Can you believe what you see when browsing through an IKEA product catalog?

IKEA Chair

IKEA’s home furnishing catalogs are a great compilation of photographs displaying furniture, cabinetry and accessories all brought together in harmony by an interior designer. The photographs are crisp and and sharp and attractive and ….. FAKE!!!

Yes, that is correct!

Seventy-five percent of IKEA catalog images are graphic computer designed, from chairs to lamps to the bowl of fruit sitting on the table. And the images are so detailed you can see the threads of a throw on a couch, and rendered so beautifully that sunlight streams in from windows leaving soft shadows to fall across the furniture and floor.

At IKEA, photographers are expected to be 3D artists, and 3D artists are expected to be photographers, and both groups work with interior designers.


This new structure allows for the design and layout process to be more flexible, faster, cheaper, simpler. No need to shoot at a studio, or re-shoot if there is a problem with the photo; simply edit the image. Don’t like the lamp in the image? A new model is pulled out the 3D library.

IKEA Kitchen image

Source: IKEA

Computer graphic design may be the way of the future for advertisers, but there is something missing from the images that only an experienced photographer can bring to it. Photographers bring the human touch, the moment, the experience to an image — something we will never see with 3D art.

Read the entire article by Kirsty Parkin here.


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