The Verdana Conspiracy

Verdana, a typeface specifically designed for web readability, was released with Internet Explorer 3 for the first time in 1996. Since then, it has taken over the HTML design world as the most popular font used on the web.

But the digital world is not enough for this font. Recently, typophiles worldwide were shocked when IKEA, after 50 years, changed its typeface from a modified version of the beloved Futura to Verdana. The reason? “To allow the company to use the same typeface in all countries (current IKEA typefaces do not contain Asian characters, for example). Being that Verdana was designed for the web, it also allows the company’s image to remain consistent online and in print,” said Ivana Hrdlickova, an IKEA information manager.

Clearly, this is another win for the web (and economy) over print and design, especially as this fall the 2010 edition of the world’s third most printed publication (right behind the Bible and Harry Potter), will arrive at doorsteps and mailboxes in yucky Verdana.

– Christian Schrader