Ikea Changes Font Everyone Freaks Out

Recently Ikea changed it’s house font from a modified version of Futura to the ubiquitous Verdana. Cue the freakout. Designers and typophilles all over the internet have been decrying the change. Even Time Magazine has written about the font controversy.

All this outrage over a font? For some designers, it’s an issue of propriety — Verdana, which was invented by Microsoft, was intended to be used on a screen, not on paper. “It has open, wide letterforms with lots of space between characters to aid legibility at small sizes on screen,” explains Simon l’Anson, creative director at Made by Many, a London-based digital-consulting company. “It doesn’t exhibit any elegance or visual rhythm when set at large sizes. It’s like taking the family sedan off-road. It will sort of work, but ultimately gets bogged down.”

Between Ikea changing it’s font and Marvel being purchased by Disney it’s been a rough week filled with scary change for us graphic designers. *please note the sarcasm*

Photo from mattcrest on Flickr.

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  1. Hi James,

    Not sure why such an outrage… Invented by Microsoft.. well actually Mathew Carter designed the font for Microsoft… and he’s not too bad a type designer is he? He’s Bell Centennial was designed for Phone Directories but it has been used beyond its design purpose. At least it transfers easily to the net. I wonder if Times New Roman had the same effect when it was used on material other than News print.

    Thx Tomas

  2. Tomas,
    True, however, the main difference is that Times New Roman is a much better typeface. Also, I think the whole discussion centers around the fact that Ikea is a company that is a part of the design community and by changing their typeface to one that is widely disregarded by that community they have inadvertently betrayed their biggest fans.

  3. James,
    Is there any way you could get in touch with the people who made the change and find out the reasons for the font change. That would be really interesting. It has to be an Internet thing.

    I guess time will tell. Typefaces go in and out of style every couple of decades. It’s all very subjective isn’t it.


  4. Tomas,
    A spokesman for Ikea stated in an interview with the magazine CAP&DESIGN that they changed to Verdana so that they can use the same font in every country in the world and they’ll also be able to stay consistent in both print and web.




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