/ “the Gap” becomes “the Void”

The Gap unveiled a new logo this week in an effort to refresh and energize its brand. The competition has been pounding so hard lately (H&M, Uniqlo, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Desigual) the folks back in San Francisco had to do something with the brand that has been suffering a lack of freshness since the kaki-meet-celebrities campaign or the-Jeans- in-every-tone-of-blue campaign. But after a few days, it is already turning into a communications/PR/Social Media Disaster. I am not even talking about the pure design aspect of it, that is so disarming, couple of spoof sites already emerged.After decades of loyal services the old logo-mark apparently needed a refresh; no more serif type, no more capital letters, no more blue background. The result is a lower case helvetica name with a blue corner box. Even the New York Stock Exchange brand look more fun compared to this 2010 version, which is an accomplishment considering how much fun the stock market has been lately. After Before The New York Stock Exchange Logo But that is not all. It could have been a bad case of rebranding or brand blunder like we have seen in the past (remember the Tropicana packaging that we all mistook for a pharmaceutical-over-the-counter- mouth wash, The Pepsi lotto ball, the kraft food swirl?) the PR/Social media coolness kicked in and tried to react fast to the wave of postings about the unfortunate fate of the logo mark.1/3 acknowledgment of the new brand, 1/3 acknowledgment as a good thing of the “passionate debate” it is generating and 1/3 two- steps backward that invite for more logos submissions because they would like to “see more ideas”. read that screen capture from the Facebook page:In other terms, we will give a shot at crowd sourcing the entire thing so we can get a lot more creative ideas considering the rebranding budget has been already spent. Obviously the brand and the group at large ( which include Banana Republic ) didn”t need the bad publicity at a time where sales are sluguish and everybody is trying to generate sales via huge discounts and recuring 1-day sale events. Beyond design it looks like the brand is searching for a vision and what the future of Gap should be. They may want to look at companies like Louis Vuitton, that manage to retain their identity yet allow themselves to have REAL fun with the brand and making it a living entity and stay modern by allowing creative leaders to leave a large creative footprint in their collections.

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