On margins, fonts, and paper usage

Posted on April 28th, 2010 by

As I was carrying the 80 page faculty meeting packet from my post office box back to my office, I started to think again about paper usage on campus.  Last semester, Chloe Radcliffe pointed out that reducing default margin sizes from 1.25 inches to 0.5 inches reduces paper usage by 25%, and I see that the Curriculum Committee report this month has used thin margins.  In addition, some schools are also changing the default font on all campus computers to a font that uses less ink.  For example, Garamond and Century Gothic both use less ink than Times New Roman (and Microsoft’s new default, Cambria) as nicely demonstrated by designer Matt Robinson in the graphic below that shows the amount of ink remaining in a pen after writing the same amount of text in different fonts.  Provost Fienen’s report to the Board of Trustees that was included in this month’s faculty packet uses Garamond.  How much money could Gustavus save on printing costs by changing the default margins and fonts on all campus computers?  Could the disk image that GTS installs be changed to encourage the use of smaller margins and less ink-consuming fonts?  However, even if we change fonts and margins, sending an 80 page packet to 199 full-time faculty and 87 part-time faculty is still a lot of paper and a lot of ink usage.  Do we need a paper copy of the entire faculty meeting packet since pdf copies are also available online?  Could some compromise be reached?

Update: Marketing and Communication uses Garamond as the default font for Gustavus stationary, including the letterhead that Provost Fienen used for his faculty meeting report.


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