The Photos in the Ikea Catalog Are Not Real

With news that Ikea will be entering the Philippine market soon, interior designers and homeowners alike are rejoicing.  If you’re a design aficionado that travels often, Ikea is one of those must-visit places on your list. Sure, it’s not listed on Tripadvisor and neither is it recommended by travel bloggers, but it is a home shopping destination. Anyone who has been to Ikea has probably purchased the iconic blue bag and got more than one of the tape measuring and mini pencils. Another thing you have probably picked up is Ikea’s product catalog. It is filled with product photos and tips on home living and interior design. Page after page of beautiful home with Ikea products, it makes you think that the people who live in those houses must be really happy with such a beautiful home. Well, think again. The photos in the Ikea catalog are 3D renderings. The photos in the catalog are computer generated images that are so realistic you can barely tell the difference.

ikea catalog

During 2012, the furniture brand admitted that 25% of their catalog is produced digitally. Recent reports now say that almost 75% of the catalog is made with CG technology. In the span of five years, Ikea now has a collection of 3D renders of their products that they can play around with. They can put the iconic Raskog Trolly in a bathroom or a kitchen, in whatever angle they want, with any lighting they deem fit. No stylists and photographers needed.


So why did the Swedish brand choose to recreate set-ups digitally than shoot their products in real space? It’s simple, it’s more cost-effective than shooting their products in different locations. Shipping furniture in and out different places is just a logistical nightmare, a potential financial mess, and it’s not environment-friendly to transport furniture pieces around every time they need to shoot something.

ikea catalog

According to Ikea’s IT Manager for the in-house communication agency of Ikea, all the inhouse artists were trained in photography and all the in-house the photographers had to learn 3D rendering. Both artists and photographers have mastered how to play with light and have given insurmountable effort on detail, resulting in well-engineered photos that are hyper-realistic.

Ikea Catolog

So the next time you pick up a copy of the Ikea catalog or visit their website and admire the furniture and the styling of the set-ups, don’t forget that what you’re looking at is a 3D render.


More 3D Rendered Spaces by Filipino Interior Designers Here:

A Condo Inspired by Carrie Bradshaw

Steal the Look: A Chic Urban Condo Dwelling

Three Interior Designers Design Three Dreamy Bathrooms


Written by Patricia Herbolario

Photos courtesy of Ikea