A 14-year-old Indian-origin boy, Suvir Mirchandani has come up with a unique plan of changing the font used on official documents, which could help the US Government to save nearly $400 million per year.
Suvir Mirchandani is a student in a Pittsburgh-area middle school. He says, yearly $467 million dollars it spends on ink and he claimed that if the federal government used the Garamond font exclusively it could save about $136 million annually. If state governments also implemented the change, US could be saved annually about $234 million.
He said to reports that the idea came to him when he was trying to think of ways to cut waste and save money as part of a science fair project at his school.
Suvir noticed that he was getting a lot more handouts than he did in elementary school and decided to figure out if he could minimize the use of paper and ink.
Recycling paper was one way to save money and conserve resources, the youngster said little attention had been paid to the ink used on the papers could save more than we expect.
He said "Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume," adding that he then decided to focus his project on finding ways to reduce the cost of ink.
According to his experiment, he collected samples of teachers' handouts and focused on the most commonly used characters like e, t, a, o and r.
Then he noted how often each character was used in different fonts like Comic Sans, Times New Roman, Garamond and Century Gothic. Later, using an ink coverage software, he measured how much ink was used for each letter.
From his studies and analysis, Suvir figured out that his school district could reduce its ink consumption by 24 per cent and in turn save as much as $21,000 annually by using the Garamond font with its thinner strokes.
Again he repeated his tests on five sample pages from documents on the Government Printing Office website and got similar results that changing the font would save money. Suvir's findings have been published in the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI), a publication founded by a group of Harvard students in 2011.
Sarah Fankhauser, One of the journal's founder was quoted "We were so impressed. We really could really see the real-world application in Suvir's paper."
Gary Somerset, media and public relations manager at the Government Printing Office described Suvir's idea as "remarkable" but said it was concentrating on saving money by publishing documents online instead of hard copies.
But in Suvir's thought "They can't convert everything to a digital format, Not everyone is able to access information online. Some things still have to be printed. I recognize it's difficult to change someone's behavior," he said.
But "I definitely would love to see some actual changes and I'd be happy to go as far as possible to make that change possible," Suvir said.