If you’re a fan of reasonably-priced furniture with devilishly complex building instructions, you’re probably familiar with IKEA. The furniture giant is known as much for its enormous stores as it is for its inexpensive furniture, becoming somewhat of a fixture in major cities in North America and Europe. As the company has grown, so too has the familiarity with the IKEA logo. It’s actually possible to track IKEA’s growth into its present-day form by taking a look at its unique logo. It’s also just as possible to take a look at the changing perception of the company itself.
IKEA Logo Design Elements
Much like the company’s furniture, the IKEA logo is incredibly functional. Just a name inside an oval inside a square, there’s nothing terribly complex about the logo as it stands. Even so, it’s very easy to identify just at a glance. That’s partially to do with the name, of course, but the simple logo does stand about even among other furniture companies. It’s almost more similar to the logo of a big-box store, which makes sense when you think of the degree of thrifty utility that IKEA presents to its shoppers.
The color scheme of the logo actually serves two purposes. First and foremost, it’s the colors of the company’s native land. Beyond being the colors of the Swedish flag, the colors are also supposed to represent trust and happiness, two factors that are very important to consumers. The font, on the other hand, is a custom font called IKEA Sans, which is not only very easy to read but that also looks quite inviting.
Changes and Evolution
The earliest version of the IKEA logo was created in 1951. This version of the logo looked more like a wax seal than a modern logo, though it did still feature the name of the company in the center. This logo only lasted for a few years, though, at which time it was replaced by the company’s name within a brown, splotchy shape – something that wasn’t too uncommon among retail brands during the 1950s. By 1967 the logo would reach its familiar shape, albeit with a white outline around the rectangle.
IKEA has cycled through a few different logo colors over the decades. The original logo was a waxy red, an appropriate enough color for the time. In just a few years, though, the logo would turn brown. It’s not a terribly attractive color by today’s tastes, but it did work well as compared to other similar logos during that time. When the logo assumed its more familiar shape in 1967, it would go monochrome – something that worked well with the more formal look, but that was a bit boring. IKEA would bring back the red coloration in 1981 before it embraced its national identity as part of its marketing strategy in the 1990s.
The original IKEA logo used a looping, cursive script. It was a solid font for the early 1950s, but one that was clearly outdated. The company would move to an italicised version of its Futura font by the end of the decade, before finally making the formal move over to the IKEA Sans that it uses today in 1967. The only major font change came in 1981, at which time the font was made bold and it has stayed that way ever since.
The big influence behind IKEA’s current logo is the Swedish flag. Being a Swedish company is a huge part of the brand’s identity at this point, so it makes sense that it would choose a logo remniscent of the Swedish flag. Before the color change, though, the brand was likely influenced by a number of other furniture companies.
There are few companies that have logos that are direct successors of IKEA. More than a few low-price furniture companies now embrace brighter colors in their marketing, but none have the familiar blue and yellow of IKEA. The European company absolutely stands by itself in terms of color and font.
- IKEA’s name comes from the initials of its founder and the villages where he grew up.
- IKEA uses about 1% of the world’s entire supply of wood.
- IKEA actually sells entire pre-fabricated homes.
- IKEA sells about 150 million meatballs per year.
IKEA wears its origins on its sleeve, and that’s a good thing. It has made its country of origin part of the IKEA story, and that has helped to move sales. This simple color choice has made IKEA stand out in a crowded market and has helped spread the word of the quirky, fun company. While the logo may not look like much, it has clearly served its purpose.