Typecast typefaces

Typecast typefaces

I must admit that I noticed it immediately. It was probably a week or so before my RSS feeder blew up from all the hysteria: IKEA’s decision to drop the use of Futura in favor of Verdana in its recently shipped Fall catalog.

I’m certainly not trying to brag. In fact, I’m not all that proud of myself that I notice these things sometimes. I literally walked past the stack of mail in the office, saw the catalog and thought what happened to Futura?

So why all the hoopla over a stupid typeface? Well, just like the design of logos, typefaces garner a lot of attention in the design community. Without being in the room, we have no idea why IKEA decided to abandon Futura. Maybe the designer of the catalog didn’t have the font loaded on the computer and figured Microsoft’s Verdana would substitute just fine. Who knows.

And who cares. I guess I do, but don’t listen to me on this one. I’m a typeface geek, but certainly not a snob on this issue — I’ll be the first to admit when I finally see a great use of Comic Sans and I’ll cringe when I lay my eyes on a hack job with Gotham (today’s type darling thanks to its use in the Obama brand).

It’s not the typeface. It’s not the font. It’s the reason behind it.


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