Eco Design & Print Saving Rant

Every now and then I like to have a rant. (By the way, this post is sort of a rant) Usually its to the ex, who tells me to shut up, or Leo who goes along with it depending on his level of crankiness which can usually be moderated by inserting alcohol.

So I’ve been ranting about the amount of paper wasted by the publishing industry. I didn’t even notice it until I bought some vintage 70’s books and compared them a contemporary version of the same book.

The content is the same but the fonts used are huge. Ridiculous huge, (like a 13 to 14. Which is totally spastic), the line spacing seems to be doubled, so the book is actually 3 times as heavy, 3 times as thick, and using that much more paper.

I find this to be both wasteful and unnecessary (See the destructive logging going on like this here). It also takes too much space on bookshelf and costs more to post.

Leo argues that people want to feel that they’ve spent £8.00 for something chunky and weighty, that the retard font size is to allow all age ranges to read it.

I don’t think that’s a good enough argument to rationalize such an absolute waste of paper.

The first is about perceived value, I think this can be addressed in other ways besides width and weight; Cover art, box sets etc. Perceived value is something that naturally evolves. Eventually £8 will still seem like too much for a book that is chunky and heavy, so what then? An even bigger font? A sentence per page? If all books were thinner and lighter perceived value would in time rise or fall to match it.

The second one is more tricky. I think there is a compromise for the oldies. A medium-sized font with less line spacing would at least cut the paper by a quarter if not a half (I should really try to do a scientific test).

Use a smaller font, cut the spacing and maybe kill one less tree. It’s a simple and easily applicable solution. (I’m such a tree-hugger. I once didn’t talk to my Mom for a week cause she cut down a tree. And she purposely did it while we were away because she knew I’d be mad)

Heck, maybe even the price of a book could then be reduced. (Not that I need to buy any more books. BC count = 187. Closer and closer to that 700!)

Ok rant over. Now see some solutions:

In the midst of this Arctic blast, when the ice age has returned to punish us for our wasteful ways, it is perhaps a good time to mention some eco design tips.

Kini, Mrs. Kini’s husband (once Ratna), posted this (below). Printing PDF’s are completely wasteful (are you listening UKBA? You don’t need a 52 page visa form – Just allow us to do it online! This is the 21st century. Come on!)

My office is largely a printer free office. Mostly because the printer doesn’t work.

However now and then we seem to print files for digital designs. This is pointless. A click of a mouse later and your print is out of date. That PDF might as well go into the bin.

That’s why this unprintable PDF format is a great idea.

A new green file format: WWF.

“The WWF format is a PDF that cannot be printed out. It’s a simple way to avoid unnecessary printing. So here’s your chance to save trees and help the environment. Decide for yourself which documents don’t need printing out – then simply save them as WWF.


Click here to learn all about the WWF format…

The Eco Font

“During printing Ecofont ‘shoots’ holes into the letters that you have typed. This has no effect on legibility.

It enables you to save up to 25% of ink or toner. Both your wallet & the environment will be grateful to you, because ink & toner are a particularly heavy burden on both.”

Apparently they got the idea of the holes by looking at swiss cheese. (stooooooners). This isn’t a ‘font’ in itself. You use it with your existing font; Verdana, Arial, Times. Whatever. Very handy.

This font is no longer free to download (it’s been around for a while now, but I only found it recently) but considering the cost of frikkin ink cartridges it’s probably a good buy long-term: Click here to for the website

Well I think that’s all. Wasn’t this a responsible post? I’m very proud. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be regular thing, being responsible and shit.

If anyone knows any other good eco design things out there leave me a comment. In fact just leave me a comment anyway. I love comments. Even flamers and irate ones.

The irate ones are always funny.


4 thoughts on “Eco Design & Print Saving Rant

  1. love the snowflakes! and stop picking on the publishing industry dude, firstly you’re a huge subscriber. secondly, you think they’re the only ones who waste paper? wrong, they’re the easiest ones to pick on. all businesses (including schools and all kinds of offices) waste tons of paper, we all do. if you really want to pick on an industry that thrives on creating waste, why not pick on the ad industry. ok my rant is also over.

    I loved your solutions, by the way. how very responsible of you. (pat on shoulder)

Deranged comments preferred

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