Ikea has swapped its brand typeface to Noto, a collaborative type family from Monotype and Google, after a decade of using Verdana across its visual identity. Before 2009, the company used Ikea Sans – an adaptation of Futura – for 50 years, but moved to Verdana because its own-brand font didn’t include Asian characters.
Its move to Noto is a step further in making Ikea’s typeface truly inclusive of its global markets, as the family encompasses every written language in the world. Noto launched in October 2016 as the result of five years research and development between Google and Monotype, enlisting hundreds of staff and unifying 800 languages and 100 written scripts from Cyrillic to Cherokee. By creating a digital representation of all the scripts in the Unicode standard in many cases, the font was the first ever to serve a particular language community.
The name Noto is short for No Tofu, where tofu is a term often used to describe the little squares that show when a font is not supported by a computer.
Ikea has revealed the new typeface in its 2020 catalogue. On Twitter, Monotype’s Jürgen Siebert shared before-and-after shots of the old and new typefaces in action, commenting: “Trapped in system thinking: After ten years, Ikea says goodbye to Verdana and replaces it with Noto.”