the graphic design blog that speaks the truth

mind-the-gap

Mind the GAP!

4th Oct 10

So looks like the US clothing retailer, GAP (or should I now say ‘Gap’), has decided to rebrand.

The new logo first appeared on their new website today. I really can’t understand the thinking behind this move. I mean, GAP was never really the most fashionable of stores but it serves a purpose and at least the old logo looked like a ’boutique’, something you would expect to see down the high street. The new logo is ultra simple, even to the point of where I can’t imagine that there are countless numbers of similar designs out there. Looks like they have well and truly fell into the GAP with this decision. But who knows, maybe their design team is one step ahead of the times.

To see the new logo in action check out the Gap website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

  1. 05/10/10
    6:00 pm
    DER
    Looks so generic. Like the type of stuff any college student and whip up in a hurry for their class presentations on the PowerPoint. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING GAP?
  2. 05/10/10
    9:31 pm
    For some reason, it reminds me of Wal-Mart. Generic, uninspired, and cheap.
  3. 05/10/10
    9:35 pm
    Yay for using an updated font, Helvetica. Nay for the windows 95 inspired box. Meh hard to tell how much creative freedom the team was given. Can't say i am a fan of it.
  4. 05/10/10
    9:41 pm
    How are they going to execute this in a woven label? Did they think of the materials that they're going to have to render it with at all? They want to screen print a gradient on every piece of clothing? Are they mad? Poor choices abound.
  5. 05/10/10
    9:54 pm
    1st impressions. GASP. GAP. CRAP.
  6. 05/10/10
    10:00 pm
    Well that's horrible. Goodbye branding.
  7. 05/10/10
    10:01 pm
    What if this was the opposite? What if the new logo was the old and the old logo was their new rebrand. What would the comments be then? Just wondering.
  8. 05/10/10
    10:03 pm
    If this isn't a conscious decision to move the brand further into downmarket territory, I will eat my socks. I mean, look at the rest of the website design. It's like they said "oh, a lot of people want Target but a bit nicer" so they shifted the Gap downstream a bit. What I find funny is the Old Navy website -- there is no clothing on display on the front page, just huge sales numbers. :-)
  9. 05/10/10
    10:32 pm
    Great post. I have on my site, www.designminer.com a quick mock logo of what I would have done.
  10. 05/10/10
    10:42 pm
    It looks like something done really quickly in word... What I don't understand is that they have lost completely their brand identity! crazy...
  11. 05/10/10
    10:50 pm
    Lee
    It looks like they now sell generic goods. It also looks like they will have trouble keeping a legible separation between the black p and the blue gradient.
  12. 06/10/10
    12:35 am
    It's crap, GAP
  13. 06/10/10
    12:37 am
    don't get the move either. redesign of an iconic logo has to be taken more seriously. This looks like the logo for a European gas station.
  14. 06/10/10
    12:57 am
    Gaparian Apparel?!
  15. 06/10/10
    1:06 am
    Looks like they couldn't totally let go of the blue box, so they made it smaller and moved it to the back.
  16. 06/10/10
    1:38 am
    How unfortunate. It's not only generic, but also harder to read. I wonder what their rebranding strategy was ...
  17. 06/10/10
    1:41 am
    PS - they still haven't updated their favicon ... eeesh.
  18. 06/10/10
    1:54 am
    EWE! And to think I used to work for GAP Brands! There goes their branding! The blue square is just so random . . . what the heck? Looks like it was done in a hurry. Bad move . . .
  19. 06/10/10
    2:40 am
    Helen
    What were they thinking? I'm all for Helvetica but this is awful.
  20. 06/10/10
    3:17 am
    Lee
    It's just so bad. Like several others, I have enough design experience to really want to read the creative brief that led to this before I pass judgement on the designer(s). I'm REALLY hoping this is a joke—some sort of PR scheme. Since it's probably not, I hope it's an example of misguided corporate marketers not letting a design firm do its job. I just can't image the circumstances that allowed anyone to approve this mess. So bad.
  21. 06/10/10
    3:46 am
    Vasily Myazin
    How dull. Yuck.
  22. 06/10/10
    4:20 am
    Kat
    A. The first thing I thought was "since when are they ripping off Microsoft?" B. I would really like to know how they managed to push this thing through focus groups. C. At this point, why even keep the square at all? It only reminds us of what the logo is not.
  23. 06/10/10
    5:03 am
    Brenda Birrell
    I like the original logo and the classic designs of their clothes. Idon't understand the new logo. Not special. When I go into a Gap,I continually look for classics, but am disappointed in their more trendy stuff.I also believe they should include the women and 1-3xl sizes... the largest growing group in the country.
  24. 06/10/10
    5:25 am
    Wait, what? Actually? Helvetica? What? How in the world is Helvetica an appropriate choice?
  25. 06/10/10
    5:35 am
    dev
    WTF, look so shit, are the designer that their hire is bullshit useless designer?
  26. 06/10/10
    6:54 am
    I find it to be a terrible font choice - they're rebranding themselves as what non-Gap-lovers would describe them as: generic.
  27. 06/10/10
    6:58 am
    People dislike change in general, so maybe a lot of the negativity wouldn't exist if the new logo incorporated some familiar elements. A basic 'update' would make it much easier to accept. @Mark, you ‘re probably onto something. Perhaps they’re looking to broaden their base or appeal to a new market, which prompted the image overhaul. Personally, I already miss the old logo. But, in some months, the new one will probably grow on me.
  28. 06/10/10
    7:01 am
    i proposed this one for a revision of the revision http://mexist.com/img/portfolio/logomashups_gapple.jpg
  29. 06/10/10
    9:22 am
    John
    Everyone's a critic! "I love this, I hate that". Good design isn't about love or hate, it's simply a design which achieves it's objectives. The logo is bland, uninspiring, unashamedly modern and yet offering nothing new - in other words it matches the target demographic exactly. It also introduces something new: 'Cheap'. And it will be interesting to see if there is any markdown in their prices. Gap marketing would be foolish if they had not looked at the success of Primark and not learned lessons. They may well be looking to attract people who would not normally have considered shopping there over perceptions of price. I'm not their target demographic, I'm sure, so I'm also sure it doesn't matter to them when I say they could be giving the stuff away and I still wouldn't touch it.
  30. 06/10/10
    9:29 am
    Ouch. That is truly, truly nasty. Any idea what it cost and who did it? I agree with the Windows comments. Very derivative. I bet most Gap customers have iPhones, IPads and iTouch's. They'll hate this by association! A logo should be built around the brand ethics. For a fashion brand selling clothes that should be sharp edgy, challenging and fun. This suggests an insurance company with a very conservative image. Did the designers ever visit a Gap store. did they understand the brand and its aspirations? Clearly not. Imagine all the costs involved to distribute this around the group. All those labels and merchandising. For that! Would you wear a t-shirt with THAT on it?
  31. 06/10/10
    9:50 am
    Oh Dear... no excuse for this. There is so much design talent around, GAP - what where you thinking. I agree with Lee - I'd love to see the brief that produced such a bland piece of work. The big danger is that people love to fiddle or tweak, and this logo runs a real risk of being tweaked by different departments, diluting the brand further. Helvetica could become Arial and that little box could end up anywhere! Like it or not, you couldn't really mess with the original...
  32. 06/10/10
    11:41 am
    hybinary
    Really... really... really bad!!!
  33. 06/10/10
    12:03 pm
    Check out our recent blog post in reaction to the re-brand. We'd be interested to hear your thoughts... http://www.matdolphin.com/blog/2010/10/06/bridging-the-gap/
  34. 06/10/10
    12:06 pm
    I can't help but think that this is a publicity stunt - I mean, what better way to get a TON of eyeballs onto your fledgling brand by making people think you've replaced it with something incredibly poor, thus causing huge debate? If this is for real, I'll be amazed - surely anyone with eyes can see how poor it really is. In fact, there's nothing to save it - it's just purely generic. I'll also be very interested in finding out how much it cost (unless it was an inside job). Fail, Gap. Fail.
  35. 06/10/10
    1:10 pm
    Not-quite-clip-art (NQCA) likely the output of another "in-house graphics gal" and selected by the boss' wife
  36. 06/10/10
    2:10 pm
    Good Lord. Nice to see some out of the blue box thinking.
  37. 06/10/10
    2:11 pm
    Tom Parrett
    The original logo was good enough to sell apparel branded with it. Can't see that here. This feels like a huggable dumbing-down of some corporate services company -- Globally Amalgamated Pablum, Ltd. And what's with the floating square? Design Golden Rule #3: Shun Extraneous Elements.
  38. 06/10/10
    2:41 pm
    It will be interesting to see how this whole implementation carries on into their stores. I'd really like to see the process and progress work behind how they came to this decision. It seem very conservative, almost bank-like. But who knows, maybe they can work some magic.
  39. 06/10/10
    2:44 pm
    I don't know why they did that. It reminds me of a bottled water company or some sort of non-profit organization.
  40. 06/10/10
    2:52 pm
    We went to the moon using a slide rule, now basic math is difficult. Logos used to be made with brush and ink, french curves and a ruling pen. This looks like something some guy did on his dining room table one afternoon- and probably charged 20,000 USD.
  41. 06/10/10
    3:42 pm
    gareth edwards
    Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. but seriously, have Gap now got into petrochemicals & plastics? Are they taking on BASF at their own game? Is the future not cotton but just wrapping people up in plastic sheets? Add to this the obvious lack of focus when visiting the US site from the UK and you get the redirect to the UK store with the old logo on it and it just smacks of half-arsed, ill judged brand fiddling. I'm just trying to imagine what the designer(s) said about the new logo to try and explain the aesthetics behind it and to explain away why this really does get across the Gap brand. Maybe it went a bit like this.... outside the board room Designer 1 "man this is week, I can't believe we've binned all the good ideas and they like the look of this graphic jizz" Designer 2 "I know, but look, they're the client right, I'm sure there's some kind of bigger plan behind the rebrand, perhaps something clever you know*?" Designer 1 "s'gonna have to be waaaaaaaay clever, I actually feel sick, I don't want to show this to them, even though they pretty much made us design it this way - fcuking love design by committee" Designer 2 "yeah, lame, but hey, they paid the fee, we did what they told us, we gave them all the right advice and they still wanted this junk, let's just get this over with and then we can pretend we didn't do it and that we were never here ok?" Designer1 "Deal, present it, then get the ••••outta here. And we NEVER talk about this to anyone right? Not even when we're drunk." Designer 2 "deal" *a. they're doing it for publicity b. they're in touch with a higher intelligence that allows them to make bad design look good somehow c. The figure that by having an even worse logo that their clothes will look better next to it. d. the Gap steering committee had a wild weekend on some very strong brown acid and this is what a comedown looks like after acid and a career using powerpoint. e. they don't give a fcuk
  42. 06/10/10
    3:50 pm
    Reminds of me the first Office templates they offered for people to create their own logo, business cards and website out of. Ugh. Bad Gap... bad.
  43. 06/10/10
    3:55 pm
    All they've done is ripped off American Apparel and maintained the blue square! http://www.premisemarketing.com/images/uploads/SponsorAmericanApparelLogo.jpg
  44. 06/10/10
    4:59 pm
    RoQ
    Related OFF TOPIC: have you seen the PWC new logo?
  45. 06/10/10
    4:59 pm
    Gaz
    It kinda looks like cheaply placed clipart... maybe a loading image awaiting the real logo to load.
  46. 06/10/10
    5:08 pm
    Jessica
    If this is a strange publicity stunt to get people talking about Gap then it is working... For the right reasons, Maybe not. True, it is terrible. But is all publicity good publicity for a company that is becoming a forgotten 90's brand. Hmm... Long run, it could work in their favour. Or come crashing down. Either way.
  47. 06/10/10
    5:42 pm
    I really dislike it. I had my first job working for the GAP and I loved the classic logo; because as you have said, their style is always classic. I don't understand this move and I hope they change it back.
  48. 06/10/10
    5:50 pm
    Hmm...I would look at this as a step backwards for their brand. Impersonal and over-generic.
  49. 06/10/10
    6:02 pm
    Pants
    Fail.
  50. 06/10/10
    6:11 pm
    Daniel
    The Gap widens, again. Why CAN'T these marketers get it right. We all know gap has been broken for quite some time, but it just continues to get worse. Having a bit of 'inside' knowledge the new branding clearly reflects the malady that is killing this brand - it's called decision by committee, no vision, fear, and 'text-book' marketing practices that we all know if it comes from the 'book' then avoid it at all costs. Uninspiring, a move that is void of any style, heart, passion, interest or relevance. Will WalMart just purchase them already and make them shop-in-shop?!?!!
  51. 06/10/10
    6:12 pm
    Daniel
    JESSICA-no, "any publicity" is NOT good publicity. If a brand does something that makes you despise it more than ever then it isn't a good thing. If they can't get you to be thrilled and run right into the store then they have failed. Guess what... another failing grade.
  52. 06/10/10
    7:21 pm
    Wow, It looks like someone from their administration department created it. I know the GAP foundation is build on negative space but that's taking it too far. Changing the font was first bad Idea. Using a gradient was the second. They should of used a condensed san-serif font, and small box isn't serving a purpose other than making a connection to the previous logo. I'd hate to be the guy who approved that.. just some first impressions. I'd like to see how its used through-out the campaign though. Good luck GAP!
  53. 06/10/10
    7:34 pm
    It's a marketing stunt. We're all talking about it aren't we? Once they get their milage out of it they'll have a contest or something, get the gap community involved. Maybe they'll have people vote on it and then... blamo they'll have cool new logo, new identity--their community will feel like they have somehow saved the company and feel some type of ownership. They'll hopefully fire their lead fashion designer in the whole process and become relevant again.
  54. 06/10/10
    9:56 pm
    Why keep the square if you're not going to keep the color the same? Not a good move for them.
  55. 07/10/10
    12:31 am
    Henry Ortega
    A very generic take on what was a recognizable brand...almost to the level of the Pepsi redesign which is just as soulless IMHO.
  56. 07/10/10
    9:43 am
    Oh dear Gap, what have you done? You've taken a device that at least hand some brand equity within the (admittedly shrinking) user group and replaced with a piece of off-the-shelf nonsense that looks like a 5th grade students attempt at a brand for a regional software co. Where is that high street appeal? the essence of cool' or inspiration. Does anyone see this as a device to proudly adorn the T-shirts of customers..? Worse still do the costs of changing signage and collateral make this investment make sense, Not in my book they dont. I suggest that Gap are probably in worse trouble than even they realise and its just a short step to oblivion or a pure outlet- within-store-offering. The trouble is that most high street retailers have a firmer grasp of their own customers needs and Brand lead sensibilities. Perhaps the next step is Gap to be purged from the high street and replaced with Abercrombie, a brand not enjoying its finest hour perhaps yet still stronger, cooler and more on trend than Gap has been for some years now.
  57. 07/10/10
    11:10 am
    The "GAP" is out of box.
  58. 07/10/10
    12:37 pm
    Following their announcement to 'crowd source' logo design, we've written an open letter to Gap. http://www.matdolphin.com/blog/2010/10/07/an-open-letter-to-gap/
  59. 07/10/10
    10:28 pm
    Edward Schnelle
    This style of logo was creaetd by the Kansas City based VML back in the 80's. Plain, blah and mundane. Just like most of the work that comes out of that forsaken agency.
  60. 07/10/10
    11:44 pm
    They only gave me $5, what did you expect? http://www.horriblelogos.com/gap/
  61. 08/10/10
    3:20 am
    Heathmun
    I just saw this on some news site... ouch. Looks like the AGFA logo - but worse. It's completely dissassociated itself from a refined identity that the logo possessed previously. I'm sort of thinking like some other commenters... this is SOOOOOOO bad that it's got to be a stunt. You just don't screw up THIS bad without there being something else going on. Let's all hope that's what is going on.
  62. 08/10/10
    2:40 pm
    So much for this one... http://www.thestreet.com/story/10883435/5/the-5-dumbest-things-on-wall-street-oct-8.html
  63. 12/10/10
    11:02 am
    Jo
    Clever stunt - they didn't really have any intention of changing the logo, just wanted to pretend they had attempted to change it but "listened to their customers" - so it looks like they did, when they didn't at all
  64. 12/10/10
    12:58 pm
    C young
    I would applaud GAP for one of the most effective marketing campaigns I've seen this year. Clearly nothing at all to do with rebranding, and everything to do with PR.
  65. 12/10/10
    6:17 pm
    John De Haura
    What a load of gullible people you really are! It is plain to see that this is fabricated hype and it has done exactly what it was set out to do - and that is create free publicity based of people's gullibility and stupidity. Viral marketing is old hat, don't fool for it. Who ever cares about a company logo certainly has a few screws loose.
  66. 07/02/11
    2:04 am
    Wow, to say they were a bit befuddled on this whole logo redevelopment would be a bit of an understatement. When I was redeveloping my logo for my small business I worked with a great group of logo designers from Sydney, Australia, DPM Creative Group and it actually turned out extremely well.
  67. 09/02/11
    2:54 am
    My version of the GAP logo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7YIKkdeL4s
  68. 15/04/11
    7:53 am
    Clever stunt – they didn’t really have any intention of changing the logo, just wanted to pretend they had attempted to change it but “listened to their customers” – so it looks like they did, when they didn’t at all.Who ever cares about a company logo certainly has a few screws loose.
  69. 16/05/12
    2:15 am
    hello macauley this is there contact info , they have a wealth of knowledge ,just say Howard teaten told you to ring
Voice Your Opinion

Thanks for your comment, it will appear here once it has been moderated.