A Simple Printing Solution to Aid Deficit Reduction

(1) Fox Chapel Area Senior High School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (2) Dorseyville Middle School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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The printing-related expenditure that is budgeted in 2014 for U.S. Federal agencies is $1.8 billion. Even though printing expenditure has been decreasing in recent years, it continues to be high and a small percentage decrease in printing expenditure due to a font change could result in substantial monetary savings. A sample of five publically available documents produced by various federal agencies is analyzed and the cost savings arising from a change in font type are estimated. To make the comparison, fonts that were found to be efficient in a previous study and those recommended by the government are used. The results are then extrapolated to state and local governments. Assumptions are made based on public data to make these assessments. A sensitivity analysis is completed with respect to assumptions that have the most uncertainty. The analysis predicts that the Government’s annual savings by switching to Garamond are likely to be about $234 million with worst-case savings of $62 million and best-case savings of $394 million. Indirect benefits arising from a less detrimental impact on the environment due to lower ink production and disposal volumes are not included in these estimates. Times New Roman is not as efficient as Garamond, and the third federally-recommended font, Century Gothic, is actually worse on average than the fonts used in the sample documents.

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