Gap: To be Fooled or Not to be Fooled?

Heard about the Gap logo controversy?

Briefly, the story is this: Gap figured it was time for a change, so they decided to change their logo from this:
To this:
They put out their feelers for feedback, basically saying, "this is what we're going to change our logo to - unless any of you have any better ideas?

Here's the thing. There's no way that the Gap corporation ACTUALLY thinks that their 'new logo' is any good (and if they did, hoo boy! They've got the wrong person heading their marketing department!). The more likely scenario is that GAP wanted to create some buzz about their logo, and get some young, fresh talent to submit ideas for a new one, offering a prize or prestige or what-have-you.

This sort of thing is not uncommon. Corporations do it all the time - targeting the young, upstart artists and graphic designers who are eager to get their name into the industry - offering them a chance to design something by way of a competition. May the best design win!

Which probably sounds great! Unless you're a graphic designer or artist. To a graphic designer or artist, that sort of thinking is pretty insulting.

You mean, you want me to put in hours of free work to design your logo for you - for free - with no guarantee of any compensation or protection?

That's not how it works. Because to design a logo properly, a designer needs to have the ability to research the company, to 'get a finger on the pulse', to create a few ideas, get feedback, hone in, fine tune, etc. etc.

And they need to get paid.

A competition to design a logo for a company is basically like a customer telling a tailor, "I would like you to create for me six pairs of pants tailored to me. Pants that will fit me really well, enhancing my strong points, hiding my flaws. I want them in six different fabrics, and six different colors, and I want them to 'wow' everyone who sees me in them. And when you bring them all to me, I'll pick one I want - or not - we'll see."

Yeah, well, the trouble is - this is going to take a lot of time for the Tailor. And the pants won't fit anyone else, so if the customer decides he doesn't want any of the pants, the Tailor is just out of luck.

So the artists and Graphic designers resisted, calling GAP out on their motives.

And GAP printed a retraction, basically saying they had no idea that the original GAP logo was such a favorite, and they've always listened to the voices of their customers, and so they've decided that right now just isn't the right time to change logos.

My Personal Graphic Designer (aka my Man) has kept me in the loop - and the whole thing has been pretty funny. Lots of quippy remarks from the public - lots of buzz words from the corporation - lots and lots of 'you're not fooling anyone'.

Just so we're clear - I have no problem with Gap. I think their dancy commercials at the holidays are good fun.

I just love that corporations are no longer getting away with this mindset.

And most of all, I love that designers and artists are more aware now (than ever) of their own worth.



Janey said...

And why do they even need to change? That is a cool post about some cool info. I would never have realized!

Nae said...

Yeah. I would never have thought about that. Oh, and last night my hubby and I were wondering...where do pumpkins originate? Are they an American thing? Just in case you needed a Friday Fact for Thanksgiving...we're curious. :)

sharon. said...

I could not agree more.. Curse you Gap. Kory entered a contest once for redvines, didn't win 1st place but they still used his design.. They gave him a notepad and backpack... Lame. Oh well. You live and you learn.