Minding The GAP Logo Gaff

Much has been written about the Gap’s logo gaff, wherein the San Francisco-based clothier attempted a logo switcheroo only to be shouted down by what seems to be the entire Internet. Not much, however, has been said about Laird+Partners, the NewYork-based agency that devised the rebranding FAIL.

Their “About Us” page claims “In creating a unique identity for each of our clients, we provide the highest level of visual sophistication combined with an insightful marketing approach,” to which one can only say, “You mean ‘sophisticated’ like using Helvetica and clip art from a Microsoft Office product?”

It ends with some hokum about delivering “a consistent brand experience,” which, in the Gap’s case means consistent disdain. The jean-maker relented within days and restored the original blue box logo.

In a statement published on the corporate site of Gap, Inc., Marka Hansen, president of Gap Brand North America, said “We’ve learned a lot in this process. And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowdsourcing.”

Crowdsourcing? Um, yeah. The only contribution sourced from the crowd, in this case, was apparently ire. The source of the logo lambast was Laird+Partners (who should cash their check, like, asap!). In the meantime, I’m going to send Marka Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky as a primer on crowdsourcing and Laird+Partners a copy of Nancy Duarte’s Slideology so they can brush up their PowerPoint-inspired aesthetic.

By Daedalus Howell

Daedalus Howell is the writer-director of Pill Head and the upcoming Wolf Story, and author of the novels Quantum Deadline and the Late Projectionist, and the editor of the Bohemian and Pacific Sun. As a writer-filmmaker he creates and examines storytelling as an art, business and lifestyle. If you're in, or interested in the trade, sign up for his newsletter below. Learn how he went from small-town newspaperman to a feature film director here.

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