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Rebranding's Catch-22: New Gap Logo Brings Out Fans of the Old Logo

No one likes The Gap (GPS)'s new logo, in which the blue square with elongated white letters has been replaced with a black Helvetica typeface reminiscent of American Apparel (APP). Given how close the offerings of the two chains often are -- and AA's recent troubles -- it's strange that Gap would want to reduce the brand differentiation between them.

The online reaction from the design community has also been negative. Here's a representative sampling from Brand New:

I hate Helvetica in logos. It has the unique ability to make anything look pedestrian and, in this particular case, it makes Old Navy, Gap's low-end retail sister, look like a luxury brand by comparison.
Tagline readers are familiar with this cycle by now: Logo redesign = wave of revulsion from design prigs.

This is the Catch-22 of brand management: If you want to find out how much latent consumer loyalty there is for your existing marque, launch a redesign. Unfortunately, you'll only elicit that affection when it's too late.

I didn't care about the Gap logo until yesterday, when it appeared on gap's web site, and I suspect you didn't either. But now, everyone does.


It appears to be a major step backwards and I can't understand why they changed it.
A Welsh View:
It appears that GAP has either redesigned its logo using Word Art or held a competition in a primary school.
Creative Intuition:
This is big branding mistake and clearly a display of corporate suits messing where they shouldn't.
This new Gap logo, ironicly, belongs more to financial institution than a clothing retailer.
ISO50 launched a contest for alternative new designs, and within 24 hours received dozens of results, many of them obviously better than Gap's. I liked this one best. (Yes I know Gap isn't sportswear, but we're looking at typeface treatments, not what the words actually say.)


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