Like most of us here, I have been following the IKEA debacle over the switch from its proprietary Futura to the egalitarian Verdana as the corporate type family used from catalogs to store signage across the world. First spotted at Typophile, then dissected at idsgn, the news finally made it to Time magazine and an online petition to revert has garnered over 3,000 signatures. The main complaint, that serves as objective leverage, is that Verdana was designed — by Matthew Carter for Microsoft — to be used on screen and at small sizes, something it exceeded at, but the underlying current in the uproar is that designers and type designers seem to subjectively hate Verdana, perhaps not for its design but for what it stands for: The homogeneity of typography in the hands of the masses. Sure, Verdana looks weird and out of place in a catalog and on store signs but I really don’t believe it is that far-fetched and in some cases it even manages to look oddly avant-garde. Verdana is not Futura, but for the time being it does look like it’s the future.

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Reviewed August 31, 200908.31.09 by Armin

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