If you get a printed document in Times New Roman, don’t assume the person who sent it is a boring slave to the default. The sender could be a tightwad… or an asset to your office bottom line.

Printer.com, a printer-obsessed Dutch group, analyzed ink usage of several popular fonts. They found that Times New Roman is the third-best font at stretching your ink cartridge. Second place goes to Ecofont, a font designed specifially to use less ink. The champ font for ink savings: Century Gothic. Both fonts can save about 30% on yearly printing costs. At home, that might be around $20 saved; at the office, that might be $80 (more donuts for the breakroom!).

Now be careful: as this AP story notes, Century Gothic is a wider font, so you might save ink but use more paper. But the Printer.com folks took that into account and adjusted font sizes to make the paper they consumer roughly equivalent. To get the same bang for the buck as Times New Roman at 11 point, you have to take Century Gothic and Ecofont down to 10 point.

Microsoft’s sans serif default Calibri isn’t far behind in savings at fourth place, but then there’s a big jump in cost in switching to Verdana, Arial, Sans Serif, and one of my favorites, Trebuchet. At the bottom of the list: Tahoma and ink-hog Franklin Gothic Medium, which at 11-point imposes just about 60% higherr ink costs than 10-point Century Gothic.

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