that serif fonts (what we're talking about here) are easier to read on paper (and, curiously, sans-serif are easier to read on computers -- I'm sure there are some good physiological studies which explain why)...


...so the trade-off would be save money on ink, but slow down reading & reading comprehension.


It seems to me that the book publishing companies -- which have been using serif fonts for a long, long time -- would have been the first to start "saving money" by using the more ink-efficient sans-serif fonts if it were found to be truly worthwhile, no?


Other than that, a nice piece of research to figure out how much ink is used and how much it costs and how much is spent on ink per year...(I'm guessing not ALL of it is used on paper, however.  Just another piece of the puzzle...)





Edited by MakeItBetter, 30 March 2014 - 09:20 PM.

#8 Naught McNoone

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 03:23 PM

What I find so amazing about all this is that a 14 year old actually put some thought into it!  

Most 14 year olds I know have their head stuck up their IPod.


Thank you Suvir Mirchandani, for restoring my faith in youth.  

What ever comes from your idea, you deserve to be recognized.


Please keep up with the innovative thinking, and follow through with new ideas.  

I think that one day you will create "The Next Big Thing."




Naught McNoone

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