What Gap should’ve done

If Gap are changing, then so should their logo.

Gap also announced on their Facebook Page that they’re considering the idea of ‘crowd sourcing’ logo ideas as a result of the backlash their new logo design has received this week.

In a response to their move which could be pure genius or naive, we decided to write an open letter to Gap which we posted on the page as a response.

Dear Gap,

I’ll start by letting you know that I’m one half of the design agency Mat Dolphin, based in London, UK. As an agency we’re focused on helping people and companies build better brands.

This week you launched (if that’s the word, as it seemed less fanfare and more under the radar) your new brand identity – a new logo created by your long term advertising agency in the US, Laird & Partners. With no PR release to mark its arrival, the new logo suddenly appeared on your website. There was no tie-in ad campaign or TV slots, it just appeared.

As a branding exercise you went for a revolutionary response to your logo design, rather than an evolutionary development. With no rationale, explanation or statement to the new look, your customers, the public, the design world, and pretty much everyone who has access to Twitter, Facebook or any other social media network has had no option other than to judge the logo on first look. You confused your audience, and left them no other option than to dislike what they see.

As a marketing exercise though I have to congratulate you. As yet I’m not sure if this is for your naivety or your wisdom, but hats off. I’m not a customer of your product, but I’m now talking about your brand. Yesterday we wrote a blog post (Bridging The Gap) on how designers have reacted to the logo and how perhaps we all need to give the logo some time and let it develop. It’s the most successful post we’ve ever written with over 12,000 hits, some 220 Facebook Likes, 250 retweets on twitter, and 60 people left thoughtful and considered comments. People who might not have shopped in your stores, looked at your website or even thought about the design of your previous logo are now talking about your brand. And now you’re suggesting the idea of ‘crowd sourcing’ what people think. A genius idea to keep the news fresh in peoples minds, and to engage them in your brand. I even had to ‘Like’ your page to be able to leave this comment.

The moment we saw your new look we didn’t have an issue with it, but we wanted to understand the thinking. The hype you’ve created around this new logo though is incredible and we’re pretty sure that in the long term it won’t affect your brand or sales. As we’ve said many times before to clients, in previous blog posts and in discussions with other designers, a brand is more than just a logo.

Whether or not you go back to the existing logo or not due to peer pressure remains to be seen, but if I were American Apparel or Uniqlo right now, I’d be calling my Ad agency straight away to start thinking about about a new marketing campaign to get anywhere near this coverage.


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