Artful Green Dot

Eco Concerns Moving into the Design World….via New Typeface

Posted in Uncategorized by Audrey Tran on March 18, 2009

As I keep researching the Eco movement, I’m continually amazed at the number of different fields it spreads to. Even Graphic designers are not immune to environmental awareness.   Here’s what I found one day while standing in front of a heavy duty NYU copier waiting for about 100 sheets of assigned reading to print out: 


SANQ Eco Sans





This typeface uses 20% less ink, while still maintaining a comprehensive level of readability, according to the Dutch Company’s website. In my opinion, it’s exactly that.  It’s got this Broadway-sign-esque quality that works if used to present a big title, but I would imagine that in smaller blocks of text, Sanq Eco Sans will become an eye-sore (once I figure out how to install the font on my computer, this will be tested.  It’s free for anyone to use here).   

The font will probably not be used for major print in books or magazines, according to a post from the Times Online, but it can certainly be helpful for the office world where countless, unpublished drafts are printed daily. 

Outside of these factors, I’m most intrigued by the afterthoughts of the font.  Regardless of how much actually gets saved, or what it means to preserve such a thing as ink, the creation of this typeface is also a message about consumption, getting people to think of ‘less as more,’ and how to fix our Earth woes, creatively. Who knew a bunch of holes could do so much?

5 Responses

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  1. Michael Gluzman said, on March 18, 2009 at 9:06 PM

    this is a pretty interesting concept. to your point about the “eco” trend spreading through every field, i like the consideration this has.

    agreed it should not be a typeface used for printed material people actually interface with daily…

    i think there are other things people printing multiple drafts can do: print in draft quality! too many people are lazy as balls to even think about the options their printers have. and print front and back!

    here’s where my rant really begins: here is the problem with all “eco” design… it is just like most design that si out there, pussy-footing around the true problems. the problem starts with our values as a culture+society. in america everything is based on obscene consumption. why in the hell do we consume so much? its because capitalism has allowed for business to thrive only if it sells more and more shit. so, business doesn’t make good products, they make half-assed shit. why do businesses have products lined up for several years to be released? why so they can keep making bank of course! because we’ll keep throwing our old shit away and buy new shit! which is only slightly less shitty. or in most cases, looks slightly different. that is of course where design falls apart as considered merely styling…it’s not but our economy allows for it. anyway, if we just design things that last both functionally and visually, won’t we keep things out of landfills?

    also, regarding the issue of inks – PDF people. PDF. every fucking business has computers for employees. why are we still printing uselessness? most shit can be reviewed electronically and only printed a couple times to review and then finalize. save the paper, save the trees, save the ink, save the energy. your computer is going to keep running while you read that stupid memo anyway. your email will still be open. lets consolidate.

    this is a nice concept but if it is merely another designer attempt to bring about awareness, shit, those designers are just as useless as the rest of the population. designers, if you;re doing something good for the world, make it useful! good design works without people thinking about it. good design is made for people, not critics. you change the paradigm because something must work that way.

    word processors could easily be programmed to add faux dots in any text as it can bold text. asking people to use a different font (let alone asking people to install fonts on large databases) isn’t going to happen! build it in. build it in, build it in! let this be part of the helvetica family! it’s got to fit in intuitively and still change the paradigm.

    for the record, if you print inkjet, draft quality simply puts down less dots of ink per inch when you print. like i said, build it in.

  2. Michael Gluzman said, on March 19, 2009 at 1:55 AM

    just wanted to fix a typo of mine (amongst many):

    good design works when people ARE NOT thinking about it.

  3. thehanalog said, on March 20, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    i’m ashamed to admit that, as a designer, i’ve never really considered how much ink a given font uses… shame on me. i’ll be sure to be more eco-conscious next time i design type!

    thanks for the inspiration, audrey 🙂

  4. Ben Riley said, on March 21, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    Hmm, it’s kind of an interesting idea, but the font itself is kind of
    kitschy. They suggest using it to print out drafts, rather than final
    pieces, but one part of printing something out is to make sure it’s
    legible on paper as well as on the screen, is the right number of
    pages, etc., etc., which all can change depending on font. I suppose
    that using less ink helps the environment more than it hurts it, but
    the whole thing sort of seems like the effort to just brand things as
    “green” as a substitute to the substantial structural changes we need
    to make to our society in order to become sustainable– alternate
    energy sources, the elimination of sprawl, reduction of carbon
    emissions, and so forth.

  5. Chiriqui Panama said, on May 12, 2010 at 3:49 AM

    Your site is first-class I will have to read it all, thank you for the diversion from my studies!

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