Gap scraps logo redesign after social-media protests

Just days after defending the redesigned Gap logo, Marka Hensen, president of Gap Brand North America, has released a statement announcing the decision to scrap the new design.

The change, which was announced on their website on 4 Oct, prompted a public protest, with more than 2,000 comments on Facebook criticising the decision to ditch the well-known logo.


Gap’s new logo

As a universal truth, we don’t like change. As much as we strive towards spontaneity, we’re creatures of habit and the smallest tweak can cause out and out commotion and backlash. Take, for example, the negative reactions brought on by recent announcements of Tropicana’s tweaked logo, the formula change of New Coke and the changed Gap logo.

As customers and consumers we’re marketed to believe that we own a brand; it’s a lifestyle, it’s a heritage and we make the changes. So when Gap released the redesigned logo on its website on 4 Oct and decided to change their iconic blue-square logo, which has been emblazoned on shirts, jeans and bags for more than two decades, customers took to social-media sites to express their displeasure.

“Why mess with a classic?” wrote one Facebooker. “‘It looks like clipart”, wrote another.  “The original Gap logo is classic and iconic,” said Eric Mai, a 24-year-old Facebook user, “by changing it, you’ve completely destroyed what it took 20-plus years to build.” While over on Twitter, a debate ensued over whether it was a hoax or a viral publicity stunt. There’s so much cyber chatter about Gap’s new logo it even has its own Twitter page.

The consumer-focused site is offering a $50 iTunes gift card to whoever can come up with the funniest caption to accompany the retailer’s new image. More than 150 comments have been left, suggestions including, “Gap’s new branding inspiration: PowerPoint ‘97,” “Gap: Failing to think outside the box since 1969” and “Helvetica: it was working for American Apparel.”

The company issued a statement on its Facebook page yesterday, saying they were “thrilled to see the passionate debates unfolding” and welcomed design suggestions, calling it a “crowd-sourcing project”.

However, Gap’s North American president Marka Hansen has defended the US casualwear chain’s controversial new logo and told Draper’s she wanted customers to “take notice” of the chain and “see what it stands for today”.

Louise Callagy, a spokeswoman for the company, said that Gap has been updating its clothing lines and stores to appeal to so-called “Millennials” (consumers in their 20s and early 30s) and the new logo is part of that plan.

“If you’ve been watching Gap over the past year, our customers have seen how we’ve been evolving our brand identity,” she said. “Our brand and clothes are changing, so we want our logo to reflect that change.”