September 3, 2009

What's In A Font

Apparently a lot. Recently, I have received requests on FB to join a group angry about Ikea's change of font, from Futura to Verdana. When I first received this, I was somewhat puzzled. I like Ikea as much as the next budget-conscious New Yorker but I didn't know the depth of love their font style had generated amongst the design cognoscenti. There were impassioned comments and posts on how the new font (a Microsoft creation btw) is meant for the web, not print and how its definitely not meant to be blowup to billboard size.

TIME magazine has a nice summary of all the brouhaha. The thing that bothers me about the whole thing is not so much the aesthetic issue but the financial one. I mean, whose bright idea was it to change their corporate font, something that clearly will cost the company millions of dollars, in the midst of the Great Recession? I thought Ikea was supposed to be all Swedish and frugal and smart. Though their website boasts "new lower prices", I fear that this massive change will begin to show up in the price of a Ribba and that would make truly me an unhappy Ikea customer.

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