Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Font Fiasco

So Ikea recently pulled the unthinkable: they changed their font.  Now seriously, how big of a deal could it be when a company changes their font.  Clearly, it could be a really big deal.  Ikea has always used a custom version of Futura for their type-face.  The font has become a key part of the Ikea brand, fitting in flawlessly with the economical but modern design the company boasts in their furniture.

Unfortunately though, having a custom typeface can be extremely expensive, especially with regards to multiple languages and such.  Ikea made the logical cost-cutting choice: change to a major font in order to lower the company costs.  Unfortunately though, everyone has an opinion, and in this case, most people didn't like ikea's decision.

Consumers have come to respect Ikea for its breathtaking designs, and low prices.  Consumers have grown to love the upstairs show-rooms, the huge maze of products downstairs, and Ikea's store as a whole.  The decision to pick price over quality and design has always plagued Ikea, and lately they have been making the wrong decision more often than not.  The problem is not only that Ikea chose to change their font, it's the font they chose to switch to.

Verdana is a font designed by Microsoft specifically for the internet.  With the large large spacing between words and lines, it is much easier to read at a small size on a monitor.  The draw back to these successes though is that it really isn't too pretty of a font.  In fact, at large sizes (such as catalog titles, product labels, and Billboards, it looks completely horrendous.  This is what consumers are pissed about.  Ikea sold out big time.  They chose a hideous font (though some say Microsoft may have bribed them), and for a company that claims to have great design, they definitely flunked out on this one.


I forgot to mention that there's a petition with over 5000 signatures already.  You should all go sign it ASAP!

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