Ryman unveils new font Ryman Eco to get the world to print more sustainably via Grey London

Ryman Eco test sheet.jpgRyman, the UK's most trusted stationer, is on a mission to get the world to print more sustainably; not just by recycling cartridges, using less paper or even by printing less, but by simply using a new font: Ryman Eco via Grey London.

Available from 29th March, Ryman hopes it could become the world's default print font. If everyone used Ryman Eco when printing, we would save over 490 million ink cartridges and nearly 15 million barrels of oil, equivalent to 6.5m tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

Grey London, which came up with the concept, is an agency famous not only for its ads, but for work that explodes into popular culture to convey a message, be it a comedy show to raise awareness of heart disease, a hit record to change perceptions of a soft drink or a font to save the planet. Grey has taken this latest idea to heart and is now implementing Ryman Eco across its global 96 country network.  

Ryman is making the font available completely free online and will be promoting it instore and encouraging all paper, cartridge and printer customers to make it their default font, use it on everything they print, and so start using less ink. 

Previous efforts to create an environmentally friendly font have suffered key flaws, which the companies have sought to remove:

  • Uses an average 33% less ink than a suite of standard fonts including Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia and Verdana and 27% less ink than the leading sustainable font[1]
  • Completely free use anywhere in the world for any purpose, available via a simple download into your computer's font library at www.rymaneco.com
  • Beautiful and legible when printed: at standard point size (10-14 point), Ryman Eco looks like a normal font thanks to the inherent bleeding of ink and toner. At larger sizes, the white space in between the dozens of tiny thin lines and curves, which make up each letter become more visible, but it remains highly elegant and readable. Its characters are more fragile on screen, but it runs out beautifully. This is a necessary compromise.

Every year, more than 65 million printer cartridges are sold in the UK and almost 1.5 billion globally. The cartridges, whether laser or toner, are comprised of various toxic, oil-intensive, and largely non-biodegradable materials that can take over 1000 years to break down. Grey London saw that despite the enormous environmental costs of printing, current levels of cartridge recycling and incentives to do so by stores including Ryman, are not addressing the issue. They decided to turn the problem on its head.

Says Nils Leonard, Grey London's executive creative director: "We realised if we could make the words and numbers we print more efficient, then we'd make cartridges more efficient too, reducing their environmental impact. I tweeted Ryman owner Theo Paphitis with our idea for a good thing a stationer could do for the planet and he understood its wide-ranging implications straight away. A month later, we've developed an environmentally friendly font the world will really want to print with. Sustainable. Beautiful. Free."

Says Theo Paphitis, chairman of Ryman: "At Ryman we love print. But we don't like what it does to the planet. Recycling alone isn't doing enough. So I am asking individuals and businesses, especially those who use print a lot in their day-to-day operations, to download Ryman Eco for free and make it their default print font. It's the easiest thing in the world to do but could make a world of difference."

Ryman Eco was designed by leading specialists, Monotype and Hogarth.

Says Dan Rhatigan, type director at Monotype: "The entire concept for Ryman Eco is about the final print experience and finding the perfect balance between saving ink, legibility and aesthetics. To encourage enough interest so that people would want to use the font, we needed to make something that would be visually interesting at a close look or a large size, but useful and effective for everyday printed text. We looked at how our eyes and brains compensate by filling in 'missing' areas and how much of a character we can remove before we lose the sense of its form. Then we pushed the character forms to make them even more interesting and distinctly Ryman without using more ink. I think the final printed product is both elegant and efficient. I'm looking forward to seeing how it works for people in the real world."

[1] FontExplorer Pro testing done by Monotype

Grey London
Project name: Ryman Eco
Client: (name, position and brand) Theo Paphitis, Chairman, Ryman UK
Creative Director: Nils Leonard and Nick Rowland
Executive Creative Director: Nils Leonard
Creatives: Henrik Ridderheim, Felipe Montt, Henrik Dufke, Ben Beale, Rory Forrest
Design: James Cleary
Agency producers for film: Greyworks - Dee Butler and Becky Knapp
Creative producer: Nicky Russell and Lucy Dunn
Website producers: Cat Hurst, Ted Howe, Dylan Coetzee
Planner: Alix Toothman (with input from Mike Alhadeff)
Content planning: Neil Boorman
Account Management: James Sutton, Sophie Fredheim, Grant Paterson
PR: Veronique Rhys-Evans, Ollie Dearn, Liam Barnett
Production company: Monotype and Hogarth
Music negotiation: Platinum Rye (Dom Bastyra)
Exposure: Online & PR
Type Director: Dan Rhatigan at Monotype
Senior Type Director: Gunnar Vilhjalmsson at Monotype

Studio Manager: Bal Pawar at Hogarth
Designer: Debbie Vayanos at Hogarth


J said:

I feel sorry for them but in light of that 14 year old kid's efforts in the US - this campaign looks the ultimate 'me too' reaction.

Kate said:

Not bad, Rowland. Not bad at all.

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