Gap Speaks Out: Yes, the Logo Is Real

And No, the Rollout Wasn't Some Social-Media Experiment

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NEW YORK ( -- Gap has finally shed some light on its new logo, which has had the industry buzzing and wondering why the retailer ditched its previous iconic mark.

The logo, created with Laird & Partners, New York, is meant to be the latest "evolution" for the brand, which has been updating its product, rolling out pop-up stores and tapping hot designers such as Patrick Robinson. The logo is also in line with the label on Gap's popular 1969 jeans line.

New Gap logo
Tell us what you think: Do you expect a company to seek your input before making a major change to its logo, packaging, product?

Louise Callagy, a Gap spokeswoman, told Ad Age that the brand is changing and the company wanted a new logo to reflect that. "For the last two years we've been working on evolving the brand identity for Gap," she said. "[The new logo] is more contemporary and current and honors the heritage of the Gap brand with the blue box but takes it forward."

The plan, Ms. Callagy explained, was to roll out the logo on the North American site, create some momentum and then feature it in the upcoming holiday campaign. Laird & Partners also worked on the holiday campaign, which is set to include Foursquare founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, as well as Lauren Bush.

Laird & Partners did not return a call for comment.

But, given the swift, predominantly negative response online, plans to roll out the new logo further now appear to be in flux. Ms. Callagy said she couldn't comment on whether the logo would be rolled out to stores. After the logo has been in the marketplace for some time, she added, the retailer would be prepared to discuss whether it will take the logo overseas. Gap operates some 1,500 stores worldwide.

Replacing signage, updating credit cards, employee name badges and the like would surely be a pricey endeavor. If Gap decides to trash the new logo completely, at least the debacle won't have cost it millions; it would save itself the heartache experienced by Tropicana when it yanked product off of shelves last year after a much-maligned redesign.

Ms. Callagy said the retailer has been surprised by the response to the new logo, which was received well internally. The retailer has also been tracking the parody accounts @gaplogo and @oldgaplogo. For now, it doesn't have plans to respond to the accounts.

"It's impressive, the passionate outpouring from customers," Ms. Callagy said. "Given this response, we decided to open it up. We'll explain more specifics in the next few days."

Gap posted a message on its Facebook page last night saying that in light of the response to its new logo it will be conducting a "crowdsourcing project."

"Thanks for everyone's input on the new logo! We've had the same logo for 20+ years, and this is just one of the things we're changing," The Facebook post reads. "We know this logo created a lot of buzz and we're thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding! So much so we're asking you to share your designs. We love our version, but we'd like to ... see other ideas. Stay tuned for details in the next few days on this crowdsourcing project."

Asked why Gap handled the rollout the way it did, Ms. Callagy said it was intentional. "Gap's target customer is the millennial, and we're exploring ways to communicate with them," she said. "On Monday, without a lot of fanfare, we introduced the logo on the site. ... That's in line with them."

But what about the customers who feel betrayed by the way Gap up and changed the brand without cluing them in? "We're addressing that by opening it up and having everyone participate in the process," she said. "We'll see how it goes."

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