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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Eco friendly font

In the August issue of the National Geographic magazine there's an article about a so-called Ecofont based on the Bitstream face called Vera (quite nice actually!). To quote from the article, the font has been designed to use less ink than other faces thereby saving money and resources as well as money. The Dutch marketing firm Spranq says that a company with 5,000 workers could save up to £75,000 a year from its printing costs. That's around £15 per person per annum - around 28p per person per week. More realistically perhaps, a 5-person office could save around £75 per annum!
The type has small holes that reduce the overall printing area of the type by 20% at 10pt without reducing the readability and this is the optimum size for its use. Anything much larger than this and you can see the holes and much smaller you are not making much of an ink saving. As somebody else says in the article, "it makes you think hard about ink, not just paper and printers."
We think it's great that somebody is thinking about things like this and, after all, if we only use it for home and internal office emails, we'll be contributing just that little bit. You can download the font at ecofont.eu.
What do you feel? Is the trade-off between aesthetics and reducing your damage to the planet and its resources worth it?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Does anybody out there agree with us that the system that the web crawlers apparently use to decide on a given site's importance, and therefore its ranking, seems somewhat invalid?
Apart from the site itself and the way it's constructed, the most important thing, we're told by Google, is the number of backward links to the site.
This means that there are lots of companies out there employing cheap labour to build links - sometimes spurious - to their sites to get the number up. There are, at least from what I read online, lots of companies outsourcing to emerging nation firms to establish links.
How does this contribute to the genuine validity and authority of a site?
Of course there are a number of other - genuine - contributing factors to moving your site up the ratings and these at least seem to make more sense but to rate a site by the number of backward links seems somewhat unfair and old-fashioned.
And almost every company that approaches clients says that it can get them on to the first page of the search engines but how can this be? You only have to think about it for a moment or two to see that this is impossible for most normal sites. You can almost always get yourself to the top of a search list if you type in a very specific phrase that is included on your site but if somebody searching for a general product or activity types that into a search engine window then the chances of you being at the top of the list is extremely remote.
How do you feel about this situation? It would be interesting to at least know that we're not alone!