IKEA has changed the headline and body fonts it uses in catalog and advertising from it’s custom futura type to less aesthetically pleasing Verdana. This has caused what I’d coin as a “complete insane uproar” in the design community. Designers are practically at their blue and yellow doors with pitchforks and torches making petitions, burning photos of the Swedish chef from the muppets,etc.

beforeandafter_futura-vs-verdana

Really I admire IKEA’s useable design…I do find their product aesthetics a bit too sterile but it is insanely useable. People need to relax over this font change a bit. It’s not like PEPSI who totally redid their logo and branding for the worse and for no good reason that costed them millions of dollars across the board. IKEA did this as a business choice as Verdana works easier for international publication and web use. I think if Futura was a standard web font this might not have occurred and thus shows the importance of the web presence. They actually unified their font useage across web and print now and while Verdana is a sad choice consider it’s one of only a few choices they have in order to take that route. In the end this is not going to cause people to no longer shop at their stores nor does it really damage their brand perception to the degree designers are saying. In fact I’d venture to say that most people won’t even notice. Sure we designers consider this a slap in the face to typography useage but this isn’t the worse thing they could have done. The Pepsi rebranding was a waste of a money this was a money saving technique.

While I consider this a dent in the IKEA armor I don’t think it’s the devastating bad decision the rest of the design community is making it out to be. There aren’t vikings running in the streets, people are not tossing their meatballs out kitchen windows. I think sometimes designers can be oh just a bit too high and mighty for their own good. Now relax and go down to IKEA and buy your $50 plastic table you and get your alan wrench ready. I’ll be hanging out at the Pottery Barn instead.

beforeandafter_ikea

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