Posts tagged ‘IKEA’

What’s in a name?

Recently I read an article about how some big-name companies came up with those names. Did you know that IKEA is simply the first two letters of founder Ingvar Kamprad’s name plus the first two letters of his hometown?

What about Yahoo!? Well, Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels actually coined the term to represent a filthy, repulsive creature similar to a human (think Neanderthal). Turns out, the founders of Yahoo! considered themselves yahoos and decided the name fit the company as well.

Interestingly, the name Volkswagen, which means “people’s car” comes from one of Adolf Hitler’s initiatives to provide cars for the masses, a state-sponsored program called “Volkswagen.” Hitler wanted to create an affordable car that could transport German families along another one of his state-sponsored programs, the Autobahn.

Reading about how companies selected their monikers got me wondering about how Zag was named. So, I set out to do a little investigative digging on how the name was derived. It turns out the name “Zag” came about as a way to describe how we at Zag do business. Our motto is, “When others zig, we zag.” Thus, put quite simply, Zag represents the idea that we as a company strive to think outside of the box, to create things that are different from what one expects and get off the beaten path. Zag came about as the brainchild of Director Kelsey and GCG President Neil and it seems to me that after more than a year in business, it is a pretty accurate name.

Check out the article to read rest of the stories about how big-name companies selected their monikers here: How 16 Great Companies Picked Their Unique Names

07/09/2010 at 12:30 PM Leave a comment

Noticing the little things

kelsey-polaBelieve it or not, people notice change – even if it seems minute.

That’s what happened to IKEA a few weeks ago.

After 50 years of using the same typeface on all communication materials, IKEA decided to change from Futura to Verdana.


The catalog before the font change.

The 2010 catalog with the Verdana font

The 2010 catalog with the Verdana font.

The font change first came in the company’s catalog, which it deems as the “world’s most printed book.” An immediate backlash incurred from mostly advertising professionals rather than the public.

IKEA’s reasoning for the change is to simply increase legibility across all forms of media (i.e. digital and print). Verdana is designed to increase legibility with its wide, open letters and space between characters.

Some of the main forms of protest were blogs, Twitter posts and even an online petition launched by Marius Ursache, a Romanian design consultant.

Even with all of the backlash, IKEA doesn’t plan on changing the font back, as of right now.

I guess it just goes to show that even when the rest of the world doesn’t mind, you can always count on professionals in the advertising industry to catch the most miniscule things.

09/11/2009 at 2:04 PM Leave a comment

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