Ikea takes a poke at high-end cousin
“The 2007 Ikea catalog dropped with a global 80,000-ton thud a few weeks ago. Though its arrival hardly rates on the American cultural calendar, it’s something of a phenomenon in Europe, where shelter catalogs aren’t so plentiful.
Still, publishing 160 million catalogs a year worldwide (20 million in the United States) is a retail achievement nonpareil. By way of comparison, three years after its release, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code has about 60 million copies in print.
The catalog is dizzying — its 370 pages the two-dimensional equivalent of the store’s labyrinthine showrooms. But what popped out this year was a page of postage-stamp-size, black-and-white portraits of Ikea’s design team. They were arranged like a school yearbook, 26 of them, their vowel-heavy Swedish names in small red type. On later pages they reappeared individually next to their latest creations.
Was this a subtle allusion to Design Within Reach or a more deliberate poke? Since its debut in
1999, black-and-white portraits of furniture designers have been a hallmark of DWR’s catalog, essential to the way that each object is presented as a work of art…”
Photo: Christine Cotter/ LA Times