In today's design world mythbusting news, a little kid's fifteen minutes of fame may have come to screeching halt thanks to the investigative work of "type expert" Thomas Phinney

In case you're not familiar with the story, 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani analyzed four fonts for a middle school science project and concluded that the United States government could save $400 million a year by switching from Times New Roman to Garamond for their printing jobs because the thinner font would require 26% less ink. Mirchandani gained international attention for his findings and even appeared on CNN last week, that is pretty major for anyone, let alone a kid still going through puberty.

In Phinney's blog post, he shared a few problems with Mirchandani's claim. A couple of the main points were that:

  • 12-point Garamond is physically smaller than 12-point Times New Roman and would sacrifice readability.
  • The government prints with toner, not inkjet ink, which is what Mirchandani used for his calculations. He also used consumer prices which the government would not pay even if they did use ink.
Phinney wrote that he is "bummed" that Mirchandani's project has gotten so much attention when it is clearly flawed, but he gave the student props for his "creative problem solving and applying scientific thinking."