I recently noticed that traffic to my blog article entitled IKEA is Coming to Utah and My Logo’s On It! increased, so I investigated why. I found it was because there was raised interest in IKEA based on this Time article The Font War: Ikea Fans Fume over Verdana published last Friday.
IKEA has always been one of those places that has been pretty clear on their brand. Buildings with their strong blue and yellow palette on the outside lead way to the inside where everything is labeled with unfamiliar names in a customized version of Futura. But all designers, and lovers of fonts are surprised to find out that IKEA has changed its catalog font to Verdana. Yes, VERDANA. (Oh the shock and horror of it!) Verdana which was specifically designed in 1996 to be readable at small sizes on a computer screen, it seems was never meant for print in the eyes of true lovers of type. It’s a ‘web’ font that’s clunky and outdates, especially in our new CSS world.
I for one (among many) mourn the loss. I understand that there are probably more issues involved (such as localization) that I may not know about, but Verdana in print? It’s a sad day for typography everywhere. And for corporations everywhere, note the outcry and remember that when you make the effort to develop a brand, your customers care.