Customers mind the Gap as rebrand goes wrong

8 October 2010

Maybe the logo for Gap did look a little clunky, a little old, a little out-of-touch for these digital days. The branding hasn't changed for over 20 years, so earlier in the week, Gap quietly removed the old logo from their website:

Bitterwallet - old Gap logo

And in it's place, a new shiny überlogo appeared:

Bitterwallet - new Gap logo

Possibly the management thought nobody would care about a silly logo, but apparently everyone did. Consumers on Facebook and Twitter ripped it to shreds, describing the new look as "tacky and tasteless", "absolutely awful", and "like a cow full-on shitting in a vet's face". Only one of those descriptions was made up.

It wasn't a joke or some convoluted viral marketing plan, according to Gap's boss: "We want our customers to take notice of Gap and see what it stands for today. We chose this design as it's more contemporary and current. It honors our heritage through the blue box while still taking it forward." Unfortunately, the change has pissed off so many people that the sound of furious back-peddling could now be heard emanating from Gap's marketing department:

Thanks for everyone’s input on the new logo! We’ve had the same logo for 20+ years, and this is just one of the things we’re changing. We know this logo created a lot of buzz and we’re thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding! So much so we’re asking you to share your designs. We love our version, but we’d like to see other ideas. Stay tuned for details in the next few days on this crowd sourcing project.

Was it some half-arsed PR campaign to generate "social buzz" or some other such bullshit, then? Who can say, but we think Facebook member Erika sums up the situation more effectively than Gap:

Bitterwallet - Gap Facebook comment

Oh, and if you fancy, here's a sneak preview of the new Bitterwallet logo. Cost us a mint:

Bitterwallet - new Avid logo

TOPICS:   Social Media


  • PeteProdge
    Bt the use of Helvetica Bold for a USA-based clothing company is totally original! Well if you ignore American Apparel.
  • Siobhan
    They paid how much for Helvetica and a blue square? Maybe I should get into logo design.
  • PaulH
    I think the GAP logo still actually looks decent in this new gradient filled, Helvetica waste land. Isn't the whole point of a logo so it stands your organisation out from the rest of the herd? This new one just looks the same as all the other tot that's out there at the moment
  • DoubleBack
    The trick here is to ask what people would say if the history of the logos were the other way round. Probably exactly the same. The new logo is not that bad.
  • Mark S.
    I'm amazed anyone gives a damn. Gap sell me clothes (sometimes), not a logo FFS.
  • WantonD
    Gradients in logos should be illegal.
  • Mark C.
    I wouldn't say it's chockingly bad, just really dull - it looks like the sort of logo I'd expect to see on the box for a cheap Korean hard drive or graphics card.
  • Q
    Saw this story yesterday on Creative Review. If the tactic was to encourage a crowd-sourced design, it may work, but the negative response it's generated just doesn't seem healthy... I've always thought the Gap logo was very unambitious, here's my chance!
  • Paul C.
    Their logo is iconic - I would go so far as to say that it feels timeless - there is no need for a rebrand to make it appear like a Superdry/Bench logo - this is not what I go into Gap for. Their jeans are extremely hardwearing - which is what you get from some poor asian sod has to stitch it together for the price of a penny sweet. Good workmanship.
  • PaulH
    I agree with Paul Coia and Mark C
  • Whisky
    Last time my employer had a logo change I learnt an important lesson. The MD had designed the logo with his special crayon set and without thinking it was him who had made it I told him it was shit when he unveiled it to us. Should have said nothing and just nodded like everyone else, maybe then I wouldn't still be sat behind this fucking desk wasting my time reading this website. We didn't use the shit logo though.
  • Mr G.
    New Logo: CRAP▀
  • Alexis
    Looks like a logo for a construction company. Dependable and bold so that you know your bridge won't fall down, but very cold and impersonal for a clothing company. Odd choice.
  • Mr '.
    As a large animal vet I can understand the sentiment “like a cow full-on shitting in a vet’s face” always crack an egg or two & pour it down aforementioned shitting animal & you'll smell more like roses than cow shit! flan liners (heavy egg base) are also good for stopping shitting animals, I tend never to leave home without a few flan casings, they have often saved me from having to gnaw my own arm off whilst stuck for several weeks in a snowdrift in the otherwise beautiful dales countryside.
  • Willy-wonka
    Thats pony...
  • NickS
    What is it with originality...any damn logo these days that's meant to be "contemporary" uses a helvetica font..surprised actually that the first letter is uppercase, surely thats not "trendy"
  • Nick T.
    Why don’t they get the poor fucking Chinese and Bangladeshi 7 year-olds in their factories to do a free pitch?
  • Nobby
    The UK Gap website still has the old logos. If I had searched for the US one, and saw the new logo, I would have thought someone has just set up a crap copycat site, as I didn't recognise the logo. Change your logo, lose your branding.
  • annoying
    The BitterWallet logo should contain more foxes.
  • Mr C.
    This is old shit news, it was in the NEWSPAPERS TWO days ago!!!
  • MySpace B.
    [...] we brought you Gap’s new logo, and now (unveils amazing link between one story and another) we bring you another new logo… [...]
  • Rob
    Interesting that one person said that he would expect a logo like this would be on the box of a cheap Korean hard drive. Why Korea, is it because they stand for poor quality? Or, nothing bad ever comes out of the States?
  • Paul S.
    Mr Ca-moron - hats off to any newspaper that published the story above on Wednesday last week, since they:: a) published quotes from a Facebook message that is dated Thursday, and b) invented time travel.
  • Jonny S.
    Mr Ca-moron's real name is James Blunt
  • Gap B.
    [...] week, we exclusively revealed* how Gap had changed their branding, dropping their tried and trusted classic [...]
  • When’s K.
    [...] than a corporate ego trip. Then there’s the backlash if you get it wrong, as was the case with Gap not so long ago. Oh, and before I forget: your logo is NOT your [...]

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