What do you think of the new GAP logo?
Need urgent feedback on PSFK article around the retailer The GAP launching a new logo and then deciding to pull the logo after "internet backlash" (see - http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/gap-decides-to-fight-logo-hatred-with-possible-spec-based-solution-internet-prepares-for-imminent-explosion_b9210)
As design & brand experts, what do you think about what happened? Pls answer the questions in the Google Form and we'll write up the survey answers on Tuesday!
Thanks, Piers (www.psfk.com)
Okay, so I'm late but I'm going to give you my take on their 'move', prior to the 'remove'.
I'm sure most of you agree when I say this, but I identified with Gap via their logo. It was simple, clean and timeless. My parents could too - in fact, there was a time when one of our neighbours was selling counterfeit "GAP" sweatshirts.
Hoodies defaced, with "CAP" rather than "GAP" - and of course, it was the first thing everyone on the block noticed. The logo wasn't in font type size 300 either; consumers just know what they're looking for, especially if it's a brand that they trust and can relate to.
Long story short, my parents were willing to wear something with a half-decent looking looking 'reptile' embroidered on their sweaters, but were not willing to put on something that said, "CAP".
Consumers like to be comfortable - doesn't mean that you have to change the logo to move with the times my friends.
Well it shouldn't have been just the logo. The relaunch came from nowhere and everyone reacted to a logo change. Remember what happened with the 2012 Olympics? I'm not saying it's aesthetically the same thing, I now think most people have seen the potential and value in the new Olympic logo across the many touchpoints. I think people should start looking at it within the bigger picture. In the context of the GAP brand what else have they done ...? Have they launched a new brand strategy alongside it? I'm not sure. I'm just going from what I've seen, I've not looked into it. But thinking if GAP were to do something new why just the logo. What about the stores? The first point of touch for the consumer and the product is the most important part of any redesign or strategic movement within the brand! What are they doing there? GAP led the world with high fashion high street retailing a long time ago, but they haven't really pushed the boundaries since or brand experience. Knowing of the consumer reach GAP have, they could do much more.
In the end, GAP have done the right thing. The statement on their website today is sensible: http://goo.gl/ljT9.
People don't really care about logos until we mess with them. I wrote something on this for Design Assembly a few weeks ago: http://goo.gl/Y6Jr
The thing that always bothers me the most when a logo gets pulled (because of negative public reaction) is that it doesn't get the opportunity to be extended across different channels. Bad logos happen. Getting a rebrand through at a major corporation like GAP almost guarantees a watered-down final version. But even a mediocre logo can be given some life when it's used in an innovative way.
When AOL's rebrand arrived, I seem to recall that it was almost universally panned. But, over the course of time it's come to be recognized as a strong (and innovative) rebrand. It took seeing it applied to different situations over time, such as environmental & motion graphics, for people to really see it as a strong identity.
I'm disappointed GAP pulled their logo without giving it a chance to earn it's keep, even if it wasn't great to begin with.
I think the only people that cared about the Gap logo were the ad and design community. The consumers that likely form the bulk of The Gap's customer base probably didn't have sufficient opportunity to notice it. Outside of the fact that it feels as if this occurred in an echo-chamber, I think it served as a good opportunity for Gap to demonstrate that they heard their audience, processed what they had to say and gave those people what they wanted - getting rid of the new logo. Brands, like people, need to make mistakes in order to evolve - fail fast, then evolve. Gap took a risk - it didn't work, so they want back to the drawing board. I give kudos to Gap for being humble enough to listen - even though I'd be curious to see how many of those that were screaming bloody murder were actually even Gap customers.
Changing LOGO is most probably the most earthquaking change for a brand, especially when this logo has reached the iconic status of lovemark. I think this is the case for GAP and, despite the fact that from a purely graphic point of view it may look slightly old-fashioned and classic, its worthiness is in the meaning and value among people and customers. Now, changing the brand logo is strategic option that marketeers can adopt as and when they value the opportunity of such action. Re-energising the brand? Projecting it into a new future? Making a bold statement about being here, now, alive? The point is that all such objectives should immediately be reflected by the look of the logo itself. This does not happen for the new GAP logo. Hence my first thought is: why change? and what does this mean? nothing at first glance. I can't see no hard substance behind this potential revolution. But step 2 is even more concerning than step1: ok, the internet world rejects the idea, ignites a revolution and makes its voice heard. In response the brand shows a huge lack of commitment behind the decision and starts acting confusingly: crowdsourcing contest, retrieval of the new logo, back to the old one. What a mess. I think the biggest mistake Gap did, is not to show any clear commitment and direction sustaining the change. Where was the vision and the dream behind this change? and why stepping back? Brands like Gap have always meant inspiration, creativity, interpretation of our inner desires, understanding of our needs, style, ways of living, even anticipation of contemporary living... so what happens is the brand that encompasses all these elements suddenly shows lack of strength, poor commitment, fear of the voice of consumers? Stepping back is a big mistake and asking people to make their own logo is even a bigger one at this stage. It's like trying to solve the problem by creating a bigger one: because you don't like my logo, then you do the right one and we'll choose the best. Well, it doesn't quite work that way, unless you show true and authentic commitment behind this strategy and open up to the best minds and talents to do that. How: by rewarding at best the best work. Small prize means little valuing of the thing you're looking for and thus, a tactical move to get out of troubles. Being at GAP, I would have substantiate better my decision of change and designed a more impactful and meaningful logo first. Moreover, I would have open up to comments and thoughts about what works and doesn't work about this new logo, but then I would have gone back to do my personal homeworks to represent the final work. instead, the power of crowds has turned into the massification of such a prestigious task, like designing the new GAP logo for the current century. Shame. Big Shame.
It strikes me that this could be one of two things; either the brand is genuinely scared by the consumer reaction to the their new logo (which, as some have already suggested, is kind of ridiculous, especially as the logo isn't part of the external make up of it's product, and shouldn't affect their relationship as customers of The Gap) and are trying to make good. Or, it was always the intention to take a reactive stance to potential feedback on a new logo. As with many examples over the last few years, mixed feedback was inevitable, particularly as it isn't exclusive to actual GAP consumers alone!
But, negative feedback doesn't mean the design is inappropriate or bad, so why the withdrawal? For what ever reason, or however they approached this new logo plan in the first place, it seems almost definite that it would be milked for maximum PR impact, which would explain the dramatics behind withdrawal and delay over announcing alternative plan.
Ultimately, GAP are out to make a spectacle of the shenanigans and showcase that they are a modern organisation that is willing to play ball in an increasingly consumer-centric trading environment.
If they had just gone ahead with a crowd sourced logo project, it's unlikely that the level of attention and reach would have been there. The buzz around the dumping of the logo is like the call-to-action, it makes the opportunity that little more enticing as the successor will inevitable reap the benefits of the widespread media response. That's attractive no?
The question here is not about the logo: good or bad one, people get normally used to the changes of brands after a while...more relevant is to think how NAIV is that a decision maker at Gap, believed that by changing the logo, the brand will be more "modern", innovative, a step ahead...what kind of a shallow mind will think like that? They could have change the way they use media, to engage better with the audience.Now, The MOST RELEVANT thing here is understand the POSITION of the brand: Why do marketing people insist in believing that using crowd sourcing will immediately means success? Solid brands understand that crowd sourcing is the basis tool for consumer dialogue, but not the basis of a brand. We still need CRAFT, we still need a strategy, a vision, we still need to answer what is our brand standing for? and for that, you better have really really good professionals. Does Photoshop means that we will have 2 billion painters in the future? No. Does iMovie means we will have 2 billion Spielberg? No. The audience still enjoys the beauty of craft, and brands should understand that. The sooner. The better.
Why launch a new logo when GAP is one of the most successful and recognized fashion/clothing brands in the world? With recognition comes fame and trust and more business. With a new logo (which is more software company than lifestyle) the market and consumers get confused and any sign of weakness from GAP will affect the sales figures.
GAP should never have pulled the new logo. Instead, they should have backed it up, fought for it and reassured their market that the change in the logo did not signify a change in their values.
Who cares about logos anyway? I don’t know, design is not good just because makes world beautiful. In this case can represent a new posture. I suppose that Gap needs change, needs to try more, maybe this logo is a kickoff. Maybe they are moving to something new that will make that blue gradient box make sense.
Quite honestly, I believe this is New Coke all over again. Gap does not hire donkeys, and that logo was conspicuously 'bad.'
In my estimation, there was never any intent for that logo to be the new logo. Either this is a setup for crowd sourcing, or it's a setup to go back to what people like. It might even be a setup for the real new logo.
Whatever it is, it's a stunt
The logo redesign was awful in itself but pulling it after the launch is even worse, it'll only send the signal that they have no confidence in their chosen identity. All they had to do (and probably in hindsight should've done) pre-launch was to let some trusted designers, marketers and GAP people get a sneek peak at the new logo and then take in their comments. As it is they show they don't have a clue about the powers of the Internet and have little understanding of brand design.
@GAP: Spend a few bucks and get a brand expert to do the new logo. Really.
GAP should spend more time on what their brand represents rather than the logo. I don't shop at GAP as I don't think about it. I think about Old Navy - one of their other brands - and shop there though. The idea of a new logo is nice, but for GAP it's what's inside that counts.
GAP's decision is totally reactionary and appears incredibly amateur. For a brand that is usually so web savvy, especially with Social Media (Gap Give & Get for example) they've really screwed this one up. They should have crowdsourced this in the first place. The way this debacle has been handled makes them appear truly flip-floppy.
Attn GAP: If you are going to throw away years of investment by yourselves and from your customers in a super-recognisable brand livery, at least let everyone know, and know why.
I truly believe this entire thing is one big highly-risky attempt to launch a massive crowd-sourcing initiative with an "I can do better than that" mentality. Very risky, sort of. But in the end this will generate a lot of buzz around the rebrand.
My bet is that it was a 24 hour "seeding" of a bunk logo, then let the design community revolt (obviously), then announce the pre-meditated contest.
There are too many billions of dollars flowing through GAP INC to allow a verbtim helvetica logo (with an impossible to embroider gradient, to boot). This is a crowd-sourcing set up. And well done at that. Although I am 100% against crowd-sourcing and speculative work.
My 2 cents.
brands shouldn't be slaves to the community, because the community doesn't necessarily consume every product. Long story short if a logo is going to affect whether a person buys a pair of jeans at the Gap or not, they probably wouldn't buy jeans at the Gap anyway.