Verdana is IKEA’s font of the futura.

03.09.09 UPDATE:

  • Great coverage of the issue on, which, I have just discovered, is a Bloody Brilliant Blog (BBB).
  • You can sign the anti-Verdana “IKEA please get rid of Verdana” petition here.
  • And has even cottoned on to the debacle: The Font War: Ikea Fans Fume Over Verdana.

{ via Typophile }

After 50 years, IKEA is changing its font from Futura to Verdana.
{ Follow through for the full story & discussion on }

I love IKEA. I can honestly attest that almost every item of furniture I have ever owned (since childbirth) has been from IKEA. IKEA is the Helvetica of the furniture world. It is a blank canvas. A neutral. Sufficient character to stand up on its own (pun intended), but muted enough that it doesn’t drown out what you’re really trying to say * .

I also love the kooky IKEA language, and the crazy nomenclature around which it is built. A mirror known as FRÄCK; a tiny plush owl toy called SOT; a computer table that answers to the name DAVE. Every book I’ve ever owned has lived on a BILLY bookcase.

Part of me worries that none of these will look or sound quite so Scandinavianly edgy when printed in Verdana

*Probably something along the lines of “I like low prices, simple lines, white-on-white,  and am handy with an Allen key“.

Playing favourites with pretty words

Winter holidays long gone, I’ve been rather busy studying relatively bland legal verbiage… which is what I ought to be doing now …which would make this the perfect time to wax lyrical about some new personal favourites in the ‘beautiful’ end of the linguistic spectrum!

1. Ambrosial

Huh? Immortal, divine, celestial, ethereal. Belonging to or worthy of the gods. Also suggestive of golden deliciousness.

As in? As in the amrit vela: “the ambrosial hours just before dawn” (when yogis and the sun rise in unison).

Why? Because it both means and sounds what it is: divine.

2. Equanimity

Huh? The quality of having an even mind. Resilience. Evenness of temper. Being undisturbed by emotion, elation or depression. Contrary to popular belief this DOES NOT equate to apathy or a dispassionate disregard for the vicissitudes of life. I’m pretty sure that one CAN be both equanimous and ecstatic, or equanimous and outraged: it’s the capacity to return to even kilter that matters. Far easier said than done, of course (the sea of life is tempestuous and full of serpents).

As in? Anvaya: looking equally upon friends and enemies; enjoying the fair and taking no umbrage at the unfair… and magnanimity*, which, according to Democritus, “consists of enduring tactlessness with mildness”. Nicely said, old man.

Why? For such a relatively small word, equanimity ripples with polysyllabic prettiness. And I’ve been looking for the right word to define “excitably tranquil” for quite some time.

See also: Sangfroid…

3.  Sangfroid

Huh? Yeah, okay. it’s pretty much the same as equanimity. What can I say? I really like the whole concept.

As in? See above.

Why? Because it sounds so Frenchy-pretty (as most Franglais does). And although when translated literally from the French, it means “cold blood”, I like to think that the “cold” is in this context more like “cool” – and it never hurts to have a chilled, chic outlook on life, the universe and everything. And speaking of chilled-and-chic…

4. Nebuchadnezzar

Huh? An extremely large wine bottle,especially for champagne, equivalent in volume to twenty standard bottles, or 15-16 litres. Used primarily for the novelty factor, and rather large parties.

As in? Well, Veuve:




Why? I find it gleefully ironic that all the really ridiculously large wine bottles are named after biblical royalty. And let us not forget, The Neb’ was Morpheus’s ship in The Matrix **.

{ via comingsoon }

* Itself, a charming word.

** Let’s just keep it to the first one, shall we?

Definitely related posts:


Going Forward… [*shudder*]

I just realised why the phrase “going forward” irks me so.

It is newspeak for “henceforth”, which is actually a lovely word and does not need to be replaced. Think about it: anywhere the phrase “going forward” is used, one could just as well say “henceforth” and convey the same meaning. It’s an ugly, ugly synonym.

Henceforth, whenever I hear the soulless, economistic, accountantesque* words “going forward”, I shall mentally replace them with “henceforth” and thus obscure the linguistic ugliness. That way, the politicians, teachers and grown-ups all get to play with their boring newspeak, I get to enjoy the phoentic rustle of henceforth, and everyone is happy.

* Nothing against economists/accountants. I hear some of them are LOVELY people.