looking for ink-saving display typeface

ghurman's picture

i'm looking for a ink-saving display typeface. it should have the following properties:

1. sans or display.
2. contemporary (not cheap looking)
4. ink-saving.

we air brush a lot of ink that is expensive on large banners up to 100 meters in length using laser-cut patterns. i have found a good, but still not the best choice: Soho Gothic Medium. do you know a better typeface for this?

Chris Keegan's picture

How does Soho Gothic Medium save ink? Just curious how that works. The first type styles that come to mind would be stencil types, or dot matrix types where the letters are not solid.

J Weltin's picture

You can find a lot of ink-saving light weights here.

aluminum's picture

Large banners would seem to need large type to be legible from a distance. So, it seems that ink-heavy faces would be the best choice from a design perspective. As mentioned, perhaps line screening or otherwise patterning the face would allow you to save a few bucks.

ghurman's picture

mmm, dot matrix may work in some cases. stencil typefaces can look odd to the customers.

how does Soho Gothic save ink: look at the upercase G of Soho Gothic it's minimalistic but still an easily recognizable G. another thing about Soho Gothic: it's an attractive, contemporary typeface, neither that bold like Helvetica Regular nor awkward like Arial.

we don't print backgrounds, only headlines and logos. the usable letter weight of Soho Gothic for our purpose is Medium or Regular. bold and black would take up too much surface. hairline is not display except if you're lucky. in rare cases we can use stencil and hairlines.

the banners are outdoor ads. it's about the effective surface that the letters occupy, the smaller the surface the less ink will be spent. we buy ink in gallons.
i would like to take bold typefaces but the ink is simply expensive at large banner sizes.

hrant's picture

This is a peculiar question! :-)
It sounds like you're not looking for huge savings, which makes this quest seem hopeful. Very light weights can't work for functional reasons, but here are some ideas:

- Fonts with heavy trapping, like FB Amplitude or this:

- Fonts that are made of up interrupted patterns, like:
(But contemporary.)

- I think the best solution might simply be inline fonts:


russellm's picture

the less ink you use per square foot of text, the lighter the average colour, and the less visual impact you have, so what's the real savings?

If you use outline fonts, or an interupted pattern, you'll have more cutting time to make the paterns, which is probly more expensive than the ink.

Maybe just apply a lighter coat or thin the ink?


Nick Shinn's picture

If upper and lower case, Futura Mini or Avant Garde.

- large x-height (less ink used in capitals)
-"missing" bits on letters, such as no tail on "t" and "j"
-minimal, single-bowl forms of a and g.

Alternatively, a face that works well with ample letterspacing, such as DIN or Interstate, because it can be used smaller.

Also consider a good editor, for shorter words, and the use of understatement and "white space" to convey your message.

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