Could a teen save the government $136 million? Yes, according to 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani. The middle schooler claims the U.S. Government could save nearly $136 million per year if it just simply changes the font used in printing documents, a March 29 report from CNN says.
The proposal from young Suvir Mirchandani states that if the federal government used Garamond on all printed government documents instead of Times New Roman, it would save millions of dollars a year in printing costs.
The brilliant idea all started with a school project to promote sustainability in order to cut waste and save money at Dorseyville Middle School in Pittsburgh. Suvir decided to study the possibilities of saving ink and paper: "Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume," Suvir said during an interview.
When performing his research, Suvir determined the Garamond font used significantly less ink for the most commonly used English characters (a, e, o, t , r) after comparing the design of these letters in the four most popular fonts: Times New Roman, Garamond, Century Gothic and Comic Sans.
With the help of a computer program, Suvir concluded that if his school district used Garamond, whose stroke is thinner, they could save about $21,000 annually.
"We were so impressed. We really could really see the real-world application in Suvir's paper," said Sarah Fankhauser, one of the founders of Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI), a scientific journal for middle and high school scientists.
Although the savvy teen concluded that a total savings of $400 million could be achieved if state governments also implemented the plan, it is unclear if officials have given the proposal the serious consideration it deserves.
CNN reported that Gary Somerset, media and public relations manager at the Government Printing Office, described Suvir's work as "remarkable." However, "he was noncommittal on whether the GPO would introduce changes to typeface, saying the GPO's efforts to become more environmentally sustainable were focused on shifting content to the Web," the report read.