Branding’s Greatest Misses: The New Gap Logo

Branding’s Greatest Misses: The New Gap Logo

Branding's Greatest Misses: The New Gap LogoPeople really are very upset about the new logo of famous clothing store GAP! Whereas the former white-on-blue logo was iconic, the new black-letters-next-to-a-little-blue-box design has Gap fans and branding experts alike befuddled and discombobulated.

The main problem: Gap just stuck the logo on their website without bothering to tell anyone they were rebranding, or why. The secondary problem: the logo is dumb. Ad Age explains the sophisticated critiques of Gap’s new strategic direction being posited by the world’s foremost corporate branding experts:

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.

Branding's Greatest Misses: The New Gap LogoYes, well…yes. It does. (Make your own logo here, easy!) Now Gap is backpedaling a bit, asking for public input and whatnot. There, there, Gap. Don’t feel bad. You just surprised us, that’s all. Usually these disasters are accompanied by a bullshit-filled press release.

Previously in Branding’s Greatest Misses:

Tropicana

Pepsi
Thomson Reuters

Send an email to Hamilton Nolan, the author of this post, at Hamilton@gawker.com.

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Wow they really put a lot of effort in this one! black letters instead of white, and its outside the square! not inside! OUTSIDE NOT INSIDE! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!!1!!one

/sarcasm Reply

I’m pretty sure a child using a clip-art gallery would have done a better job. Reply

10 years ago, I worked as a purchasing manager for a marine manufacturer. The brand of boats made was so riddled with flaws, the newly hired president decided to change the name and art. When the head of engineering brought me into his office to see the mock-ups and start shaking down suppliers for decals I noticed it was the same fucking logo as a particular British motorbike.

Neither the president nor the engineering cheese recognized this upon first glance and we ended up paying one metric assload of cash for a design house to rip off another logo.

Naturally, I was the unreasonable twat who had to pull two, adult men into reality. Reply

Someone hit the snooze button. Oh, wait… Reply

I worked for this company for almost Three years (In Canada) and let me tell you – it’s a bunch of morons who run the show (from district/ head office).

They emphasis more on LP than they do on customer service.

They care more about shoving products/accessories for people to buy with a pair of jeans than quality selling techniques.

They don’t give two shits about their sales employees as they treat them like shit and accuse them of stealing ALL the time.

That is all. Reply

I love Helvetica and all, but can we please do something a little different? American Airlines and American Apparel have done it enough.

Don’t be afraid of a little serif, Gap. It’s worked for you for 20 years. Reply

I was reading a story about Arnell’s Pepsi fiasco a few weeks ago — written before the release and ridicule. In the article he said that he needed to immerse himself in Asian culture before taking on the logo so he had Pepsi pay for three fact-finding trips for him, each a month in duration.

I’m so distressed at stories like these as I’ve been in branding for just about 20 years now and take a very practical approach to it. Branding is now so warped by ad agencies and all their bullshittery it makes me want to cry. Reply

The gradient gives me heartburn. Reply

I bet they went to one of those 50-dollar logo companies: [www.160over90.com] Reply

It looks like one of the Powerpoint backgrounds circa Office 93 Reply

I think you’re missing the real gem here. Have you seen their latest ads, using Helvetica as well? Every time I see them I think they’re American Apparel ads only the models are wearing more clothing.

Now that AA is having huge financial woes, GAP is sticking their foot on AA’s throat, hoping to pull over all their customers, and I think they’ll succeed.

This is a brilliant use of a company’s own shtick, in this case AA’s “simple” “minimalist” and stock Helvetica branding, to suffocate them in a brutal time.

Lazy? Or brilliant. Reply

bobella is owltastic! promoted this comment

Looks like Peter Arnell got hold of it. Reply

Old Navy (same parent company) also has boring blue and white logo, I guess they’ll need something more oval-ly.

/invoice forthcoming Reply

summeroflove promoted this comment

I did some consulting for Gap’s IT department a decade ago. Back then, Gap’s main business focus was real estate. The stores were a source of revenue, but they had found that buying up the brick and mortar and the building on either side provided revenue and net worth way above the product they sold commercially.

Point being, their logo is probably indicative of a much broader scope of business capabilities. You know…to attract investors.

Now that the real estate bubble has collapsed for residential, I wonder what’s happening with commercial? Reply

The new Gap logo makes it looks like it is an Element from the Periodic Table. Reply

ah, design via a committee of 30!
can’t wait until they reveal the rationale and meaning behind it all.
Reply

Are they selling computers now? Reply

They gonna start selling software? Reply
Thunderclees promoted this comment

Looks like something left over from a long abandoned website. Reply

Gap is rebranding and “relaunching” all their stores, to be finished by the end of this month. (You may notice some of the stores are already laid out differently.) They’re getting away from the basics they’re known for and shifting the focus to “dressing the fashionable 28-year-old woman.”
They launched the new logo on the website before they told their stores anything was happening. The first they’re hearing about the official rebranding is today.
Reply

I have a feeling that Gap deliberately put out a subpar logo in order to excite interest in their little redesign contest. Reply

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