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WHEN GOOD LOGOS GO BAD: A CASE STUDY

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Abstract On October 4, 2010, Gap Inc. (Gap) discretely changed itswebsite logo from the classic, serif font, 20-year old blue box logo to a new design featuring a plain white background with Helvetica typeface spelling out “Gap” with a gradient blue box near the “p” (Zmuda, 2010a, para. 1). The response to this change sent shock waves through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter thereby causing Gap to release an official Facebook fan page comment on October 6 in reaction to the backlash. Gap’s statement thanked fans for their input on the new logo and offered fans an opportunity to suggest suitable logo alternatives in an attempt to “crowd source” (Gap, 2010, para. 1). One week after the new logo’s debut and negative sentiment for the new logo, Gap decided to cut its losses and discontinue use of the new logo. In an official press release, Gap acknowledged the negative crowd response and promised the immediate return of the beloved 20-year old icon (Callagy, 2010, para. 3). February 2011 brought a bold change of direction when Gap Inc. replaced its long-time creative agency and new logo designers, Laird+Partners, with Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide (D'Innocenzio, 2011, para. 3). Gap also announced the resignation of President Marka Hansen from not only her post as the President of Gap, but also from her 24-year tenure with the company (Callagy, 2011a, para. 2).


When Good Logos Go Bad  

Case study written about Gap, Inc.'s 2010 logo change controversy.

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