This research investigates the effects that font choice, typographic design, and page layout have on the conservation of ink and paper. This is one part of a broader concern with the environmental sustainability of digital printing. The particular focus of this report is on thesis guidelines for graduate students in the School of Print Media at RIT. The preparation and printing of theses is a salient area of paper and ink consumption at an institution of higher education and research. Established, well-defined thesis guidelines permit precise comparisons of the effects of different typographic factors on materials consumption. Three different aspects were investigated in the preparation and publication of graduate theses in order to determine the amount of reduction possible in paper and ink consumption. A high measurable potential for waste reduction was found. The first aspect is the modification of typographic parameters—within current established guidelines—to reduce paper use. Following this, changes to the typographic components of the thesis guidelines were recommended to increase paper savings further. The second aspect is the selection of alternative, ink-economical typefaces and fonts to reduce ink consumption. The third aspect is modification of the letter forms of fonts to reduce ink consumption even further while maintaining apparent readability. It was found that measurable, material savings can be derived from changes to all these aspects of thesis guidelines, and it is expected that similar savings may be derived from the applications of similar methods to more general institutional printing.
Bigelow, Charles; Dowd-Hinkle, Dealva J.; Horowitz, Daniel; and Voorhees, Garret, "Sustainable by design: an investigation into ecologically friendly typography" (2011). Accessed from
Department, Program, or Center
Printing Industry Center (CIAS)
RIT – Main Campus