In its early decades, IKEA often bought existing products from different suppliers. One example is the SNILLE chair, which was designed by Svante Schöblom.
Even during his years at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design Svante was interested in ergonomics. He carefully researched seat curves and back curves on seating furniture. After art college, Svante became a designer at plastics company Overman. One of his first jobs was to create a comfortable, stackable chair in moulded thermoplastic.
Overman had long had a working relationship with IKEA. When Ingvar Kamprad saw Svante Schöblom’s chair, he was so impressed he decided to buy it for IKEA. It was named SNILLE and launched in the 1973 catalogue. But despite its smart design, the chair was only in the catalogue for three years.
In the 2004 IKEA catalogue, however, SNILLE was back again, now as an office chair in two versions: stackable and on wheels. It was a great comeback, and SNILLE was in the catalogue for another 12 years!