UPDATE, 10.12.2010: The Gap has decided to kill the new logo and keep the old. Details here.
Earlier: The Gap responds to the criticism of its new logo.
Gap changed its logo today without fanfare or even so much as a press release. It just kind of showed up on their website, no method of warning considered.
The new logo, a cold and unfeeling blue square crushed underneath the cruel weight of bold, black Helvetica, makes the company look more like it’s about to release a new word processor than a footwear collaboration with Pierre Hardy. Our questions about this abound, but we’ll start with this one: What the hell are they thinking?
BrandChannel points out that while Gap Inc. as a company might have posted over $14 billion in revenue last year, Gap as a brand isn’t doing nearly as well as it has in the past. And now it’s scrambling for a jolt of energy that will send it back to the top again.
“… Ditching the classic logo, recognized by everyone, in favor of whatever that new monstrosity is, demonstrates a prototypical brand panic move. With things not going in its favor, the brand decides to change the one valuable element it has going for it.
Ironically maybe, the new logo is perfect for the brand. It communicates exactly the values currently embodied by Gap: A sense of being lost and a lack of clear vision and creativity.”
Ouch. Well. We hate Helvetica as much as the next person who has a thing for fonts (we had the audacity to tell our 300-level graphic design professor that we thought it was the most banal font we’d ever seen). But we’ve noticed that the company hasn’t changed the logo on its Facebook or Twitter pages, so maybe (hopefully) they’re just testing it out and gauging how consumers would react to it. But if the company can make a design flub this big, should we expect the clothes to follow?