The GAP Tripped and Fell – Design Run Amock

October 10, 2010

This is big buzz about GAP and their attempt at branding a new logo. Seems it was met with a hearty burst of worldwide negativity from nearly everyone! Regardless of the seemingly tacky approach to soliciting design submittals from their fans and the social media public at large, the result was an enormous disappointment to the world of graphic design and seems the fans too! Not that the fans/public might not find it fun to participate in a “contest” of sorts to influence and place their mark on such a popular brand – designers too for that matter – but the GAP brand, blue square with attenuated white serif-style capital letters has been successfully recognizable and well-represented the company for 20+ years and the new logo was not only lacking in graphic effectiveness, it was appalling to nearly everyone that they selected it and put it out there. It’s not because it was too simple – less is often more – but it was so painfully plain as to not even make a positive statement, much less a leap into the future for the company.
When your public – clientele – and the design world both rush forward with criticisms, you can think that it has at least evoked a response – but the intended contemporary update of the icon was not about evoking such a backlash of negativity. Or was it? Was it a publicity stunt? Not the best way to call attention or cause a stir.
Companies that stand the test of time often want to make identity changes to insure that they are abreast of the competition, forerunners in their marketplace, etc… However, it is not always the best path to take. Maintaining a strong, timeless recognizable brand might be the best plan. What is YOUR opinion – do you care?
Lately I’ve been thinking about getting some new, hip little square two-sided business cards…they’re fun and happening…but I don’t think I would change my logo – might fiddle with the colors like I do with the logo on facebook – different colors for seasons or events – even that is frowned upon by staunch branding experts. However, regarding my logo, there is not going to be a thunderous response either way – but I’m thinking about it!!!
“If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it”. If you’re going to make a change – it better be for the better. “Fall into the GAP” – they tripped and fell…now it’s time to get up and get back to business.


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