Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:10 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces You probably missed this earth-shattering news, but Ikea IKEA, the Swedish furniture and other assorted home decoration products company, has switched fonts. The company always used the Futura font for its catalogues, but the latest edition has ditched it in favour of Verdana. This has caused quite the stir among typography geeks.
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I'm not so sure it saves them money
by rajan r on Fri 4th Sep 2009 01:16 UTC
rajan r
Member since:
2005-07-27

1) Their Futura (IKEA Sans) is a custom font, its very likely they have it royalty free.

2) If not, transiting to generic Futura, widely available royalty-free, is a lot more seemless than to Verdana.

3) As for internationalization, there is no reason why IKEA couldn't use a generic font (for example, SimSun in Chinese) if Futura or IKEA Sans doesn't support those scripts, while retaining IKEA Sans/Futura for scripts it supports.

4) As for print+screen synergy, I really, really don't see why they will save resources by using the same font on catalogues, billboards and their website.

5) It's the message this move sends: IKEA is, or at least, was all about affordable design. Typography is an important part of design. If they're sacrificing design in their marketing material to save, at most, a couple thousand dollars, sooner or later, we may see IKEA sacrificing design in its products to save pennies. In any case, the font, and catalogues and ads, is part and parcel of its brand. Making them uglier is hardly helpful.

Reply Score: 3

topcat Member since:
2009-09-03

IKEA does sacrifice design in order to save money. Flat packing furniture limits design (and even alters it) in order to save money on transportation.

I do agree with you that it seems odd that they don't already 'own' the font that they were using previously. Also, they've had stores all across the world for awhile now and I assume they've all been using the same Futura in all those locations.

Reply Parent Score: 1

rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

Flat-packing allows them to shave off quite a lot from the price tag from savings in shipping and assembly.

Unless IKEA was paying through their nose in royalties for IKEA Sans, I don't see how they're saving any money by changing fonts.

Reply Parent Score: 1