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

Last Updated Oct 7, 2010 6:39 PM EDT

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.)