Mind the Gap: retailer withdraws its new logo

Thousands of complaints over the redesigned logo have forced Gap to reinstate its old one, just a week after it was replaced.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, goes the old adage – but Gap clearly hasn’t been taking much notice. The group has finally given in and withdrawn an expensive logo redesign after reams of the khaki-buying public voiced their horror over a ‘contemporary and current’ (Gap’s tautology, not ours) redesign. The new logo, which features the word ‘Gap’ in black and a blue square hovering over the ‘p’, was launched on Gap’s website last week, but received so many complaints that it’s been forced to backtrack – leaving president Marka Hansen a little red-faced.

To be fair to Hansen, she did justify it well. After the initial outpouring of criticism, she wrote a piece for the Huffington Post, explaining that since Gap’s stores and designs have undergone modernisation, she felt it was only fair the logo was updated, too. But despite her defence (or should that be 'defense'?), more than 2,000 of Gap’s Facebook fans criticised the logo, along with the 5,000 followers to a Twitter account set up solely to get rid of the new logo. There was also a  ‘make your own Gap logo’ site, which went viral.

Gap’s first response to the criticism was the corporate equivalent of a middle-aged man experimenting with his teenage offspring’s latest slang term: it told fans it was going to ‘crowdsource’ a new logo, asking them to come up with their own designs. ‘Given the passionate outpouring from customers, we’ve decided to engage in the dialogue, take their feedback on board and work together as we move ahead,’ wrote Hansen in a jargon-tastic attempt to rekindle customers’ affections.

Sadly, though, that didn’t go down very well, either – especially with professional designers, who weren’t impressed that Gap was asking people to do for free what they sell for a living. One wrote: ‘You sell good stuff, but never in my experience has any of your employees offered me a free pair of pants because the ones I was wearing looked bad. I wouldn’t expect them to. Their job is to sell clothes – my job is to sell design.’ Hear, hear.

So, thanks to the complaints of a mere 7,000 people (not that many, on the grand scale of Gap customers) on social media, for now at least, Gap fans will have their old logo back.  If only the organisers of London 2012 had been as willing to listen…

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