The New Gap Logo: Thinking Outside the Box Gone Wrong?
October 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
Have you SEEN the Gap’s new logo? I assume that you have as it is the main image for this blog post. A few days ago, the Gap released this rebrand on their website and my goodness has the internet been buzzing since. As a graphic designer, I felt it was my professional obligation to write a critique. I also feel it relevant to mention that large corporations pay millions of dollars for these types of re-brands (I will give you a moment to lift your chin off the floor).
What did the old Gap logo say to me: Bold, simple, traditional, denim, unique
What does the the new logo say to me: Clean, simple, modern, cold, technology, YAWN
I guess I can understand why they wanted to keep the blue square; there is an undeniable amount of brand equity attached to it. Yet by retaining such a standard shape, with a font as UNoriginal as Helvetica, they have released a ‘different’ logo that isn’t the least bit exciting. In my opinion, they have completely lost all brand equity that their former logo once held. They have ended up with a soulless version of their competition: American Apparel (yep, that’s Helvetica too).
Why is it that the American Apparel logo works (for me) and the new Gap logo decidedly falls flat? Perhaps it’s the fact that American Apparel’s branding suits their unwaveringly minimalist clothing line (solid colors, simple construction). Or perhaps it’s the fact that American Apparel is a young company, never having gone through the growing pains of a re-brand. It is probably a testament to the strength of the original Gap logo that people are so offended by the change. But honestly, this new one is a bore! And a bore that doesn’t even communicate the ‘Gap’. I always thought the purpose of a logo is to visually communicate the brand. To me, the Gap’s new logo says nothing of the brand.
So, is the new logo the first sign of a complete corporate overhaul? Maybe they plan to start selling software? If that is the case, then perhaps they’ve hit the nail on the head here. It will be interesting to observe the fall-out that is sure to ensue. Like Pepsi, will they stick with the new logo in the face of brutal criticism? Or will they abandon their sad attempt at modernizing like Tropicana?
What are your thoughts about the new logo? Hit or miss? Have some fun and make your own Gap logo here: http://www.makeyourowngaplogo.com/logos/top