the Gap logo Fiasco

The reason for this article is that i feel this moment in time must be documented. I feel that we, the design community, are in the middle of something important, something big. As a logo designer, its part of my job to keep up with redesigns, rebranding, and trends especially from large corporations. Theres been plenty of logo changes ive seen over the last 15 months since graduation from college (Full Sail love!) that i didnt like and ended up generating a buzz online. United Airlines comes to mind. But, i have never seen such a widespread backlash and hate for one logo than the newest Gap mark.

Earlier this week i clicked a Twitter link in my news feed that took me to the new logo. My first reaction was laughter. Yes, i actually LOL'd. As i closed the window i thought to myself "this is the worst logo ive seen all year". As the week has progressed, it seems every designer has chimed in through twitter (i swear over half of the tweets ive read this week are about Gap) written articles, shared links, made post on forums, and shared their own concept for a new logo. Thats why ive been following it all so closely. This is a fail of epic proportions, and Twitter has played such a huge part of it. The news and opinions that is constantly flying through is almost mind boggling. I think we've finally felt the full power of social media, and how quickly it can strike. London 2012 concepts came just before Twitter, but i believe it would have the same online result as Gap if introduced today.

Currently on the Brand New blog, which specializes in keeping up with rebrands, 90% of designers (5,964) have given the new Gap mark a vote of "bad", which is a nice way of saying "fail". Its hard to imagine how a major firm like Laird & Partners even let this fly. How does a design that is so obviously bad get approved? But, I dont want to into that client/firm relation too much here, thats a whole other article.

What may be the most hilarious thing about the situation is how the top Gap people have responded. Everything they've said up to this point about the large negative reaction has been twisted into "customer excitement". Yes, People are so excited about it, that Gap will be turning to a crowd sourcing option to fix it. I actually think thats the best move for them to make, though i discourage any designers from entering. Gap has spent a lot of time and money on this idea that is a total flop, and the fastest and cheapest way to fix it (a couple more weeks and less than $2,000) is to turn to the crowd sourcing sites which will no doubt provide something for them that is much better than what they have now.

Like i said, i think this is an important moment in design, one where instructors at design schools will be re-writting their lectures to include it, and one which should be documented. So below is a list of articles i have kept up with on the subject. happy reading.

Gap redesigns logo but why?

Gap logo changes: renaissance or mistake?

Dear Gap, I have your new logo.

The Gap's New Logo - Marka Hansen

Branding's Greatest Misses: The New Gap Logo

New Gap Logo Hated by Many, Company Turns to Crowdsourcing Tactics - Forbes

Deciphering the Meaning of Gap’s New Logo

Don’t Mind the Gap, or the Square - Brand New

Follow-up: Gapgate - Brand New

GAP rebrands with a graduated missplaced square.

Gap's Retro Redesign Incites Flaming Logo Rage

Why Does The Gap Have A New Logo?

Gap Speaks Out: Yes, the Logo Is Real

Lessons for Next time

if it isnt broke dont fix it


Gap and the neuroscience of logo design