Visualizing the Most Economical Typeface

Mar 30, 10 Visualizing the Most Economical Typeface

I have always been a big fan of typography and recently I have came across this creative visualization of some commonly used typefaces. Designers Matt Robinson and Tom Wrigglesworth looked at ink usage of some popular typefaces, by drawing them by hand with ballpoint pens.

A selection of the most commonly used typefaces were compared for how economical they are with the amount of ink which they use at the same point size. Large scale renditions of the typefaces were drawn out with ballpoint pens, allowing the remaining ink levels to display the ink efficiency of each typeface.

The experiment was simple: a white wall and several ball points pens, hand drawing each one on a blank white wall. The contestants are: Garamond, Courier, Brush Script, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Comic Sans, Cooper Black and Impact.

Drawing each typeface by hand

Which font uses more ink?

Typefaces lined up for comparison

And the results are shown below with the pens arranged in a simple bar chart:

The pens used lined up

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! After hand-drawing these typefaces on the wall, the pen used for Garamond had the most ink left. To sum up: save ink and the environment by using Garamond!

Via Matt Robinson


  1. That’s awesome. It would make for a really nice painting / poster for my condo. Once again there’s another reason not to use Comic Sans…Its not good for the environment.

  2. That is a very creative project!

  3. Jorick /

    Nice work! Is it just coincidence that the samples were written on the wall in the exact same order as the contest results?!

  4. nice experiment:)

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