Here I was examining more typefaces, comparing which letterforms contained a higher number of pixels. The more pixels contained in a letterform mean more ink is needed to print that specific typeface. What I found interesting is Helvetica Neue Ultralight wins the pixel examination test as it has the most thinnest lines which make up it’s typographic form. You would therefore think this would be the most ethical typeface to use. The only problem is, Helvectica Neue Ultralight is still quite a large typeface meaning it takes up more space on a page than Garamond.
I also tried screen-printing Helvetica Neue Ultralight and the results were not very good because the typeface is so thin, it becomes hard for the ink to go through the silk screen and onto the paper. In this screen-printing scenario it is worth using a bold typeface, which will print much more effectively. You can’t really reduce the amount of ink you use when screen-printing any way as most of the ink is wiped off and reused. Ink consumption seems most fundamental within digital printing, involving the ink cartridges being replaced, refilled or recycled.
The important discovery I found is the smaller your typeface then the less pages you will need to print, in theory saving more money, energy and consumption. So is this project still about ink, or about paper? I feel it is such a thin line between ink and paper consumption as the choices you make as a designer will have an effect on the amount of energy used, which will again have an impact on the environment.
All images used with permission from Scott Coates.