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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Pot, meet kettle
by rajan r on Fri 4th Sep 2009 09:45 UTC
rajan r
Member since:
2005-07-27

Its funny most of the comments here are in bewilderment that people actually care about this.

Though its not as if the regulars of OSNews are that much better. Even if the rest of the world doesn't care about a certain topic, it will be debated to death here.

So you don't care. Move along then.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Pot, meet kettle
by TommyCarlier on Fri 4th Sep 2009 09:54 in reply to "Pot, meet kettle"
TommyCarlier Member since:
2006-08-02

Maybe Thom should change the font of OSNews to Comic Sans. Let's see if they'll care about fonts then. :-P

Edited 2009-09-04 09:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: Pot, meet kettle
by Soulbender on Fri 4th Sep 2009 11:16 in reply to "Pot, meet kettle"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

There's a difference between caring and blowing a minor matter out of proportions.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Pot, meet kettle
by rajan r on Fri 4th Sep 2009 12:39 in reply to "RE: Pot, meet kettle"
rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

I posit the various Vi vs Emacs, KDE vs GNOME, etc. debates that have raged geekosphere.

A bunch of angry tweets, blog posts, a slightly-free guy making a petition on PetitionOnline.com and 5,000+ people signing it, all may seem overblown. But when considered as individual actions (30 seconds to make an angry tweet, a couple of seconds to retweet, 10 mins to write something on a blog, a couple of seconds to sign a petition), it isn't overblown on an individual level.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Pot, meet kettle
by r_a_trip on Fri 4th Sep 2009 13:10 in reply to "Pot, meet kettle"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Its funny most of the comments here are in bewilderment that people actually care about this.

I think the bewilderment is more a consequence of the extent of the near hysterics that the pro-Futura individuals portray over the simple change of one readable font for another one.

The shrill hinting that IKEA's management might have put Ikea in danger, has abandoned their commitment to design, even that humanity has suffered from it... Well, it might be a major disaster in the small font afficionado circle, but the rest of the universe deems this business as usual.

The catalogue is still the same functional listing. There is no loss of information. Just the font changed. It might not be the most sexy font in existance, but it does what it needs to do. It delivers information, the real gold nugget in writing. If it can do so cheaper than Ikea's custom font could, even better.


Can you gather from this response how utterly alien this outrage is for people who see typeface as a means to deliver information, instead of it being a statement itself?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Pot, meet kettle
by rajan r on Fri 4th Sep 2009 13:41 in reply to "RE: Pot, meet kettle"
rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

Honestly? IKEA's catalogue, with its catchy copywrites, professional photos--many of it not of individual products but sets of it to show its products in living spaces, is merely a functional catalogue?

IKEA's catalogue is more than an consumer informational tool (you could easily condense all the actual information into a few pages otherwise). It is a marketing tool. A form of advertising. Design matters in those - including fonts.

Readability isn't the only goal of fonts--and shouldn't be. Much in the same way penmanship shows personality, fonts is part of a brand identity. It isn't so much that fontsnobs love Futura so much and hate Verdana, its that IKEA replaced a good font suitable for large sizes and print with a font meant for small sizes on a computer screen.

And their reasons are crap (using multiple fonts, for online and print, and for different scripts, isn't exactly terribly inefficient or more expensive). They devalued their brand image--maybe slightly, but definitely.

Reply Parent Score: 3