Gap’s embarrassing new logo 86’d after a week, but did the controversy help or harm the brand?

Kim LaCapria - Author
By

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 10:52 p.m. ET

The time we’ve spent poking fun at the Gap for their hideously ill-planned new logo- black lettering in Helvetica offset against a MS Word clipart style gradient box- is sadly over.

Gap corporate-speakedly announced an immediate return to the more recognizable negative-space white serif font against navy blue box design associated with their brand, but not before fans of the brand on Facebook had to watch an awkward attempt from the milquetoast manufacturer to embrace the widespread ragging- and a strange attempt to turn the logo change into a “crowd sourcing project”:

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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.

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A few days later, the brand was back on Facebook announcing the new logo’s demise and linking to a longer statement:

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Ok. We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback. We only want what’s best for the brand and our customers. So instead of crowd sourcing, we’re bringing back the Blue Box tonight.

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While the crash and burn of the new, now defunct Gap logo is an interesting story, I think what everyone wants to know is how this logo ever made it to actual logo status. How did anyone with three weeks of high school art not realize what a horrible design it truly was? How? HOW, GAP? Unless… the whole “crowd sourcing project” was actually just a way to get people talking about the Gap? Maybe they’re actually geniuses. “New Gap logo” has been trending on Google all morning and has been a popular Twitter topic since its inception.

TheBrandBuilder blog points out another tick mark in favor of the designers of “new Gap logo”:

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5. It is the only logo that looks like it could have been created in forty-five seconds in Microsoft Word. That’s impressive, no matter how you look at it.

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