How Ikea names furniture — idealista/news


We want to reveal one of the best-kept secrets of Swedish furniture makers: the process of “baptism” of furniture. Surely you’ve wondered why that Ikea armchair is called desktop or the rug at your mother’s house is called Langston. These aren’t that complicated, but can you imagine pronouncing HUUVUDSPELEARE? What kind of mind is capable of imagining these names? Those who work at Ikea, for example.

“Ikea of ​​Sweden, the development unit of the Ikea range, manages this task. Naming a product requires a great deal of imagination and a hands-on approach. Dictionaries, web pages, maps, and birth announcements are some sources of inspiration for names. We have over 10,000 items, of which approximately 25% are replaced each year, so it is important to have a good overview. Normally, the names are selected from the availability list in the database, but in some cases, it is a suggestion of the product designer or developer”, they explain from Ikea.

Ikea furniture

The process, step by step

“In the beginning, the names were given in a more “spontaneous” or “manual” way, but now (with more than 10,000 references) there is a computer program that contains a database with over 26,000 names. This program helps to find names and determines if it was used before if it was used in the past if enough time has passed to use it again”, they explain. But it is necessary to follow a series of rules:

  • Firstly, the product names must be Scandinavian names.
  • The product category is to see where to look for inspiration, whether a piece of furniture, kitchen utensils, or textiles, to relate it to geographical areas, animals, plants, mountains, etc.
  • On many occasions, they contain characters like “å,” “ä,” and “ö,” typical of the Swedish language.
  • Swedish or Scandinavian surnames, words that may be trademarks in other countries, and comments related to artists’ names, musical groups, or fictional characters cannot be used.
  • They must be valid in all languages ​​of the countries where Ikea is present. Therefore offensive words cannot be used in any of these countries.
  • Also, they can’t be too long or too short, so they don’t look like abbreviations.

Everything is in order, even the names.

All names must follow the naming strategy. Different product categories are named after other groups of words. For example:

  • entrance halls – Swedish geographical names
  • living room tidying up – professions
  • Office furniture – boy names, sports terms
  • room cleaning – hills, mountains, ridges, peninsulas, cliffs
  • beds and mattresses – hills, mountains, ridges, projections, cliffs
  • baths – lakes, waterways
  • Kitchens – Swedish geographic names
  • dining rooms – Swedish geographic names
  • Children – birds, animals, insects
  • Lighting – sea flora and lakes, nautical terms (navigation)
  • Bed and bath textiles – flowers, plants, butterflies
  • home textiles – flowers, plants, butterflies
  • rugs – infrastructure, but oriental rugs retain the name of their regional affiliation
  • Kitchen utensils – fish, butterflies, flowers, and plants
  • tableware – fish, butterflies, flowers, and plants
  • Decoration – forest, trees
  • outdoor furniture – islands in Sweden
  • home organization – agricultural terms
  • Flooring and pet accessories – forest/rural/agricultural terms
  • household electronics – musical and technological terms
  • Home appliances – Swedish geographic names
Ikea furniture

are usually names Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians. For example, bookshelves (and arguably the most famous is Billy) is a Scandinavian male name, as are Ivar (which is also another bookshelf) and Ektorp (a town near Stockholm). Rugs usually have Danish names: Langsted (a wind farm in Denmark) and Morum (a city in Denmark). Outdoor furniture is named after Scandinavian islands, such as the Äpplarö series.

And which are the most difficult to pronounce? “On many occasions, it is phonetically complicated because there are several consonants in a row, without vowels in the middle, and that’s why it costs more,” they explain. For example, try ANLEDNING, FALLENHET, SVENBERTIL, HUUVUDSPELEARE, OMTÄNSKAM

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