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IKEA product naming system | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

IKEA product naming system

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Have you ever wondered how and why IKEA products are named the way they are? According to Wikipedia, names are used as opposed to code numbers because it’s easier to remember. The names themselves come from a number of countries and ideas. From Wikipedia:

  • Upholstered furniture, coffee tables, rattan furniture, bookshelves, media storage, doorknobs: Swedish placenames (for example: Klippan)
  • Beds, wardrobes, hall furniture: Norwegian placenames
  • Dining tables and chairs: Finnish placenames
  • Bookcase ranges: Occupations
  • Bathroom articles: Scandinavian lakes, rivers and bays
  • Kitchens: grammatical terms, sometimes also other names
  • Chairs, desks: men’s names
  • Materials, curtains: women’s names
  • Garden furniture: Swedish islands
  • Carpets: Danish placenames
  • Lighting: terms from music, chemistry, meteorology, measures, weights, seasons, months, days, boats, nautical terms
  • Bedlinen, bedcovers, pillows/cushions: flowers, plants, precious stones
  • Children’s items: mammals, birds, adjectives
  • Curtain accessories: mathematical and geometrical terms
  • Kitchen utensils: foreign words, spices, herbs, fish, mushrooms, fruits or berries, functional descriptions
  • Boxes, wall decoration, pictures and frames, clocks: colloquial expressions, also Swedish placenames
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  • http://www.disegnostudio.com Christina

    Thanks for the insight. I’ve always wondered. Now I know. I have a Poang chair. Killer name for a guy!

  • http://curiousshopper.blogspot.com Sara

    I’ve always thought those names were somewhat ridiculous. Sure, they were cool at first, when they sounded all Swedish and exotic, but now you have things like the “Effektiv” workspace series, and I think that is just an English word with Swedish trim.

    To their credit, they are easier to remember than numbers.