Although IKEA cycles new designs in and out of its range of affordable, flatpack home furnishings like clockwork, the same can’t be said for its logo; the blue wordmark stuffed into a yellow oval has not changed substantially since 1967. Glaswegian design firm Freytag Anderson thought it was time for a change to better reflect IKEA’s core values. So for the latest issue of Icon Magazine, the designers created a new concept identity that, depending on context, can be broken down into different modules and restructured in different ways, just like the furniture IKEA sells.
On Medium, Freytag Anderson creative director Daniel Freytag says that the main objective of the new logo was to more firmly connect it with the IKEA brand. The designers decided to keep the color of the logo (the blue and yellow of the Swedish flag) and the bold type, as Freytag Anderson believed this to be the best parts of the existing logo. However, the oval had to go, since it both dated the logo and reduced its legibility at smaller scales. They also cleaned up the font, moving it closer to Futura and removing the eccentric brackets from the logo’s second and fourth characters.
But what makes Freytag Anderson’s new IKEA identity compelling is the way each letter of the logo breaks down into distinct building blocks. It’s sort of the logo equivalent of IKEA’s own Valle modular shelving cubes. Both are designed to be easily reconfigurable, not just according to the space in which they are being used–in the logo’s case, maybe on the side of a retail package, or in a smartphone app–but as a way to express creativity.
“When people think of IKEA they inevitably think of flatpack boxes and enormous blue rectangular buildings,” Anderson writes. “It therefore seemed obvious to take the modular system a step further, into a three dimensional context — wrapping the logo around shapes — thereby creating a tangible link between brand and product.” And because it requires both a short, punchy name and a brand associated with modular design, it’s an approach that could only work for IKEA.
That’s why it’s perfect. But the real question is still unanswered: How does it look on a frozen package of IKEA-brand Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam?