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Gap caves to social media pressure on new logo

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by alexd, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Lessons to be learnt from the Gap logo debacle
    By Tom Geoghegan BBC News Magazine


    Gap logos Gap says it learnt from its mistake, on the right

    Gap clothing company has ditched its new logo after only one week, due to an online backlash. So what are the perils of changing a company emblem?

    Cheapy, tacky, ordinary.

    Some of the adjectives used by Gap customers to describe its now-axed logo. After less than one week, it has been consigned to the graveyard inhabited by rejected arrows, squiggles and inadvertently offensive corporate emblems.

    The clean font, with a small blue square overlapping the "P", prompted such an outcry that the US clothing firm initially enlisted the help of the public in rethinking the design.

    But within days it announced, early on Tuesday morning, it was returning to the solid blue box and "GAP" written in a capitalised serif font, a look introduced 20 years ago.

    British customers won't have noticed because the change had yet to be implemented in the UK.

    But Gap isn't the first company to learn that messing with one's visual identity is a risky business. So what did it do wrong, and what other logo makeovers have come under fire?
    Gap, 2010

    For a few days, it was goodbye to the 20-year-old solid blue square and the capital letters, hello to Helvetica and a small blue patch.

    Last week, unveiling the new design, Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America, said it was more contemporary and current, honouring the "heritage through the blue box while still taking it forward".

    But after a slew of criticism, much of it on Facebook, the company promised to take on board customers' own suggested logos as it reconsidered the emblem.

    Days later, the purveyor of preppy fashions folded, admitting its mistakes in not consulting its customers first, and reverted to the original.

    Gap is trying to change its stripes without changing the product offering, says marketing expert Craig Smith.

    "Where marketers often go wrong is they think they have identified an opportunity for the brand to evolve and become something else, become more modern, and they think they can shortcut this by changing the visual identity, and carry the customers with them.

    "It's a fundamental error because customers may not be ready to go with you. The product positioning has to change first, then the logo should be the last thing."

    My personal feelings are that the typeface is fine, says award-winning logo designer Jon Pink of J Pink Design.

    "The letter forms in lowercase have an attractive quality to them and the simplicity is refreshing. I think if that was really a complaint, there would be similar complaints regarding other famous logos which utilise Helvetica in their logos, like American Apparel, [US homewares retailers] Crate&Barrel, Jeep, Panasonic, British Gas and 3M.

    "However the addition of the blue square seems to be hated on a united front - it just looks cheap, tacky and very dull. So whilst including some connection of the original logo makes perfect sense in business terms, this illustrates perfectly that logic and reason can play second fiddle to gut instinct."
  2. Snuffy

    Snuffy TRIBE Member

  3. Mrs. Pink

    Mrs. Pink TRIBE Member

    look about 5 posts down broseph.
  4. Snuffy

    Snuffy TRIBE Member


    In my defence, the posts are only 18 minutes apart.
  5. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    truly hard to believe this was a legit logo change on their part - it's so hideous as to be laughable.
  6. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    helvetica: so hawt right now.
  7. basilisk

    basilisk TRIBE Member

    Yep. Is this the wisdom of the crowd in action or is the mob easily manipulated and misled?
  8. Snuffy

    Snuffy TRIBE Member

    What's funny is that I just finished watching the documentary "Helvetica" over this weekend. It was an endless film about a boring font. It wasted 55 minutes of my life (about 1/2 an hour of the documentary was actually interesting).

    There's no way the Gap would have chosen that font.



    Movie Quotes:

    "It's like asking your opinion on off white paint."

    "It's like going to McDonalds instead of thinking about food."
  9. Sal De Ban

    Sal De Ban TRIBE Member

    i have trouble believing this is a true/complete story. Its not a logo that can be put on their clothing.
  10. diablo

    diablo TRIBE Member

    New logo looks like tax software.

    Not surprised that they scrapped it.
  11. KickIT

    KickIT TRIBE Member

    Everyone and their mother knows the internets always lose their shit about change. Then they forget about it 5 minutes later and FB Groups created for the backlash turn into ghost towns.
  12. le bricoleur

    le bricoleur TRIBE Member

    That's it! I was thinking it looks like the logo for a company that produces workplace safety videos (on VHS), but I think tax software hits the nail on the head.
  13. kirstenmeows

    kirstenmeows TRIBE Member

    I don't get it. It's just a stupid logo. Did they change the clothes (don't shop there)? Did the prices jump? If nothing else has changed, this is a serious case of people with too much time on their hands.
  14. JamesM

    JamesM TRIBE Member

    shoulda been posted in the nobody cares forum. (the new logo is crap.)
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  15. Sal De Ban

    Sal De Ban TRIBE Member

    so youre all cock-sure that this wasn't some hoax or misreporting. ok.
  16. le bricoleur

    le bricoleur TRIBE Member

  17. kirstenmeows

    kirstenmeows TRIBE Member

    The whole 'New Coke' fiasco involved messing with the actual product. Has the GAP's actual product been screwed with? If not, then there's no comparison and it's still just a stupid logo.
  18. basketballjones

    basketballjones TRIBE Member

    ppl actually get upset about a type font...wow
  19. basilisk

    basilisk TRIBE Member

  20. Techdruid

    Techdruid TRIBE Member

    Helvetica? Or maybe those American Apparel ads just make you want to puke. Every time getting off the subway reading a NOW I shudder at the gross 80's revival girls in spandex or leotard spreading on the back cover.

    But yeah, put "CLASSIC" on anything and it'll sell better.
  21. Lil'Timmy

    Lil'Timmy TRIBE Promoter

    Did Phat Gap for the large and husky ever get off the ground?
  22. Aerius Zension

    Aerius Zension TRIBE Member

    I still can't believe this turned viral / meme.

    Tax software logo nailed it.
  23. Sal De Ban

    Sal De Ban TRIBE Member

    no it was too heavy

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