In late 2010, The clothing chain GAP made an attempt to refresh their brand by changing their logo – after all they had been using the same logo for 24 years! It was about time for a change, right? Well on this occasion it seems that the out-of-the-blue rebrand was a disaster, for more than one reason.
GAP sought to crowd source a new style, taking to multiple creatives to reinvent the company. This should have been alarm bell number one – crowd sourcing a logo is a ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ sort of situation, where too many ideas get smashed together and leave an end product that isn’t really here nor there. You should never have a middle of the road logo.
Above: The timeline of the GAP logo
Nicknamed ‘Gapgate’, the internet latched onto this curious rebrand with full effect causing Gap to change back to their original logo after 3 days! Some said it was an error in judgement, a lack of talent by a creative and even a PR stunt. Safe to say, after a few days of ridicule from the internet community around their new seemingly ‘Word art inspired’ logo, GAP came back to their original logo design with their tails between their legs.
I believe a lack of understanding of the basic rules of brand identity was the reason for this fail and GAP believed they were too iconic of a brand and were above this.
The part of this cautionary tale that makes me most sad? This mistake cost GAP millions.