Mind The Gap: New Logo Goes Down Like A Lead Balloon

Gap, the American clothing store has rebranded, with a new logo and website design.

The old navy box with white serif font has been replaced with a Helvetica typeface and mini navy box which sits in the top right corner of the logo.

NewGapLogo gap_logo
The new Gap logo The old Gap logo

To say the logo is a little bland may be understating things. The navy square looks like it was thrown on at the last minute, possibly to keep some kind of connection to the old logo? It appears to be a major step backwards and I can’t understand why they changed it.

While we all love to have an opinion, and logos often bring out a love/hate relationship, around the blogosphere and Twitter the new logo is definitely getting a kicking. In this particular case, I don’t think people are unimpressed because they don’t like change, more that this change is uninspired and certainly doesn’t scream “classic” for any point in the future. While I like the simplicity of the Helvetica font, the navy gradient square appears to be hanging around needlessly from another era. Some time in the late eighties/early nineties maybe. This is my kneejerk reaction, who knows it could become a favorite in the future…

You can see the new logo in action on the web site, where it already appears to be a little out of place.

GapWebsite

What do you think about the new Gap logo? A bold font to go with a bold new look, or a cheap-looking haphazard design?

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  • kodeexii

    Salam n Hola
    Hmmmm.. at first look, the older logo had more impact on me. It’s got more authority or something. While the new logo did not really catch my attention.
    However, after giving both logos a few more look see, I find that the new logo puts me at ease. The older logo seems a bit too rigid and strict.
    When I look at the old logo, the army comes to mind. When I look at the new logo, fun and games comes to mind.
    That’s my take on the two logos.
    Regards
    Hadee Roslan

  • Courcelan

    Helvetica is not the terminus of all fonts. Why in the world is it the only font people want to use? It certainly doesn’t differentiate between brand logos, it doesn’t scream “I’m different.”

    Horrible logo, looks like no thought or strategy was planned. Lets hope they leave their other brands alone.

    Sheesh.

    • komodoor

      this is by no means Helvetica, its Arial

  • DotcomLabs

    There is a great Documentary about the life of Helvetica on Netflix (streamable). It’s a good watch. As far as this logo, it’s not a “good watch.”

    • Kvermeille

      I just finished watching that a few moments ago! The way that I see it, Gap wants to change their brand to be something thats normal, nothing out of the ordinary. When you look at their clothes, they’re not a high fashion clothing line, they make clothes for regular people who have a regular budget.

  • Montanna

    This is awful….. the other was a classic icon. The new one has an forced composition.

  • Steve

    Here’s a different take on their re-branding, they may be onto something.

    http://www.ignition3.com/marketing/gaps-possible-brilliance-seriously.html

    • http://www.laughingliondesign.net Jennifer Farley

      Steve, it is an interesting idea for sure. It seems like a mistake has been made somewhere.
      Maybe for the average punter the change in logo means nothing and it’s only us design nerds who get upset about these things?

      • http://www.magain.com/ Matthew Magain

        Nonsense. This is not on purpose. When I visited the GAP website, I was prompted with a survey asking “How can gap.com improve your online shopping experience?” which used, yes, the original logo. So there they were—the two logos, side by side, on the front page. Pure and simple incompetence IMO.

        The 99designs guys have a design a better logo for GAP contest running too. :)

        Nice wrap-up Jennifer, btw!

  • Justin Holtby

    They should just use something like this. I did this after i saw the new logo.
    In my opinion this logo looks modern but it still has the same concept and identity as the older one. Plus caps are becoming over rated and more and more companies are starting to use them. I think its good that they did go with a a lowercase concept. But it just doesn’t send the message as “We are the gap” The new logo looks more like a off brand of gap. Check this logo out.

    https://acrobat.com/#d=A0nC6w8K2CF5RLzvFcvFxw

    you have to have an adobe account to check it out. just sign if or make an account

  • Anonymous

    Can you say design by committee? My guess is the logo was designed by the people paying the people who were suppose to design the logo. In other words…

    “We’re paying you a lot of money to design a logo and we want it to look exactly like this…., even though we know nothing about design.” – Gap exec

    “Oh and add a navy gradient box, we don’t want to steer too far away from our brand, the gradient will make it look cool, I mean I am not designer, but I laid it out for you in Microsoft Word in like two seconds, still don’t know why this graphic design stuff takes you so long and stuff, oh and I have Arial, so please don’t forget to change it to Helvetica, I know you designers love Helvetica.” – Gap Exec

  • George

    Nothing says 1969 jeans like a visibly forced logo from ca 2001. You could make that logo in like 30 seconds. Wonder how much someone got paid to “come up” with it.

  • James

    Now you can make your own new Gap logo:

    http://www.makeyourowngaplogo.com/

    • Steve

      Hahaha that’s a good one!

  • jim

    The new logo looks like a dying company in desperate need of a Venture Capitalist to pop it up with cash.

    The old logo has that rustic feel to it.

    But at the same time, I thought GAP was a cheap chinese clothing company trying to be hip

  • Richard

    Looking at the GAP facebook page, it looks like Steve may be on to something…
    “Gap: 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.”
    http://www.facebook.com/gap?v=wall

  • powerpotatoe

    Growing up in the south central United States, GAP had an identity of cool. It was the cool, rich kid’s clothes. The old logo presents a classic, confident identity. An identity worth a few extra dollars per clothing item. I even felt among the elite when I walked into a GAP store (where the logo was posted everywhere). I find that most often serif fonts, in print, provide a feel of elegance. GAP was known for a kind of elegance. The new logo appears to be one for a discount clothing store.

    Design nerds may be the only ones who argue about the pros and cons of logo design, but the average consumer will be affected. We all know that certain design themes communicate certain ideas and excite certain feelings and emotions. When I look at this logo, I do not want to wear GAP clothing. GAP just lost its cool and elegance.

  • http://cydewaze.org cydewaze

    When I look at the old logo, I see a Fender Telecaster.

    When I look at the new one, I see that plastic guitar you get with “Guitar Hero”.

  • spheroid

    Brands don’t matter any more to companies. Examples: Radio Shack calling themselves “The Shack”, Pizza Hut “The Hut”, Kmart changing their logo and name at least 3 times in the last 20 years.

  • steve85

    I wouldn’t be too concerned with this logo. Although it looks like Silicon Valley decided to design, real designers are predicting this will go to the scraps. http://gnomeflash.com/ gives some good analysis through the eyes of a designer. I have to agree with them that this is the Tropicana logo change all over again.

  • Evan

    It’s terrible. Trying too hard to be hip. First thing that came to my mind when I saw it was “Why would they use the same font as American Apparel?”

  • http://www.patricksamphire.com/ PatrickSamphire

    It is truly horrible, isn’t it? It really is the ugly gradient box that kills it, though. Their loss.

  • jeffedsell

    I know exactly what they’re thinking: We want to be hip like American Apparel. They use Helvetica Bold on a white background, so we’ll do that…let’s toss a blue square in there as a nod to the old branding. Not too prominently though.

    (If their ads begin to feature possibly-underage models who look like they were photographed with an old Polaroid camera in somebody’s basement, you’ll know I’m right.)

  • ShadyAidy

    There was a mistake publishing the logo from PhotoShop – they accidentally hid the layer where the word ‘beta’ was embossed onto the blue box.

  • DaBHoXX

    The true GAP logo is here : http://twitpic.com/2vqy6s

  • http://illogicdesign.com sethetter

    Horrible, IMHO. They’re trying to be simple and expressive, but they’re missing the latter entirely.

  • Silver Firefly

    Perhaps Gap ought to adopt my take on their new logo: http://www.makeyourowngaplogo.com/logos/16554.

  • Josh

    Looked today and the GAP logo looks unchanged from the previous logo. I wonder how much money was used for the changes.

  • Michael T

    Isn’t it important to understand the creative brief around what the Gap want their logo to communicate? Unless we know if it is on or off strategy it is very difficult to say if they succeeded with their new logo or not.

    You are argue all you like about the aesthetics but if it accomplishes the communications goal then it was a success.

    Personally I don’t think it is horrible or even worse than their old one. It certainly seems less “in-your-face” and more friendly but also less rigid. Perhaps that is what they wanted.

  • Anonymous

    Someone surely acknowledged this already, but the Helvetica might be an attempt to make them look a bit more like American Apparel, trying to grab that slightly hipper demographic.