This was a conceptual project for a graphic design course, in which I ideated and designed innovative ways to display department signage within IKEA stores. For an international company as large and well-known as IKEA, there is a huge potential to save on signage costs.
IKEA operates in a multilingual market with over 400 stores around the world. Every time a sign with words is printed, that sign needs to be accounted for in other languages for the countries in which that sign will be displayed. To cut down on these signage costs, especially for departments that are in every IKEA store, my goal was to incorporate universal signage – using graphics and images to portray a department rather than using words.
Instead of using general symbols to convey departments, I designed these custom graphics with actual IKEA products in mind, reverting their real-life forms to simplified shapes, negative space, and lines. As a result, the graphics remain clear and universal and look like blueprints, which is a nod to IKEA’s do-it-yourself operations.
IKEA’s signature yellow was an obvious choice for the prominent background and the IKEA blue emphasizes the “blueprint” of each item of furniture. Together, they mimic the IKEA logo and provide a sense of continuity for any customer in an IKEA store.
This project is an ideal example of how custom graphics can make all the difference for a company. They are easily understood in every country IKEA operates in, they are personalized to IKEA and the products they sell, and they would be economically savvy for the furniture giant to incorporate.