Earlier tonight Twitter started exploding with the news that Gap, American clothing retailer, had debuted a brand new logo on their website. For the last year or so the company has been using a ton of Helvetica Neue in their storewide branding and advertising so when I saw the logo it made sense that they would make the move towards the same look. But what absolutely boggled my mind was the tiny, blue, gradient square that sits awkwardly behind the letter “p”. Where before you had a classic, even if it was an outdated logo, now in it’s place is something that looks like some kinda’ online bank.
On Twitter I honestly didn’t see a single bit of support for the logo, just a lot of shock as to why it was so bad. Tina from Swissmiss wasn’t impressed, saying “GAP is now a financial insitution”. Diego Zambrano, a partner at Ogilvy, thought “Just a gap would be better” and even offered to design them a free logo. It’s even gotten to the point where the Gap Logo has it’s own, snarky Twitter to argue with the haters.
This is some shabby work in my opinion. There was a lot of brand equity in that big blue square and they didn’t move far away enough from the source for this logo to even begin to feel new or exciting. To the right I came up with my own little example of how they could have made a simple tweak to give the impression of a freshening up. Like I said before, I liked the use of Helvetica Neue, which is actually slightly modified on the tail of the “a”, so I kept it. My only change would be to add some color the logo to make it feel like it can change and adapt. My inspiration was the logo that The Strange Attractor uses, which you can see by clicking here. It’s exciting, dynamic and interactive. Is this right for a clothing brand? Not sure, but it’s a hell of a lot better than an oddly placed gradient square.
I think the bigger problem that Gap faces is the fact that they’ve lost their style identity. When I look at the front page of Gap.com I see J.Crew knockoffs but without the attention to details in the product shots or styling. Gap was once known for their basics, but even that title has been taken away by younger upstart American Apparel, which isn’t such great shape either. A sad refresh of a logo and confused style direction, things aren’t looking good for the Gap.