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Recapping the Anger Over IKEA’s Switch from Futura to Verdana

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Moving out of China now, but expanding on the briefly-mentioned IKEA, we turn to the big story passing around these webs of ours this weekend. You’ve likely seen some mention of this somewhere, but the AP offers a nice recap of the uproar over the furniture chain’s decision to move from Futura to Verdana for its latest catalog, the first type change the company has made in nearly half a decade. The big issue is that a) Verdana was created for computer monitors, not the printed page and b) (at least in our view) Verdana was created by Microsoft, who companies will always catch flak for when working with anything even remotely connected to them (except the Xbox, of course). It’s all gotten a little ridiculous, with petitions asking IKEA to return to Futura, sites like Typophile writing “For me it’s a sad day” (though an interesting discussion follows in the comments for sure). In short, it’s a little like the absurdity from earlier this year over Tropicana‘s rebranding. We agree that their catalogs don’t look as good as before, but when was the last time high-minded designers were defending IKEA? Isn’t IKEA the death of all good design? Shouldn’t everyone who passed around that “IKEA isn’t sustainable” article from a few weeks back be happy that they’re making bad decisions and it’s going to result in type and design folks refusing to shop there in protest?

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