Gap Redesigns Logo...But Why?

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Some clothing companies adapt well to changing times, and Gap seemed to be one of those venerable brands. Apparently not. With little fanfare, the company decided to redesign its logo and post it on their website. Not too long after waves of criticism from design firms, mainstream publications and just-plain-bewildered bloggers started rolling in. The company, which has apparently heard the cries of outrage, turned the redesign into a crowd-sourcing exercise on its Facebook page. No word on yet whether that was the official plan all along or if it was just a knee-jerk reaction to all the bad press.

  • 'Looks Like it Cost $17 From an Old Microsoft Word Clipart Gallery' notes Abe Sauer at Brandchannel, who deemed it a "monstrosity." The writer explains: It "demonstrates a prototypical brand panic move. With things not going in its favor, the brand decides to change the one valuable element it has going for it."
  • Sort of Like the American Apparel Logo observes a Design Taxi blogger: "American Apparel had its faux-pornography ads to lend some spark to its otherwise unremarkable logo, but Gap has nothing but snooze-worthy catalog shots on its website."
  • Makes Old Navy 'Look Like a Luxury Brand' scoffs Armin Vit at Brand New: "The shaded square on the corner doesn’t help at all either — I’m not one to critique something by saying it looks as if it were done in Microsoft Word but this one is just too unsophisticated to warrant anything more than that."
  • This Doesn't Make Any Sense writes David Brier at Fast Company. "It's all a cosmetic band-aid which is so unbelievable for a brand as big and 'mature' as Gap. I'll be surprised if a few people won't lose their jobs as this is basic Branding 101."
  • Gap Sales Are Declining Anyway dismisses Jim Edwards at BNet. "There’s a clue to what might have triggered the misstep in the fact that same-store sales at Gap are down 4 percent... Brand managers need to resist that temptation when they see revenues decline. There are lots of reasons sales might be down — the recession, lack of discounts, off-trend product — and not all of those respond to a new trade dress."
  • Everybody Hates The Logo...Except Us  Time Newsfeed writer Nate Jones goes out on a limb saying that he "personally does not mind Helvetica, and so this new logo brings to mind visions of a streamlined, technologically dominant future America where everyone wears white suits and cool glasses. Sure, it's generic, but don't you know that in the future everything looks alike?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.