Making the 2016 IKEA Catalogue

Making the 2016 IKEA Catalogue

The cover says, “It’s the little things that matter.” And that proves to be true when it comes to creating the IKEA Catalogue as well — lot and lots and lots of little things.

“There is a lot to do. There is a lot to think about. There are a lot of people around you. There are a lot of eyes. Sometimes there is too much of everything,” says Andrea Papini, photographer for the IKEA Catalogue. “But, I love it.”

After many months of many details, 219 million FSC-certified copies of the IKEA Catalogue were printed in 34 languages for 49 markets. And it all started in one small Swedish town with one simple question that mattered most: What do customers want and need?

“We actually start our process with going out to people’s homes. The reason why we do that is because we really want to understand people’s real wants and needs — their dreams when it comes to their homes,” says Morten Lundholm, strategic planner at IKEA Communications AB.

A small team of about eight co-workers used that insight to set the theme of this year’s catalogue, focusing on life in and around the kitchen — everything from growing food, to cooking it, serving it and storing it — and all the magical moments that happen at every step. The team then exploded in size, with hundreds of co-workers working together in Älmhult, Sweden, to create ideas, text, graphics, room settings and images that ended up in print. Those solutions and stories continue online on the IKEA website, where there are more than films in addition to image galleries, 360° views and walk in the room, a new feature that lets the viewer feel like they’re actually in the room. And there are over 400 place in your room products that can be used at home.

It was indeed a lot of little things. And just like in everyday life, there never seemed to be enough time to do it all.

We actually start our process with going out to people’s homes

“The biggest challenge was to make sure that we created something that was both inspirational and relevant but at the same time ‘IKEA unique’ for 50 markets,” says Johan Wickmark, catalogue manager at IKEA Retail Services AB. “We keep on trying to find new, better ways to help people in their everyday lives at home.”

Some additional facts about the Catalogue production

  • 30 printing houses spread over the world handle the printing of the 2016 IKEA Catalogue
  • People in 49 countries are going to get a copy of this year’s IKEA Catalogue
  • Morocco and South Korea will have their first full version of the IKEA Catalogue this year
  • There are 52 videos/animations in the Extended Content feature of this year’s catalogue edition
  • 400 products are used in the “Place In Your Room” feature of the Extended Content
  • We’ve spent a total of 50 days in our studios producing more than 1,500 images
  • There were 82 room sets built for the 2016 IKEA Catalogue — 65 in the photo studio, 12 in the 3D studio, and 5 on different locations outside the studios
  • The 2016 IKEA Catalogue is translated into 43 languages
  • Combined, all market specific versions of the 2016 IKEA Catalogue contain 2,600 unique pages
  • Along with one seamstress and one prop master, 21 Production House designers have transformed ideas into actual home furnishing solutions