The IKEA Catalogue

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IKEA HIGHLIGHTS 2016
PEEKING INTO THE WORLD'S LARGEST PRINT PRODUCTION
WRITER: HANNAH MAGNUSSON
Translated into 33 languages, in 48 different markets, reaching about 255 million people, this year’s IKEA Catalogue welcomed everyone to be themselves. The statement was clear: IKEA products aren’t designed for consumers, they’re designed for people. And the reality? People are human, and humans are not perfect.
Alongside this year’s bold statement; the IKEA Catalog introduces an editorial approach for the very first time. Amongst the wide array of products and inspiration, every couple of pages you’ll find a story. Topics range from real peoples’ homes and dreams, to an up-close peek into the IKEA world. Additionally, they’ve launched a newly developed digital experience, and a new IKEA Catalog app. The goal? To be accessible to everyone. But what does the IKEA Catalog look and feel like from inside IKEA? Lead Art Director, Zara Blomqvist shares her experience.
IKEA
WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH THE CATALOG?

“The catalog is the only platform where we’re able to produce content that is consistent on a global level. Aside from the store, it’s the place where the IKEA Concept and home furnishing ideas reach the largest amount of people. My favorite part is when creation and production are happening at the same time. I love being ‘the spider in the web’, weaving it all together. That’s when I feel I’m able to dream about what the end results will be, while still enjoying the process.”

WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART?

“Just the large scale of everything!” (Over 200 people were involved in creating the IKEA Catalog this year, which means roughly 102 000 hours of work. If the catalog were to make laps around the globe, it would make about 38 of them Yes, 38!) Zara continues, “Then of course, there are also many small details to take into account. Like every single article number for each product, and all the translations.”

SOMETHING ABOUT THE CATALOG THAT NO ONE WOULD KNOW?

“We build all our home furnishing solutions based on insights and trends that are happening around the world. Home-visits are a large part of the process. It’s where we begin the catalog journey to collect inspiration and knowledge. This year, we visited a very interesting home in Berlin. We were so intrigued by their kitchen. It was all black, elegant and uniform with sleek lines. It had everything you could imagine in order to turn a compact area into a very attractive, smart way of living. And that’s actually how one of the kitchen solutions in this year’s catalog came to life. It’s so valuable and important for us to be inspired from real homes. Because, what we’re doing is about people - learning about their lives at home in order to make it better.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE STORY THIS YEAR?

“ What home is like for a refugee without one’. It’s a highly relevant topic today, and one that I hope reaches out to many hearts. It’s also affected me on a personal level - seeing all the non-governmental organizations and everyone involved. It’s special, because it has little to do with the commerciality of the catalog. It’s about something that everyone can relate to - IKEA and people alike - the simple fact that we all want, and need, a place to call home.”

WHAT CAN YOU SHARE ABOUT THE FUTURE?

“Everything is moving in a more editorial direction. Storytelling is something that we want to share more and more of because it’s important for people to know what kind of brand they are engaging with. We want them to know who the IKEA brand is. We’re constantly working on developing the digital side as well - to make the experience more user-friendly and accessible to the many. Another exciting initiative is the movement towards e-commerce. We would like to share our ideas and inspire, as well as give you the opportunity to act immediately if there is something you like. It’ll be very interesting to see in which direction the print catalog will go...”

THREE WORDS THAT SUM UP THIS YEAR'S PRODUCTION?

Zara pauses before saying, “Turbulent, but in the positive sense. New movements. And thirdly: Forward.”
A close-up of the lead art director Zara Blomquist.line
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389
IKEA® store visits in millions
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He has been around for nearly four decades. Most of us have either lived with him or gotten to know him at a friend’s place. Come along and meet BILLY at his countryside birthplace where about 4.5 million BILLY bookcases see daylight each year.
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PEEKING INTO THE WORLD’S
LARGEST PRINT PRODUCTION
Translated into 33 languages, in 48 different markets, reaching about 255 million people, this year’s IKEA Catalogue welcomed everyone to be themselves. The statement was clear: IKEA doesn’t design furniture for consumers - they design for people. And the reality? People are human, and humans are not perfect.
Get a peek behind the scenes
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IKEA HIGHLIGHTS
Many companies, organizations and people, together, shape IKEA. Each and every person, idea and solution contribute to the big picture. IKEA Highlights collects stories from different parts of the IKEA world to describe this year’s accomplishments, quirks and maybe even a few slips. Good thing we’re all human.
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MOST THINGS STILL
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Have you ever wondered where IKEA came from? Or how a simple country boy from Småland was inspired to create one of the world’s leading brands and help create a better everyday life for millions of people?
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