The IKEA catalogue is celebrating its 70th anniversary with this year’s issue. To mark the occasion, it is taking the form of a handbook for a better everyday life at home. Ingvar Kamprad established the company in 1943 at the age of 17, initially selling items such as pens, wallets, picture frames, tablecloths, watches, jewellery, nylon stockings and postcards. In 1947, Kamprad also started selling furniture by mail order. By the time the first IKEA catalogue was published in 1951, the firm had shifted its focus entirely to furniture. In 1955, the company started offering furniture specially designed for IKEA in order to reduce costs; in 1956, it began shipping the furniture as flat packs. What was important was that the catalogue didn’t merely showcase furniture and other household items as individual objects, but rather in fully furnished rooms: a strategy that the company still follows to this day. In the words of a press release accompanying the current catalogue: “we have designed every page using the logic that has always been the basis of our range: making a difference in everyday life with the little things. This catalogue is full of inspiration and information to help design all kinds of living styles in a smarter, more sustainable and more beautiful way – for the people who live there.” We “want to help people: a small step here, a new habit there; an ergonomic pillow, a new recipe, a water-saving mixer tap or a height-adjustable desk for the study,” explains Caroline Hjertström, Range Communication Manager, IKEA Communications.
The subheading “A big family’s warm, welcoming home” appears below “Top of the class”; “What money can’t buy” is followed by “Love, football and a new family”. “It’s the little things – an extra cushion, the warm glow of a lamp or a cup of your favourite tea”. The tabletop is also no longer just lightweight and stable, as its production was also resource-saving. Larger-than-life storytelling draws you into the world of IKEA, with the main protagonists’ “first place together […] all about function (and fun!), with flexible essentials that will follow wherever life takes them.” The spotlight will once again be on the topic of sustainability in the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on 1 September. What’s more, IKEA is sticking to its goal of becoming climate-positive by 2030. This means that the company aims to reduce more greenhouse gas emissions than are emitted by its value chain – whilst continuing to grow. According to IKEA, the previous issue of the catalogue – which appeared in 38 languages – achieved a global print circulation of some 124 million copies. Anyone not wishing to browse the latest catalogue online can order a print copy or pick one up at any IKEA branch.