‘Google the new Gap logo’. As I walked into the studio this morning I’d barely taken my coat off before I was told about the latest wave of controversy to hit the online design world. As instructed, I searched for the new logo and… oh.
There it was.
Perhaps a little underwhelming, and I’m not 100% sure what the reasoning is behind the little blue gradient box but, fair enough. Maybe the thinking behind the re-brand will become more apparent when seeing the logo in context. However, searching for examples of the branding is made slightly more difficult by the fact that the internet has been flooded by designers venting their general hatred towards the logo. The witch hunt has officially begun.
It seems to me that the creative community are, by their nature, interested, thoughtful and opinionated – any designer who doesn’t fit this criteria should maybe consider a career change. That said, it still surprises me to see the reactionary ‘go for the jugular’ nature on the comment sections of design blogs and Twitter when certain logos are wheeled out for judgement.
Reputable design agency (who asked us to remove their name) – ‘Note to Gap – you have made a mistake beyond the realms of what was thought humanly possible if ‘that’ remains’
ICanHasQBN – is anybody else literally angry at this? I feel like logo design just keep deteriorating day after day. how can one justify this new logo?
SupaRabbit – The new GAP logo makes me want to cry. OMG. WTF. I’m puking blood.
Clearly they’re not happy.
To make it clear, I’m not a huge fan of the new Gap logo, part of the reason for this is because I haven’t really seen it yet. I’ve seen the image at the top of this post on other design and fashion blogs, I’ve seen it on the Gap website (where, to be fair, it does sit a little awkwardly), I’ve even seen a few ‘hilarious’ photoshop parodies poking fun at the design. But surely a logo is a part of a bigger picture? A re-brand must involve more than re-designing the logo? Without wanting to be thrown to the lions along with the logo formerly known as Gap, is it wrong to suggest that maybe we should all just live with it for a while and give it a chance before judging the entire branding process based on a 250 x 250 pixel JPG?
For any designers reading this, there must be moments (possibly more than one) when, on seeing your initial design, the client has perhaps been a touch reactionary? An instant ‘I don’t like that colour’ or ‘Can we change the font’ before hearing the reason why that particular design choice was made? Are the online masses not guilty of the same knee-jerk response on seeing the logo for a few seconds?
Gap are a huge company. I’m sure Laird & Partners – the designers behind the re-brand – will have had a huge, complex brief and an extensive rationale behind why they went the route they did. I don’t know what the brief asked for and I don’t know their reasons for the final design. But I’m sure they’ve put in a great deal of research and thinking as to how this brand will develop long-term. They may have got it completely wrong and the whole thing might be a failure, but surely it’s too early to say?
It would be interesting to know the number of people who eventually ‘came round’ to accepting, and maybe even liking the Wolf Olins 2012 Olympics logo. After seeing that design, which was originally vilified in the press, rolled out as a full campaign I still don’t love it, but I can’t deny it does what it was intended to do; Inject a dose of inclusiveness, youth and modernity into what could have easily been a re-hashed version of what had come before.
In summary, I’m not sure Gap have got it right. But at this early stage I can’t be completely sure they’ve got it wrong.
Until next time Mat Fans…
Today Gap have announced on their Facebook Page that they’re considering the idea of ‘crowd sourcing’ logo ideas as a result of the backlash their new logo design has received this week.
In a response to their move which could be pure genius or naive, we decided to write an open letter to Gap which we posted on the page as a response. Feel free to read it here.