Using your printer to become more frugal

15th March 2017

5 minutes

While we may be transforming into a world of paperless offices, many of us still want and need to print out documents and emails for our records. But did you know that by simply changing the font you print in and what you’re printing, your business could save a significant amount throughout the year?

Changing your font

Different fonts have different weights to them, which can affect how much ink they use when printing. A study by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay found that by switching their email font from Arial to the “more efficient” Century Gothic, they were able to save 30% on ink. At a cost of $10,000 per gallon, that’s a huge saving.

We’ve looked at the costs of different typefaces to show how much your business could be saving by being smart with your fonts.

Our Periodic Table describes the percentage of page coverage each ink gives and the average amount it will cost your business per year. We’ve based our research on a business printing 250 pages per week, using HP 124A Toner which has a page yield of 2,500. The standard A4 page is based on Arial font in 11pt, which would cost your business an average of £468 per year.

From the table you can see there are some clear savings to be made:

  • By simply swapping from Arial 11pt (at £468) to Century Gothic 10pt (at £355.27), your business could save £112.73 per year.
  • Choosing the standard Times Roman font with 11pt text (at £364.56), could see your business save just over £125 annually compared to Tahoma (£490.53).
  • If you’re planning on going green, and want to cut your printing overheads in the process, Ecofont will cost you £357.34 – saving £110.66 compared to Arial.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that every change is a good one. You can save money by using a different typeface, but you can also end up costing your business more if you select an inefficient type. For example, using Franklin Gothic Medium in 11pt as your go-to font can see you spending £518.78 a year on printing, compared to £355.27 when using Century Gothic.

Sending things to print

When it comes to what you’re printing, here are three simple steps you can take to ease your printing remorse, reduce your costs and take care of the environment at the same time:Get the latest tips and office trends plus a £10 off special offer! Sign up now

Buy an efficient printer

Choose a printer with an ENERGY STAR label, these printers are designed to meet the most stringent energy efficiency guidelines, so could help you reduce your fuel bills. Also compare the cost per-page specifications to work out which model lets you print the most per ink or toner cartridge as this will not only reduce waste but also save you a lot of money long term.

Buying one centralised printer is better than having separate printers for different departments or teams, as the printer heads are kept moving and the ink or toner cartridges won’t have a chance to dry out. Consider choosing a printer with individual cartridges for each colour to avoid throwing out unused ink in other colours when you change the cartridge. A multifunction printer could also save on your running costs compared to having several machines sitting on standby.

Buy paper wisely

Look for paper with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) seal and you can be confident you’re making the eco-conscious choice. The FSC guarantees that harvested trees are replaced or allowed to regenerate, and that local communities, wildlife and fauna are protected.

You can also choose paper with high recycled content – look for paper with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled fibre, as this will help ensure that fewer trees have to be felled and less paper waste will be sent to landfill.

Remember to reuse and recycle

Recycle used printouts around the office to save on new paper. If it only has print on one side, you can flip it over and use it in the printer again. Another idea is to cut up scrap paper and use it for notes or reminders instead of Post-its. Keep a recycling bin near everyone’s desk so you can collect any paper that can’t be reused.

Get creative

While watching what font you use and what you print is important, you can also use your printer and a little imagination to cut back on costs yourself. Here are a few things that you can create with the help of your printer:

  • Wrapping paper

By printing your own wrapping paper, you can specifically tailor the paper to the person who is receiving the gift as well as print out the exact amount you need. You can also print out bows and gift tags and have a whole host of fun making your presents look beautiful.

  • Cards and invitations

Printing out your own cards can be a great way to save money. Birthday cards can be personalised with photos of you and loved ones, or you could use templates and your printer to create a number of personalised thank you cards and invitations.

  • Calendars

Calendars can be custom made to give as a gift, and can also be used for personal organisation. Using images on one half of a page with the month and dates underneath, you can make your own personal calendar, or you could print out each month on A4 paper and use it to organise your schedule and plan for any upcoming events.

  • Photographs

Instead of having to go to the shop and order your prints, you could use photograph paper and a printer to see your own images in minutes. Make sure to invest in some good quality photo paper and ink so you printouts look professionally finished.

To see our full range of Ink and Toner cartridges, from brands such as Brother, Canon, HP, Epson, and many more, click here.

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