Mirchandani, who lives in the Township of O’Hara, outside Pittsburgh, said he’s had a longstanding interest in graphic design, and wanted to use computer science to promote environmental causes.
In sixth grade, he started noticing that while there was talk at school about saving paper, there wasn’t much of a discussion about saving ink — which is much more expensive. So with the help of a software program the teen estimated how much ink different fonts used.
First, he collected random samples of his teachers’ handouts and found the most commonly used characters (e, t, a, o and r). Then, he charted how often each character was used in four different typefaces: Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans. Finally, he used a software program to measure how much ink was used for each letter.
3. By using the font Garamond, which is a thinner font than Times New Roman, the federal government could save up to $400 million in ink costs, Mirchandani says.
“Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume,” Mirchandani says.
And he’s not lying: Chanel No. 5 perfume sells at $38 per ounce, while the same amount of Hewlett-Packard printer ink can cost you up to $75, CNN reports.
He also calculated that switching the font of the school’s paper from Times New Roman to Garamond could save his school about $21,000 a year in ink costs.
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