It takes a sharp eye to notice these changes. Most people won’t notice a thing, and that changes everything.
Ikea’s ubiquitous blue and yellow logo has long since been a recognizable part of the brand. Having not been updated since 1983, it was well-past due to be refreshed. Our challenge was to maintain brand recognition and avoid having to re-register the trademark, all the while increasing readability in both digital and physical formats, and across a range of sizes. Additionally, due to the long roll-out required to fully integrate the updated logo, it would need to comfortably co-exist with the old logo for an extended period of time.
When given the assignment to refresh one of the world’s most recognizable logos, many designers would be itching to do something drastic, provocative, and award worthy. But sometimes the biggest changes, and the most compelling design challenges, are also those that are the most subtle.
In order to create a total brand experience for Ikea, we felt that the colors should take on a larger role in the branding.
We started by subtly chipping away at the letters. In order to preserve their uniqueness, we didn’t want to completely remove the signature flares. Rather, we took a light hand to them, simplifying the shape in order to create a more optimal logo experience in digital formats. By opening counters in the letter E and closing counters in the letter A, we were able to further increase legibility, especially in smaller sizes. Sticking to the same media space the logo has always had, we tweaked the proportions of both the box and the oval, which in turn allowed us to increase the letter size by 15%. We then moved the ® mark from outside of the rectangle, into the oval. Keeping everything neatly inside the box not only streamlines the brand presence, but it also allows for easier alignment of the logo.
Though subtle, these changes are powerful. optimizing ikea for a better experience across all formats.
Ikea’s yellow and blue color palette was also refreshed. The updated colors are optically enhanced so that they’re easier to reproduce more consistently, and provide an optimized color experience, even when they’re used individually. For example, IKEA’s signature yellow color will be used to create attention and act as an entry to all meeting points within the Ikea brand, such as doors into physical spaces, or apps icons as entry gates to digital spaces. Though subtle, these changes are powerful. The updated IKEA logo maintains the unique characteristics and recognizability it is known for, and is now optimized for a better experience across all formats as the brand moves into the future.