Is Gap’s New Logo a Crowdsourcing Black Ops?

Here’s an interesting argument… that Gap hoodwinked everyone into signing on to crowdsource a new logo by using their decidedly crappy “new” logo as bait:

That’s right. One of the most prominent popular fashion brands is crowdsourcing its new brand logo. So the favorite last-ditch tactic of brands and causes lacking money or new ideas (or both) is apparently the brand strategy for one of the most recognized fashion brands of the last two decades. And the whole logo “redesign” was a meant to drum up media attention so Gap could engage consumers in another PR stunt to redesign its logo? We smell a contest in the near future. Free khakis for life?

It’s a plausible argument and if true means the folks at Gap are overflowing with genius. However, if it is true and they ultimately admit that this was bait-and-switch then the celebration could be shortlived because if there is one thing that consumers hate more than being cheated it is being tricked.

Brand loyalty is a precious thing and should not be traded on like this… which is why I am inclined to think that the new Gap logo is just an example of really bad design making it through a committee on the back of “compromise”.

At Get Satisfaction we recently completed a full overhaul of our brand assets (logo, colors, iconography, etc.) and I wouldn’t want to go through it again. The process is guaranteed to leave some people unhappy, internal and external, but what has to be avoided at all costs is a committee approach to design that attempts to please everyone because the only thing that really happens in that scenario is that you get something that everyone signs on to and nobody likes, and in the worst cases you are left with something as lame as Gap’s new logo.

Crowdsourcing a logo is no solution either… let’s hope that Gap just made a really bad choice.