After watching Helvetica again this week, I couldn't help bust pass along this story. Designers and typography geeks around the world are ticked off at Ikea for switching from the Futura font to Verdana.
Now that might not sound like much to the average consumer but it's a big deal to those in the advertising and design world, who realize that fonts do matter and convey subtle messages.
Ikea says the change-up is about having a font that works in multiple languages all over the world. According to Time:
"It's more efficient and cost-effective," says Ikea spokeswoman Monika Gocic. "Plus, it's a simple, modern-looking typeface."
It's also a free font distributed by Microsoft, leading some to suggest the change has more to do with cost. Still, some can't go beyond what the two different fonts mean to the Ikea brand.
Others seem mystified by the choice to eliminate one of the chain's key identifying features. "The former typeface definitely better reflected Ikea's design philosophy, giving it a very special, unique flavor that actually fit the company's style," says Vitaly Friedman, editor in chief of the online Smashing Magazine, which is dedicated to Web design. "With Verdana being used all across the Web, Ikea's image not only loses originality, but also credibility and the reputation that the company has built since the 1940s."
Judge for yourself from these font samples design blog idsgn shared.
If you agree with the font purists out there and want Verdana go go away, you might be interested in adding your name to the other thousands on this online petition.