IKEA Catalogue

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Cover of the 2015 edition catalogue

The IKEA Catalogue (US spelling: IKEA Catalog; Swedish: Ikea-katalogen) is a catalogue published annually by the Swedish home furnishing retailer IKEA. First published in Swedish in 1951,[1] the catalogue is considered to be the main marketing tool of the company and, as of 2004, consumes 70% of its annual marketing budget.[2] Worldwide, approximately 208 million copies of the catalogue were printed in fiscal year 2013, more than double the number of Bibles expected to be printed in the same period.[3]

For the 2013 edition, 62 different versions of the catalogue were created for 43 countries.[3] The 2010 edition was published in 30 languages.[4]

Production and distribution[edit]

Containing over 300 pages and about 12,000 products, it is distributed both by mail and in stores.[5] Each edition of the catalogue takes about 10 months to develop from concept to final product.[3]

Most of the catalogue is produced by IKEA Communications AB in Älmhult, Sweden, the site of the original IKEA store and where IKEA Communications operates the largest photo studio in northern Europe (8,000 square meters in size).[1] As of 2012, the studio employs 285 photographers, carpenters, interior designers and other personnel working full-time on photo shoots.[3] The catalogue itself is printed on chlorine-free paper of 10-15% post-consumer waste.[6]

According to Canadian broadcaster CTV, "IKEA's publications have developed an almost cult-like following online. Readers have found all kinds of strange tidbits, including mysterious cat pictures, apparent Mickey Mouse references and weird books wedged into the many shelves that clutter the catalogues."[7]


The company began experimenting with computer-generated imagery in 2005 by placing a single computer-rendered image of a wooden chair in the 2006 edition of the catalogue. According to Anneli Sjögren, head of photography at IKEA, customers did not notice that the chair was computer-generated.[3] In 2010, the first entirely computer-generated room was created for the catalogue.[8] By the 2013 edition, 12% of imagery for the IKEA catalogue, brochures and website was computer-generated.[3] As of 2014, 75% of product images (i.e. white background images) and 35% of non-product images across all IKEA communications are fully computer-generated.[8]

Augmented reality was introduced in the 2013 edition of the catalogue. "X-ray" views through furniture compartments, videos, how-to guides and other interactive content could be accessed by scanning a symbol on the catalogue with a mobile device.[9] The 2014 catalogue contains an augmented reality app that projects an item into a real-time photograph image of the user's room. The augmented reality app also provides an indication of the scale of IKEA objects in relation to the user's living environment.[10]

Verdana typeface[edit]

In 2009, IKEA changed the typeface used in its catalogue from Futura to Verdana, expressing a desire to unify its branding between print and web media. The controversy has been attributed to the perception of Verdana as a symbol of homogeneity in popular typography.[11] Time magazine and The Associated Press ran articles on the controversy including a brief interview with an IKEA representative, focusing on the opinions of typographers and designers.[12] Design and advertising industry-focused publications such as Business Week joined the fray of online posts. The branding critic blog, Brand New, was one of those using the "Verdanagate" name.[11] The Australian online daily news site Crikey also published an article on the controversy.[13] The Guardian ran an article asking "Ikea is changing its font to Verdana – causing outrage among typomaniacs. Should the rest of us care? Absolutely."[14]


In October 2012, IKEA was criticised for removing women from photos in the Saudi Arabian version of the 2013 catalogue.[15][16]

IKEA Family Live[edit]

IKEA also publishes and sells a regular style magazine, titled IKEA Family Live in thirteen languages which supplements the catalogue. An English language edition for the United Kingdom was launched February 2007 with a subscription of over 500,000.[17]

List of editions[edit]


  1. ^ a b "IKEA Catalogue printable facts" (PDF). IKEA United Kingdom. September 2003. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
  2. ^ "IKEA student info". IKEA United Kingdom. Archived from the original on June 22, 2004. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hansegard, Jens (August 23, 2012). "IKEA's New Catalogs: Less Pine, More Pixels". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  4. ^ "Sustainability Report 2011" (PDF). IKEA. 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "IKEA Q&A section, on the Swedish language site".
  6. ^ "FAQ". IKEA. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  7. ^ "'Unfortunate' photo wasn't tampered with: IKEA". CTV. August 25, 2006. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
  8. ^ a b Parkin, Kirsty (June 24, 2014). "Building 3D with Ikea". CGSociety. Archived from the original on August 30, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  9. ^ Baldwin, Roberto (July 20, 2012). "Ikea's Augmented Reality Catalog Will Let You Peek Inside Furniture". Wired. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  10. ^ Luisa Rollenhagen (6 August 2013). "Virtually Furnish a Room With IKEA's Augmented Reality Catalog". Mashable. Mashable. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  11. ^ a b [1] – "Verdanagate," by "Armin" in "Brand New" blog, 31 August 2009
  12. ^ [2] – The Font War: Ikea Fans Fume over Verdana. Time, (28 August 2009)
  13. ^ Mel Campbell and Jeremy Wortsman, "The Full Fonty: Why Type Nerds Went Mental Over IKEA", Crikey, 1 September 2009
  14. ^ Verdana: Ikea's flat-pack font, Simon Garfield, The Guardian, 2 September 2009
  15. ^ Molin, Anna (October 1, 2012). "IKEA Regrets Cutting Women From Saudi Ad". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  16. ^ "Ikea criticised for airbrushing women out of Saudi catalogue". The Daily Telegraph. London. October 1, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  17. ^ Farey-Jones, Daniel (July 5, 2006). "Ikea to introduce UK magazine in February". Brand Republic. Haymarket Business Media. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  18. ^ http://onlinecatalogueasia.ikea.com/AU/en/IKEA_Catalogue/
  19. ^ http://onlinecatalogueasia.ikea.com/AA/en/IKEA_Catalogue/
  20. ^ http://onlinecatalogue.ikea.com/BG/bg/IKEA_Catalogue/
  21. ^ http://onlinecataloguecanada.ikea.com/CA/en/IKEA_Catalogue/
  22. ^ http://onlinecataloguecanada.ikea.com/CA/fr/IKEA_Catalogue
  23. ^ http://onlinecatalogueasia.ikea.com/CN/zh-hans/IKEA_Catalogue/
  24. ^ http://onlinecatalogue.ikea.com/SE/sv/IKEA_Catalogue/
  25. ^ http://onlinecatalogue.ikea.com/GB/en/IKEA_Catalogue/
  26. ^ http://onlinecatalog.ikea-usa.com/US/en/IKEA_Catalog/
  27. ^ http://onlinecatalog.ikea-usa.com/US/es/IKEA_Catalog/

External links[edit]