Tour: Behind The Scenes Of The IKEA Catalogue

behind-the-scenes-of-ikeaRemember last year when I posted about going on an adventure with IKEA? Well, today I’m really excited because I’m blogging the first look at one of the activities I was lucky enough to experience during the trip. Friends, do you care to join me on a behind the scenes tour of the IKEA catalogue? Great: lights, camera, IKEA – let’s go!ikea-catalogue-behind-the-scenesikea-photographic-studio-almhult-swedeneuropes-largest-photographic-studioWhen you walk into IKEA Communications, which is located in the small town of Älmhult, Sweden, you instantly know where you are: a colourful, double-height wall adorned with head-shots of all the 280 co-workers who work on the catalogue towers above a row of KLIPPAN sofas neatly arranged into mini meeting areas. I was greeted with a friendly welcome from multiple co-workers and after a quick run down of the catalogue’s history I was all set to begin my adventure. I was guided towards two sizeable double doors where security codes were entered and I stepped into the creative heart of IKEA’s visuals.making-of-the-ikea-cataloguephotographing-the-ikea-catalogueAt 8,800 square metres, I was standing inside Europe’s largest photographic studio and it was a hive of activity: Interior designers were busy rearranging room sets or tweaking the styling before a photo shoot began; photographers paused to look through their camera lenses before liaising with the other people on set around big monitors; set builders painted walls and floors; and technicians hurried past with cables and cameras. I was eager to photograph as much as I could but, understandably, we were only allowed to take certain snaps because the team were busy working on the 2014 catalogue. I did, however, get the chance to have a go on set behind one of the cameras – talk about once in a life time opportunity, especially given that the IKEA catalogue is the largest printed media in the World! I was fascinated by the little room set that I shot in because it was tucked away in a far corner of the studio (complete with the co-worker car park outside the window!), yet it still felt like a sanctuary and I genuinely could have moved in! After experiencing what it’s like to shoot on set of the IKEA catalogue, I would could have walked away satisfied with my behind the scenes experience but the excitement wasn’t quite over…behind-the-scenes-ikeas-photographic-studioAfter walking around a few corners and ducking under what must have been at least ten metre high drapes of fabric, I walked onto a vast set that had recently been dismantled ready to make way for a new room set. It was only then that the team told me the very spot I was standing has been used to shoot a location in the current catalogue. Yes, that was the point I jumped in the air with excitement. You can see the shot from this room set on page 106-7 in IKEA’s current catalogue.largest-photographic-studio-in-europe

I have lots more fun to show you from my trip but for now I hope you felt like you were right there with me experiencing the magic of creating the IKEA catalogue.

// Photography by Will Taylor, Clara Molden and IKEA


  • Reply Desiree February 28, 2013 at 12:10 am

    What a great look behind the scenes.. I have a soft spot for IKEA ! Thanks for the sneak peek and funny pictures.

  • Reply Michele February 28, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Your blog posts always make me smile! Just wanted you to know that. 🙂

  • Reply Kathi February 28, 2013 at 1:16 am

    this must have been so much fun and so fascinating! love itk

  • Reply tim@designmaze February 28, 2013 at 1:56 am

    What fun!! love the behind the scene fun footage and so excited you get to shoot the room with the polka dot beddings! Are we going to see your handy work in the 2014 catalog?

  • Reply Vic @ Cush & Nooks February 28, 2013 at 2:25 am

    What an amazing experience, so cool! I wish I was there with you. x

  • Reply Katherine February 28, 2013 at 2:55 am

    I can only imagine the number of staff to coordinate the product and builds for the sets and prep for the shoots. IKEA production company is a business all in itself. It would be a blast to see it in action.

  • Reply Preciously Me February 28, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Wow! Lucky you!!!
    I’m an IKEA addict so it’s always great to see the backstage!
    I wish I could there one day … 🙂

  • Reply Darren (beHolders eyes) February 28, 2013 at 8:51 am

    As always Will you create the most interesting, varied and inspiring posts. What a lovely thing to experience and even better that you can share it with us.

  • Reply Eva February 28, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Wow! That is seriously cool! It must have been such an inspiring experience! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply laura redburn // cardboardcities February 28, 2013 at 9:16 am

    wow, love this! must’ve been so exciting and interesting to see and learn about ‘behind the scenes’ of their shoots!

  • Reply Emelie February 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Wow! This is like beeing let in to the camber of secrets! A real once in a lifetime opportunity! A very exciting blogpost indeed 😉

  • Reply Floor number four. (maria) February 28, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Looks like great fun behind the scenes, lovely shots!

  • Reply Ice Beautiful February 28, 2013 at 10:03 am

    It was exciting and interesting! Thank you! I was always wondering how it is done in IKEA. It looks like you had a really good time there!

  • Reply Emily February 28, 2013 at 11:01 am

    How incredibly fun! I wonder if they ever do stop motion videos of one of the rooms? It would be so interesting to see it come together!

  • Reply samantha February 28, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I’m so jealous! this would be my ideal day out.

  • Reply Rachel {Little Bits of Lovely} February 28, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I love a good peek behind the scenes Will and this looks like SO much fun! It would have been fun setting up each of the sets for the different rooms and pulling all the styling together! xx

  • Reply Meghan @ Wishful Thinking February 28, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Aaah Will, I think this is one of my favourite posts of yours! I have always wanted to know what is involved in a catalogue shoot! It looks like a total hive of activity! Can’t wait to see more! x

  • Reply Brooke H February 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    So cool you got a sneak peek behind the Ikea cutrain! I love giant studios like that with painters, stylists, construction guys and photographers all around. I used to art direct shoots in High Point and this post completely brought me back there. Such fun! Can’t wait to see more of what your working on with Ikea.

  • Reply Judith February 28, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    So fun! I was in Älmhult a while ago as well, but “just” as a client. In the hallway of their first IKEA store you can see all the original IKEA catalog covers since 1951. Loved that! Your peak behind the scenes looks like so much fun!

  • Reply Anya February 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Will, you’re the best – how funny is your leap of joy – I think I would do the same in this fab Aladdin’s cave of Ikea wonders. What an awesome trip that must have been. Thanks for sharing in your Ikea photo shoot – I never knew the had a massive studio like this – don’t know what I thought they did for their catalogue , but this rocks!! Maybe I should move to Sweden, and work shooting catalogues 😉 Happy day,

  • Reply bonny February 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Amazing! So much fun! Hope there will be more adventures soon.

  • Reply janis-pinecone camp February 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Wow! This is a fantastic peak into the whirling world of photography at Ikea. Thanks for sharing! Looks like you were in heaven 😉

  • Reply Cindy February 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    It’s amazing how those sets can be created to look like real rooms – it doesn’t hit you until you see a before and after. Thanks for the behind the scenes peek into the world of photography shoots.

  • Reply Amalie February 28, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Wonderful, thanks for this story! It was fun reading it and seeing you jumping!

  • Reply Gudy Herder February 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    That is what I call a VALUABLE POST, Will! First hand exclusive information of something we are all dying to know!

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily February 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    How completely wonderful to have been invited over there Will. Must have been fantastic. Wonderful to see behind the scenes and can’t wait to see more. Thanks so much for sharing with us! xx

  • Reply geraldine February 28, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    What an amazing experience to see first hand how the catalogue is created. I like that inclusive ethos of the company, having all their employees photos displayed – part of the Ikea family. Thanks for this behind the scenes sneak peek and wow! you sure can jump high!! Happy weekend xx

  • Reply rachie @ a chi chi affair March 1, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Ooh what a fun post – it’s great to see what you got up to! Love that spotty bedding and all their styling! Xx

  • Reply Jeanne March 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    This is so cool and amazing! Definitely enjoyed the tour and seeing you in it! XO

  • Reply Lily March 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    What fun! I’d be jumping up and down too, Will! I went to school for a semester in Vetlanda, Sweden and loved my time there in the countryside but especially weekends spent in Stockholm. Thanks for sharing your behind-the-scenes look 🙂

  • Reply kimberly hughes March 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    What a fun post! Loving the jumping for joy shot – I never realised the studio would be that big (not really sure what I thought tbh! That the homes are simply magic’d into the catalogues by IKEA fairies? Perhaps.) but that looks like a really fun exciting day out! Thanks so much for sharing your behind the scenes action! xxx

  • Reply mary @ B&G JOURNALS March 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    so awesome, thanks for sharing! what a huge production it all is…

  • Reply Ana March 4, 2013 at 8:44 am

    I’m jealous! Thanks for sharing this with us. This must have been so exciting!

  • Reply Lisa Goulet March 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Wow how cool is this! I can imagine how your head was spinning in every direction. Can’t wait to read more.

  • Reply Iga March 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I am quietly jealous:) Looks like a lot of FUN!

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