The Gap Introduces New Logo; Blogosphere Is NOT Pleased

Gap's iconic old logo vs. the new Gap logo. What do you think?

Crossposted from Ad It appears Gap is rolling out a new logo and critics aren’t being too kind about the shift.

The new logo has replaced the retailer’s iconic blue box, which had “Gap” emblazoned across it in capital letters, on the brand’s home page. Now, a gradiated blue box is perched at the top right side of the “p” in Gap. The original logo can still be found on the retailer’s Facebook and Twitter page, however. [NOTE: The logo was recently changed on the website, but the Facebook page has the old logo. Continuity much?]

The logo is pervasive in American culture, appearing on some 1,200 stores in North America. Gap also operates nearly 300 stores in Europe and Asia. Gap is the 84th most-valuable brand in the world, according to Interbrand’s 2010 study. The group values the brand at nearly $4 billion.

What’s your take on the new logo? Weigh in on our poll here:

Of course a brand is more than a logo, but as far as logos go, Gap’s is an icon. Across the internet detractors have been picking apart the new look, with the most common sentiment being that it looks like something a child created using a clip-art gallery. A Twitter account @gaplogo has even popped up within the last 24 hours and is rapidly attracting new followers. It appears to be a parody account, given the irreverence. Posts detail, for example, how the “marketing team is huddled in a corner eating Ben & Jerry’s and drinking scotch” and the “creative director just quit.”

There are also references to another infamous rebrand: Tropicana. “Peter Arnell just called. He didn’t say anything — all we heard was laughing on the other end of the line,” reads one tweet. “I’m not going the way of Tropicana’s logo. Nowayjose,” reads another.

Gap has remained mum. No official press release explained the shift, and calls for comment were not returned. It’s not clear whether an agency worked with Gap to create the logo. The retailer has worked with Laird & Partners, as well as MDC’s Crispin Porter & Bogusky in the past on creative campaigns.

Sales at the retailer have been tepid in recent months. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 4% during the second quarter.

UPDATE: Gap chimed in late last night, after giving the blogosphere plenty of time to get fired up about the new logo. But its response has added even more fuel to the fire.

A Facebook post reads, “Thanks for everyone’s input on the new logo! We’ve had the same logo for 20+ years, and this is just one of the things we’re changing. We know this logo created a lot of buzz and we’re thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding! So much so we’re asking you to share your designs. We love our version, but we’d like to … see other ideas. Stay tuned for details in the next few days on this crowd sourcing project.”

Whether the retailer is backpedaling or this was all part of some master plan is still not clear. Calls to the retailer have not been returned. But, if comments on the Facebook post and online chatter are any indication, Gap’s effort to quell the negative firestorm surrounding its new logo is going to be met with resistance.

Posters decry the crowdsourcing proposal as a “disgusting PR ploy,” a “stunt” and “amateur.” Others expressed amazement that the company now appears to be looking for free designs, after seemingly bungling its first attempt, and urged designers not to participate.


One response to “The Gap Introduces New Logo; Blogosphere Is NOT Pleased

  1. This logo is so poorly executed it evokes anger in my Art Director Heart! And just think, the Creative agency were probably just taking orders. What should they have done? Should they have said, “You’re paying us to rebrand an iconic logo is a mistake. We don’t want the work.” Or should they have produced a “Gradient that speaks to younger audiences” as the spokesperson of Gap said?

    The fact that this logo was published by Gap is outrageous. How could such a big brand and so many marketers make such a huge mistake? Certainly there must have been several flag-wavers that were ignored.

    LOGOS don’t carry the power of “appealing to younger audiences.” A typeface can influence a viewer’s perception that way, but ultimately the language of the marketing and the product/service determine the rest.

    The logo represents the brand, not the brand the logo.

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