Ecofont - Put holes in your fonts to save ink

Martijn van Berkel's picture

I don't know if this is already posted here, but I saw this when browsing the web:


The prints we make for our 'daily use' not only use paper, but also ink. According to SPRANQ creative communications (Utrecht, The Netherlands) your ink cartridges (or toner) could last longer.
SPRANQ has therefore developed a new font: the Ecofont.

"After Dutch holey cheese, there now is a Dutch font with holes as well."

Appealing ideas are often simple: how much of a letter can be removed while maintaining readability? After extensive testing with all kinds of shapes, the best results were achieved using small circles. After lots of late hours (and coffee) this resulted in a font that uses up to 20% less ink. Free to download, free to use."

It can be downloaded for free. To download and for more information, see here:

What do you guys think of it?

Kind regards,

blank's picture

That people so often consider this vulgar greenwashing worthy of serious discussion is a sad reflection on the state of discourse in the design field.

Martijn van Berkel's picture

jackson: I did not get any hits when searching for "ecofont". This topic can be removed then. ;)

Zara Evens's picture

It has been talked about a few times, and I think it is ridiculous. You can achieve the same thing by using a lighter style, or maybe NO VOWELS. :)

Typography.Guru's picture

You can achieve the same thing by using a lighter style, or maybe NO VOWELS.

The only thing it should achieve is to create attention for the webdesign agency. And it apparently works very well. The website is nothing but viral marketing.

Si_Daniels's picture

I love Stewf's answer at Justified West when asked about this - a better approach to saving ink would be to edit.

Jackson's picture


aaronbell's picture

Yeah, I remember reading an article somewhere that while eco font does help reduce ink usage, other fonts can actually reduce it even more without having to use a typeface with holes. Wish I could find the article again...

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

I'll bet outline fonts save even more ink... ;-)

paragraph's picture

... .... .. —, Morse code is even better.

apankrat's picture

> Morse code is even better.

Just emboss the whole thing.

nina's picture

"Just emboss the whole thing."

Yeah, Braille for all!

Jens Kutilek's picture


FontShop invented that kind of eco-friendly font a little over two years ago: FF Mt, available free from the FontFont website (scroll down halfway).

Nick Cooke's picture

I have just done an Eco version of Chevin for a client who wanted to jump on this particular bandwagon. Silly idea, I thought, but what the hell, I need to make a living.

The standard Chevin was reversed out of the pic initially. Using the Eco font on the pic entirely defeats the object of itself as it actually uses more ink!

Nick Cooke

Si_Daniels's picture

Nick, did you license the technique from SPRANQ?

Nick Cooke's picture

What, making dots in letters? Do they own holes? Did I need to?

No I didn't.

Nick Cooke

Si_Daniels's picture

Originaly they said...

“The inventive designing method of the Ecofont - ommitting spaces in each letter to decrease the black surface of the letter and thus save ink by printing - is intellectual property of SPRANQ creative communications, Utecht, The Netherlands. Imitation of this technique is prohibited.

It seems as if that wording is gone. So you're okay. :-)

However, the EU reserves the right to fine you for other crimes.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

BTW: Love your pipe, Aaron!

Carolann's picture

I don't really think this is going to help the environment...

Why do people keep working from the bottom up to reduce our impact on the planet?

Si_Daniels's picture

>Why do people keep working from the bottom up to reduce our impact on the planet?

Where would you start?

As much as we can poke holes in the eco-font principals it has made people and organizations start thinking and talking about printed waste.

aaronbell's picture

@frode frank. Thanks! I really like it too.

@sii. It seems to me that putting holes or spaces into a character is not something they can claim is intellectual copyright. I'm sure there are plenty of examples of characters with holes in them — see an inverted Rosewood for example. Sure, the font file itself is their intellectual property, but you can't copyright a idea (at least under US law). It is like building a car. You can design a car to be environmentally friendly, but that doesn't stop another car maker from trying to make an environmentally friendly car too. In fact, an article on TypeRight seems to back up this line of thought

Of course, as you said, the wording appears to be gone from their site, so maybe they realized they couldn't enforce it. Nick is probably safe :)

paragraph's picture

Curiouser and curiouser!

Arlo Vance's picture

It seems that the best way to save ink is to not use it.

russellm's picture

I don't think they reserved the rights on square holes. Or lines.

Or tiny subliminal messages.(... "buy more ink")


Si_Daniels's picture

>Or tiny subliminal messages

Perhaps the cut outs could be tiny HP logos ;-)

paragraph's picture

The cutouts are what you make the Morse of ...

Frode Bo Helland's picture

They have holes in donuts to save flour.

Si_Daniels's picture

Surely they do that to save dough? ;-)

Chris Dean's picture

Is there an algorithm that will "eco" any typeface for you automatically?

(there's a computer science PhD comp for any of you out there)

Si_Daniels's picture

>there’s a computer science PhD comp for any of you out there

Any researcher taking this on would do well to adopt a shotgun approach.

Chris Dean's picture

@ sii;

Shotgun approach? Or is that a joke I missed… Not quite sure I understand the connection.

Si_Daniels's picture

As a joke it was full of holes. Sorry.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Sii is trigger-happy today!

dtw's picture

@sii: I assumed you meant this
Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

filo's picture

Meanwhile, by using ecofont on the web, they are forcing computer monitors to display more white and therefore using more energy that way than a black font would.

paragraph's picture

It is not healthy to play with your Meccano set when you are over eighteen.

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