Join 3,374 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


succinct
January 14, 2009 3:42 PM   Subscribe

If you're feeling guilty about that long flight from San Francisco to Berlin you can use EcoFonts (which is created by omitting parts of the letter) to assuage your carbon-heavy guilt.
posted by plexi (56 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Wait, this font is eco-friendly because it prints with less ink in the letter? Ie, it's lower contrast, grey on white? I'm reminded of these dumb-ass 71 watt "ecofriendly" lightbulbs in my grocery store. They're just like regular 75W bulbs only dimmer.
posted by Nelson at 3:49 PM on January 14, 2009


A so, y u c ld ju t le ve o t ra d m le ers a t ge h r.
posted by LeLiLo at 3:51 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is there an Ecofont serif too?
The Ecofont is (also) intended for business purposes. In business environments the sans serif Verdana - on which the Ecofont is based - is often used.


That is such a great non answer.

The only thing that could have made this cooler is if they based it on Comic Sans, Market Felt, or Hobo.
posted by birdherder at 3:53 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


there are no flights from San Francisco to Berlin.
posted by krautland at 3:56 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


serifs waste a lot of ink

I like that they tell you the font is horrible-
At the shown size, this obviously is not very nice
posted by bhnyc at 3:57 PM on January 14, 2009


Or you could stop printing off any and all Harry Potter / Carebears slashfics you find, or manually forwarding your favorite LOLcats to your mother. All the slashfics end the same way (Voldemort and Professor Coldheart fall madly in love, breaking the wicked spell they cast over the land), and your mom has her own cat.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:57 PM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Nelson, Fonts can only be solid filled shapes.
posted by Brainy at 3:58 PM on January 14, 2009


Let's see, how much energy will this save the fuser in a laser printer? Oh, none? Well that's helpful.

/snark
posted by bangalla at 3:58 PM on January 14, 2009


Together as a human race we will form an eco-friendly world that is stupid, ugly, and difficult to read.
posted by goldfinches at 3:59 PM on January 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


I feel like such a tool downloading an installing the eco font. I'm stupid, I figure if I can do something to help mother Gaia, why the hell not. Then it occurred to me I could scale printing 50% and save a million times the toner and this was the dumbest thing since the Fox NFL football robot.
posted by Keith Talent at 4:04 PM on January 14, 2009


Or you could just stay in San Francisco.
posted by chillmost at 4:07 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, at least it made me investigate what other great ideas SPRANQ have come up with...

...ok, I'm lying, it didn't.



Seriously, I wonder if they missed the bit where you can turn down the quality on your printer to save ink?
posted by Sova at 4:11 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


The FAQ was missing my question: Seriously?
posted by Adam_S at 4:13 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Then it occurred to me I could scale printing 50% and save a million times the toner and this was the dumbest thing since the Fox NFL football robot.

check mate.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 4:14 PM on January 14, 2009


The title on my next homework assignment will be just big enough so that the teacher might pause for a while and wonder if she has gone krzy, or if these letters really have holes.
posted by Corduroy at 4:15 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is silly.
posted by Pants! at 4:16 PM on January 14, 2009


From the FAQ: How can Ecofont be free?

I'm sure they get asked that all the time.
posted by enn at 4:20 PM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


You know, not to derail the hate train too much - but convenience printed documents could benefit.

If I'm printing out Google maps directions, a long grocery list, labels for spice jars/drawers and such - what's the harm? There isn't any. Will I save any appreciable amount of ink or toner? Possibly - over a long enough period of time. And if you combined this with dialed-down quality settings, all the better.

This font isn't going to save the whales, though I don't think anyone is making any incredible claims.
posted by terpia at 4:22 PM on January 14, 2009


o_0
posted by netbros at 4:23 PM on January 14, 2009


huh. I wonder if my printer has a high enough resolution for this to actually do anything with the blank spaces at size 12. The header image on the website barely has dots, and that's easily mid 20s.
posted by niles at 4:33 PM on January 14, 2009


All those holes and extra curves must at least quadruple the CPU load to rasterise those fonts. While you may output less ink, you consume additional energy equivalent to a person googling how much water to boil in a kettle to make a cup of tea.

Perspective, Design, perspective, or your good intentions and pilfering of the commons will be the death of us all.
posted by davemee at 4:35 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Or you could just stay in San Francisco.

This is simply not an option with all the heavy smug warnings they've been having lately.
posted by mannequito at 4:54 PM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


I once flew from San Francisco to Berlin in the form of a bird, harried the whole time by fonts with holes in their soles san serfed. I worried about losing my self serifs the whole time, but I think the Earth was okay with it.
posted by Mister Cheese at 5:01 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


SPRANQ does not intend to make the Ecofont profitable.

Can you imagine if they tried? Great business plan there, Ed. "We're gonna sell fonts with holes in them!"
posted by cjorgensen at 5:04 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Someone download this and use it to make up for my love of boldface.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:06 PM on January 14, 2009


Or we could just print everything on microfilm and carry around magnifying glasses.

This reminds me of a backpacking fanatic I knew. He'd chop down the handle of his tooth brush and drill holes in the remainder to lighten his pack. But then he'd bring a cast iron frying pan because it was better for cooking.

Maybe if I'm printing out banners and posters I'll save some money with this font. Maybe. And this is a lot of hype behind a font. Usually, I just get my fonts for free (though I think you have to pay to use some of these fonts for commercial purposes.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:13 PM on January 14, 2009


This is simply not an option with all the heavy smug warnings they've been having lately.

Oh, it's not so bad. You're just jealous of how totally super hella awesome this city is.

Between the endless canyons of streets never less than 3 stories tall, the hipster scum on single-speed, freewheel-free bikes that cost more than your used car, the lightning-fast and ever reliable MUNI system and the startlingly diverse ecosystem of urban outdoorsmen ranging from 16 year old junkies to grizzled whitehairs older and crazier than god and a bottle shop on nearly every corner you can't help but clear that heavy smug right out of your head with the warm fuzzy thoughts of maybe catching TB on the bus or the incessant, delicious pains of a scarred liver.
posted by loquacious at 5:13 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think my business plan of making each individual letter have their own specific weight has better ecological standing.

All the vowels are of course the lightest when printing, and the hardier consonants such as Q, K, V, etc. all weigh twice as much as do the vowels and half-again as much as the other letters.

I have devised a PowerPoint presentation that outlines each letters' relative printing weight and the overall cost-effectiveness ratio of printing the lightest weight letters over the span of a typical financial quarter.

In a similar presentation, I outline the Lean Six Sigma approach of utlitizing the Hawaiian language in office settings to further reduce costs.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:15 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just ran some test with this font.

I set up a 3000 page document in both Times News Roman and the eco font.

It took my computer 4 minutes to convert, at full processor use, which is more than 75W. It then took the ripper 7 minutes more to process the eco-fonted document, and the ripper (is that the right term? That is what IT calls the computer sitting between the network and the printer) uses at least 50W. The printing took about the same time.

So, using their font consumed an extra (4 minutes * 75 W) + (7 minutes * 50 W) = 39,000 joules, or 9,321 calories.

Unpacking and loading 7,500 sheets of paper into the printer consumed more calories, I had to carry them all the way from the supply room.

This font fails at its stated purpose, and looks ugly.

All the numbers all made up, can I get published now too?
posted by dirty lies at 5:24 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


single-speed, freewheel-free bikes that cost more than your used car

Can't even bring yourself to write the words, it's that bad? Like G_d or something.

Latest annoying email sig file trend spotted is this: "Please think of the environment and don't print this message."
posted by fixedgear at 5:28 PM on January 14, 2009


loquacious said hella

he is so 415, ballin' round the 850 with his one-five-one
posted by dirty lies at 5:30 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I intend to install stenotype keyboards on all the computers in my office, saving not only on alphabetic characters but also on keys and keycaps. If more people copied my plan (which I offer for free, I intend to benefit mankind and the planet itself with no attempt at personal gain), the conservation of letters and energy savings from keystrokes would be incalculable.
posted by ardgedee at 5:31 PM on January 14, 2009


Good start, but we should ban the second "g" from the word "egg" and also execute all people named Geoff.
posted by queensissy at 5:41 PM on January 14, 2009


Contrary to the sophisticated "greenwashing" campaign being run by the Ecofont cartel, the ecofont increases your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of carbon toner that you sequester in the local dump!
posted by -harlequin- at 5:52 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is a powerfully stupid idea. I stand in awe of it.
posted by brundlefly at 6:02 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Then it occurred to me I could scale printing 50% and save a million times the toner and this was the dumbest thing since the Fox NFL football robot.

There's also economy mode. This topic has already been thought about a loooong time ago.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:06 PM on January 14, 2009


You know, for kids.
posted by Grundlebug at 6:19 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Holy shit, Grundlebug. I was just about to say that!
posted by brundlefly at 6:20 PM on January 14, 2009


W cld sv lts mr nk b lmntng vwls.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:36 PM on January 14, 2009


Laminating vowels? But think of all that plastic!!
posted by pompomtom at 7:06 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT *****IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT****IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT******

Starting 1/14/08 We will require ALL documents to be written in lower cases only-- that is in lower cases only--as studies have proven that ALL CAPS require more ink. We Must Preserve Our Ink At All Cost. THINK before you capitalize. "Is this capital letter necessary?" REMEMBER, THINK GREEN: The Earth Will Thank You!

Also, starting 1/14/08 We will require all unnecessary punctuation to be removed before printing. Unnecessary: colon; semi-colon; & ampersand. If you feel that this punctuation is vital to your document, YOU MUST CONTACT your immediate supervisor to receive a waiver form [12017D] Brackets may be utilized, but only with extreme caution.

posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:59 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I went back and looked again and you know, the font looks kinda cool at large size. A novelty with the white space showing through. They missed their calling.

Also: they should have called this font "Helvetica Cheese".
posted by Nelson at 8:40 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if this is a legal alteration of Verdana. Looking at the curves, it's obviously an altered version of that face. Verdana's license doesn't, from what I can see, allow for something like this.

BTW, the holes plug up at 8.25 point on most printers.

This is a nice idea, but in practice it's simply idiotic.

Helvetica Neue light condensed, Univers Condensed, and the tremendously legible (and readable!) Amplitude Condensed (which has the added bonus of nice deep ink traps) - and a dozen other more easily readable faces - use less toner per character, and due to their width, they fit the same amount of copy ONTO LESS PAPER, which is far more "green" than using a few microns less toner.

Saving paper and toner are a subject deserving of real innovation and critical thought, not cheesy greenwash solutions like EcoFont.
posted by luriete at 9:15 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, wait. This means that Teresa Nielsen Hayden was really a... radical environmentalist?
posted by rokusan at 9:16 PM on January 14, 2009


I think that MeFi really shines when it's Dumbest of the Web, actually. More like this, please.
posted by rokusan at 9:17 PM on January 14, 2009


Making an extra-bold font and then cutting holes in it to "save toner" is right up there with ordering a double-bacon cheeseburger with a Diet Coke.
posted by rokusan at 9:23 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


what tehy dont tell u is that its mexican kids or maybe like chinese who has 2 sit there + drill all th eholes..... ib bet its like 16 hrz a day ro somethin
posted by Eideteker at 6:07 AM on January 15, 2009


I wonder if this is a legal alteration of Verdana.

The front page of the site claims it's based on Vera Sans, though they screw up in the FAQ and say Verdana. Shrug.

Are we sure this isn't an elaborate prank?
posted by ook at 6:36 AM on January 15, 2009


Come on. "SPRANQ"? That's about as subtle as "SAHOKES" or "SPARODEE" or "SOHOWMUCHMOREOBVIOUSCANWEMAKETHISJOKE."
posted by nicepersonality at 6:56 AM on January 15, 2009


> I wonder if this is a legal alteration of Verdana.

The font is derived from Vera, a Bitstream font provided under a license similar to the BSD license (or to Creative Commons Share-Alike excepting the part about attributions, since Bitstream doesn't want to take credit/blame for what people do with the font).

'Bitstream Vera Fonts Copyright
The fonts have a generous copyright, allowing derivative works (as long as "Bitstream" or "Vera" are not in the names), and full redistribution (so long as they are not *sold* by themselves). They can be be bundled, redistributed and sold with any software.
'
posted by ardgedee at 7:12 AM on January 15, 2009


I wonder how much that font would have to be used to neutralise the carbon footprint caused by hosting that website.
posted by benwad at 7:19 AM on January 15, 2009


What would Al Gore do? It is his internet after all.
posted by RubberHen at 7:25 AM on January 15, 2009


They say Bitstream Vera in the FAQ now. Are they changing this as they go along?
posted by dabitch at 7:25 AM on January 15, 2009


But rokusan, diet coke tastes better. :(
posted by ODiV at 7:47 AM on January 15, 2009


I wonder how much that font would have to be used to neutralise the carbon footprint caused by hosting that website.

I was just thinking, they could probably use much less energy just by using a dark background on their website.
posted by brundlefly at 9:34 AM on January 15, 2009


Are we absolutely sure this isn't satire?
posted by Acheman at 12:01 PM on January 15, 2009


« Older The Dalai Lama blames the financial crisis on a de...  |  Think traveling over the Yulet... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments