Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Momentary Gap In Reason

(click image to enlarge)

Regardless of whatever Marka Hansen, Gap North America's President, has to say – the idea to update the Gap logo isn't the problem. In fact, the idea makes perfect sense after all this time. It's the design itself, however… well, that's another story altogether. Whose fault that is, be it Gap's, the agency who drafted the logo or a combination of both, is not mine to decide. Only those involved in the process will ever truly understand where the blame lies. And in a design sense, there's plenty of blame to go around.

A logo that has more to do with "actual student work" than an iconic clothing retailer has no business seeing the light of day. As a teacher, I wouldn't have accepted its cold, bruised blue and black scheme, its pedestrian use of Helvetica (including the bastardized "G") and its overall lack of imagination from a 2nd year design student – let alone an art director and subsequent team of designers doing work on behalf of a multi-billion dollar company.

In the end, Gap Inc. clearly don't get what happened here. “We’ve learned a lot in this process,” Hansen added. “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.” No, Ms. Hansen, you went about this the right way but did so with the wrong design. It's that simple.

With that said, good luck to Gap Inc. as they pander to their customer base with both withdrawn crowd sourcing and statements like the one above. They've started sliding headfirst down a very slippery slope and I, for one, applaud the public for bashing this horrendous work of design.

For more, go here and here.