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After Internet hazing, Gap logo goes away


Update, Tuesday, 7:45 a.m.

It's official. The Internet spoke and Gap listened. The clothing company issued a statement on Facebook: "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."

Last week, the company introduced a redesigned logo, changing their iconic blue box with white lettering look to a new design that Ad Age said it looked like "something a child created using a clip-art gallery." Outrage and derision poured out online.

The company at first considered crowd-sourcing design ideas, but said in a press release last night, "We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community."

So it is now official: The old box is back to stay.

Told you I'd be back ;)less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

Update, Friday, 1:30 p.m.

Gap has been offered some help in their logo design thanks to crowd-sourcing site 99 Designs.

Four hundred designers have submitted 1,200 logos already. And, yes, most of them are more impressive than the new 'floating blue box' logo. Have at it, Gap.

Thurday, 5:40 p.m.

This is a story of the short, sweet life of a logo in the harsh, wild world on the Web.

On Monday, Gap -- the clothing company that made khakis hip -- changed its 20-year-old logo from its familiar blue box with white print to a black Helvetica font with a floating blue box in the corner. A day passed with little more than a peep of protest.

And then, the next day, the little logo made some big news.

The Consumerist asked, "Next Tropicana-Style Redesign Flop?"

Ad Age said it looked like "something a child created using a clip-art gallery."

The Urlesque blog offered a series of other logo options, including a flickering color option. "We're not sure how you'll get the flashing part of this logo by John Lander onto a sweatshirt, but you guys can figure that out."

To rub salt into the wound, two Twitter parody accounts started up: @gaplogo and @oldgaplogo.

Someone even had the audacity (and the brilliance) to make an automatic logo generator. The site asks, "Why hire an expensive firm to rebrand?"
Yesterday, Gap announced on its Facebook page a slight change of plans. "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."

A Gap spokesman said that the new logo would still appear in holiday advertisements, and the Web site would still proudly sport its new logo, but the company would not roll out any more new-logo branding until after the new year.

He went on to suggest that internally, everyone loved the logo, and though he would not confirm this, the online launch may have been an initial screening of the logo. The company never had plans to redesign all the logos until after Jan. 1.

For Gap, the test case could be a social-media bonanza. The company did save a huge chunk of cash by not investing in new signs, tags, business cards and billboards with a logo nobody loves. And people haven't been speaking about Gap this much since those crazy cats started swing dancing in khakis.

Though Gap has yet to announce how people can submit their designs (and by the looks of some of the complaints on the Facebook page it remains to be seen if anyone will submit a design), @gaplogo offers directions on where to submit:

Please send all new logo designs to: Chief Oyinbolowo Eko, Lagos, Nigera along with a Western Union money order for $8,500.less than a minute ago via web

By Melissa Bell  | October 12, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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I didn't know there were Groupons for logo design

Posted by: mvm_ffx | October 7, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"Yesterday night, Gap announced on its Facebook page a slight change of plans..."

* * *
"Yesterday night"?!?! Apparently English fluency is no longer a prerequisite for writing at one of the nation's preeminent newspapers. Let me try to explain this to you, honey, in words of one syllable. In English we have this really useful word, "last": as in, "Last night, Gap announced . . . "

Posted by: 7900rmc | October 7, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

There's another great word that describes people like you "honey", it's pedant. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, it's not like your criticism was anything but exemplary of that which you rail against.

Posted by: Nymous | October 8, 2010 5:16 AM | Report abuse

@7900rmc Alas, alack, a woe. It has been changed per your demand.

@Nymous Pedant! Good word.

Posted by: MelissaBellPost | October 8, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

You gave in to some random idiot who called you "honey"? Wow. Just wow.

Posted by: cassander | October 8, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Totally agree! Isn't this exactly what Gap wants? People talking about their brand? Companies spend millions trying to start these kinds of conversations. Now GAP has started one. But instead of money, it's cost them a tiny amount of damage to the brand/reputation. It will easily recover from this kerfluffle and in the end, the "crowdsourced" product/logo will be stronger than what GAP originally proposed (how could it not?). Sounds like a good deal to me.

Joe LaMountain
President, SparkLight Communications
Faculty, Georgetown University

Posted by: jlamountain | October 8, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

cassander, it just struck me as silly. I don't like pedantry much. Usually it's used as an Ad-Hominem attack, and that's primarily why I dislike it. It's also something of a waste in light of barely articulate angry flaming that is far more common in online comments. In essence, I think failed logic is more important than failed grammar. If failed grammar facilitates logical failures, well that's a bit different case.

Here, it's a corporate logo that's being poked fun at. It would be undue to get too worked up over the situation for anyone.

Posted by: Nymous | October 8, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Gap means cheap chinese made ill fitting poop in American speak.

Posted by: coogene | October 8, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I guess Gap wants people to design a logo for free. Hey I get paid for that, I'm not giving my work away for free.

Posted by: jtsw | October 8, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

omg! they've redesigned the logo AGAIN! and this time they want us to VOTE on it! heaven help us!

Posted by: brandingm3 | October 8, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@cassander A random idiot perhaps, but a random idiot who was grammatically correct about the yesterday night/last night quibble.

Posted by: bellabell | October 8, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, if we're gonna be picky about "yesterday night"...

On Monday, Gap -- the clothing company that made khakis hip changed -- its 20-year-old logo from its familiar blue box

shouldn't that be "hip -- changed" ?

Posted by: MrTKP | October 8, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

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