New Gap Logo: Next Tropicana-Style Redesign Flop?

The marketing geniuses at The Gap seem to have fiddled around with Photoshop for a few minutes and designed a new company logo that’s as bland and uninteresting as jeans and a black t-shirt. It’s not ugly, but it’s not memorable or creative, either. What were they thinking?

No one knows. According to AdAge, the logo change came without fanfare and the company hasn’t commented on it publicly. It’s probably just as well, because no one seems to like the new design. AdAge sums it up:

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.

Don’t be ridiculous. No, today’s children have much more talent and design savvy than that.

While Gap remains silent, a parody Twitter account has appeared to fill the, er, gap. Unlike the parody BP account, it doesn’t have more followers than the real company–but at least it tries to give the boring lump of Helvetica some personality.

Gap Introduces New Logo, Mass Criticism Ensues [AdAge]
@gaplogo [Fake Twitter Account]

THE TROPICANA THING:
“Loyal Customer” Backlash Forces Tropicana To Abandon New Packaging
Tropicana’s Failed Packaging Design Was A Real Life Poochie

Comments

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  1. sp00nix says:

    Face punch to the “in other news” post :)

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Oh, you did not use the H word.

    My company has had oodles of drustration with Helvetica. I hate it with passions unseemly.

  3. quirkyrachel says:

    Funny thing: I clicked around, not really reading the text, looking for the new logo. Then I realized that that *is* the new logo. It looks like something someone came up with using Publisher in a school project.

  4. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:
  5. TheMonkeyKing says:

    Arial! Arial! Blood and souls for my Arial!

  6. rookie says:

    Simple, it seems, is not in vogue at the present time.
    Any real study of history will reveal that the times, they will change.

    Rather interesting study of human reaction.

    • Anonymously says:

      The (better) old logo was also simpler.

      This is just a bad change for the sake of change.

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      Simple does not equal good. This logo should scream amateur to anybody with even a passing interest in the history of logos or graphic design.

  7. georgi55 says:

    Photoshop? How about mspaint?

  8. ElizabethD says:

    You’re right: Nothing very exciting. But I also don’t think it’s bad. If they were going for “different” from the old logo, they succeeded. It’s more contemporary and youthful looking. Meh.

  9. lymer says:

    Is it just me or do companies change logos as often as they change underwear?

  10. AstroPig7 says:

    It looks like they wanted to combine American Apparel’s logo with H&R Block’s. How bland could this logo possibly be?

    • Talisker says:

      They could take away the blue square.

      • AstroPig7 says:

        I think the blue square actually makes it worse. Sure, a three-letter word with a white background is simple, but simplicity sometimes works. In this case, the blue square makes the logo even less inspired, because it looks like someone actually tried to do something different with it. I might be alone in thinking this, but failing with effort is blander than imitation.

  11. sendmoney2me says:

    Guess you could say that this very unmemorable logo will probably fall into the Gap ;)

  12. Macgyver says:

    It’s only a logo. Do people really care what it looks like?

    • ARP says:

      I think the many billions of dollars in the trademark/logo industry says yes.

    • danmac says:

      People care very much. When Tropicana changed its logo to something that represented Safeway’s generic “Select” brand, there market share plummeted 20% relative to their competitors’. Here’s an article on it:

      http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2009/04/tropicanas-costly-lesson-in-listening-.html

    • summeroflove says:

      People (should) care very much about what their logo looks like. It’s not just a pretty drawing. It’s communicates what your business does or sells. If your logo does not fit the personality of your business model, then you will not attract the right clients.

    • The Marionette says:

      Only people who care more about the logo than the product/service. Unfortunately because people care about the logos of companies they blindly buy despite how the product is. For all some people know, another company with a crap logo is better than these *ahem* “good” logos.

  13. Minneapolis says:

    You know you’ve done horribly wrong when you have a parody twitter account (with thousands of followers, nonetheless).

  14. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    This new logo kludge won’t solve Gap’s real problems.

    It’s an epic kludge that belongs at There I Fixed It.com

    http://www.thereifixedit.com

  15. UnicornMaster says:

    I’m ok with changing the old boring logo but not for an even boring-er logo.

  16. quijote says:

    Are consumerists really complaining that a branding logo doesn’t stick in their minds enough?

  17. Chili con sumerist says:

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Their old logo was simple, elegant, instantly recognizable, and (most importantly) didn’t look hideous on a hoodie, t-shirt, etc.

  18. Bativac says:

    It looks like it goes along with modern trends to have almost boring logos and typefaces. Like the McDonald’s “i’m lovin’ it.”

    Only in this case they took it too far and instead of being a bold, stylish design it just looks boring. I don’t think it’s amateurish though… It just looks like the word “Gap” typed on a street sign or something. Certainly boring and forgettable and not recognizable as a logo which means it fails in its goals of identifying the brand and building brand awareness.

    That square in the corner looks like corporate thinking. “It looks too boring. Put a square on it!”

  19. cromartie says:

    1992 called and wants it’s logo back.

  20. oloranya says:

    According to the adage article, they responded on facebook.

    “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.”

    So now they’re asking for new logo designs on spec, which if you’re at all involved in the design world, is sleezy and all kinds of not okay.

    • summeroflove says:

      Ohhh maybe. There is just something in there that just feels …… like a joke. I could totally see them asking people to design it, i.e. spec. And then they’ll award some joke of a prize like 100$ shopping spree.

  21. Kensuke Nakamura says:

    Maybe if anyone had an emotional attachment to the original logo it would be a flop. Who cares about gap? It’s a vanilla clothing store that’s replaced one innocuous logo with another.

  22. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    They should have used papyrus with a lens flare.

  23. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    WhatTheFont says it is “ITC Franklin Gothic Demi”.
    The classics never go out of style.

  24. selianth says:

    My company is currently redesigning its logo for the 50th anniversary (the last time it changed was 40 years ago) and I’m scared they’re going to choose something awful. Hopefully the folks they’ve contracted with to design it have better sense than this.

  25. stottpie says:

    yet.another.helvetica.logo

    *gags*

  26. ARP says:

    That blue square annoys the hell ouf of me. If they want to go with the minimalist helvetica logo, that’s fine. But it looks like they did that and then felt that they HAD to add something, so they tossed in a MS paint box.

  27. redskull says:

    To me this looks like the agency/designer had a couple of months to work on it but blew it off until the day of the presentation, then mocked this up at a stop light on the drive to the Gap corporate office.

  28. womynist says:

    It’s about as creative as the Great Value beef jerky from yesterday.

  29. EBone says:

    I’m old enough to remember the logo that was used in the 70s before the one they just got rid of. And the change in logo then didn’t have any effect on me shopping at the Gap.

    • Michaela says:

      Possibly it didn’t cause an uproar because the newer logo was not as cheap/lame as the one they put out now. I love GAP, and I wear it all the time. This logo will force me to not buy any logo shirts/caps from them though.

  30. evfaithful says:

    As a graphic designer who worked at one of the largest branding agencies in the world, I can tell you that they probably paid somewhere in the upper 6 figures for that logo. I have no idea why they had to mess with a good thing.

  31. OranjeLament says:

    Looks like a thumbnail icon for a 1990s Windows program.

  32. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    LOGO FAIL

  33. hills says:

    Dear Gap, change it back! Total coincidence that last night I was using a couple old Gap bags to pack clothes within my suitcase (like stuff sacks – really helpful!) and I actually thought to myself that I liked the logo (tall skinny caps) much better than the way old logo of decades ago…. This new one looks more like the really old one. Bring back the the tall caps logo!

  34. caknuck says:

    I miss the old “Gap in Left” ads on outfield walls in baseball stadiums.

  35. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I still don’t understand the rancor over the Tropicana redesign.

    This, however, is TERRIBLE! I could write out the corporate name in Helvetica and plaster a gradient square there too. Where’s my paycheck?

    On the other hand, this guy has a lot of great submissions in a replacement contest. Worth a look.
    http://blog.iso50.com/2010/10/06/gap-redesign-contest/#comments

  36. Dallas_shopper says:

    They should have redesigned their boring shitty fall line instead of their logo.

  37. BenjaminCachimbear says:

    Is it just me, or does that look like an early 90′s era web graphic?

  38. yulingo says:

    These are the kinds of bad logos I make when I’m uncreative… and using Microsoft Word. Seriously, I could design them a better logo in MS Word.

  39. gman863 says:

    Why is everyone so hung up on type styles and logos? It’s the quality and style that count.

    Oh, wait. We’re talking about the “Gap” this retailer has in both it’s quality and style.

    This new logo is an attempt at putting dollar store lipstick on a pig.