The Gap is Having a Logo Crisis

Posted on October 7, 2010

It's an Epic Logo Fail. The Gap recently updated its logo. It's hideous, simplistic and derivative.

Millions of dollars have been spent to brand the old logo and people trust and like it. So what did they do? Scrap it, of course. The new logo is already being used on The Gap's website.

The new logo has generated a lot of negative feedback on the Internet. The Gap obviously noticed all the negative feedback and posted an update on its Facebook page saying that it is thrilled to see the "passionate debate" about its new logo. Then, the executive in charge of this ongoing PR disaster went one step further: he or she decided to "crowdsource" a new logo.

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.

Unbelievable. There are so many things wrong with this approach that it's going to end up as a case study at Harvard Business School under "Great Branding Fiascos." The new logo is awful, but asking the public to make a logo for you is a really bad idea.

That giant thumping sound you just heard was the Gap's trademark attorneys passing out after their biggest client just gave everyone on the Interwebs permission to mess with their trademarked logo. And there's another problem. If they change the logo again, someone is going to sue saying that the Gap asked him to fix it and he'll have artwork to show he thought of it first. This is why no major author will accept story ideas from fans on the Internet.

Oh, and another thing: The Gap management is being ridiculed all around the world for a) screwing up the logo and b) asking everyone in the world to help them fix their mistake. Gap shareholders are not happy.

Update 10-11 In a statement issued today, Marka Hansen, President of Gap Brand North America, announced that the company is removing the new logo from the website and sticking with the original logo. She also withdrew the offer to everyone on the Internet to play around with their trademarked intellectual property.

The Gap says using crowd sourcing for its logo was not a good idea. Hansen says, "We've learned a lot in this process. And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. This wasn't the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing. "There may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we'll handle it in a different way."

Kudos to Marka Hansen for putting a stop to this nonsensical plan. Now if she will just keep making things like these adorable leather ballet flats, all will be right in Gap Land.

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