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Archant’s eco-font hits the presses

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A pioneering new eco-font for newspapers – believed to be the first of its kind in the country – which cuts down on ink but does not alter quality, has been developed by Archant, which prints many of its own newspaper titles, including the Eastern Daily Press, East Anglian Daily Times and the Hunts Post.

The initial idea for the new type of font was submitted to the company’s inaugural staff Green Champion award last year by Paul Wheeler, a business analyst who works for the Archant Life section, and it has been developed by a specialist team at the Print Centre in Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich.

Clive Want, senior production manager, said: “We have always printed black solid text using 100pc black ink but we have developed Paul’s idea and we intend to reduce all text to a 90pc screen. This does not affect quality in any way but it does save on ink.”

The process, which involves punching tiny holes - invisible without a magnifying glass – into the font, has gone through test stages using different variations of screen and 90pc was chosen as the most suitable option going forward.

“Archant is the only newspaper company in this country capable of undertaking this because of its FM screen technology. Traditional newspaper AM screen technology would have resulted in fine text becoming grainy. We plan to introduce this process across all our publications printed at Thorpe. Photographs will be unaffected and it will also have the added benefit of less black ink rub off,” Clive added.

There will be a cost saving but the primary focus is on ink reduction which is the right thing to do for the environment and part of Archant’s wider sustainability policy.

Paul’s idea is the second major green initiative suggested by members of the Green Champions network - an in-house team of more than 50 staff helping to make the company more sustainable - to be rolled out.

He said: “I’m delighted that the eco-font idea has been taken forward. When I first read about them I thought it sounded like a great idea for saving ink and I am pleased Archant has taken the idea forward and been able to use it across the titles printed at Thorpe.”

The technology which Archant specialists used to change the font is supplied by Kodak and Mark Humphreys, Kodak’s newspaper sales manager for UK and Ireland, said: “Kodak works in partnership with Archant and are very pleased that Archant are now able to see additional added benefits through being the first UK newspaper customer to have the ability to print full FM screening, achievable through the use of Kodak’s Thermal CTP and Kodak NewsManager workflow.”

© Archant Ltd 2013