Last week, Gap unveiled a new logo in hopes of revamping their company’s visual identity. Hours after uploading the new logo to the website, customers were out raged and requested that the old logo be brought back. Today, Gap re-uploaded their iconic navy blue box logo back onto the website and issued a statement saying:
“There may be a time to evolve our logo,” she said in the news release, “but if and when that time comes, we’ll handle it in a different way.”
— Adam Tschorn
In corporate communication, it is important for an organization to have a distinct visual identity for its stakeholders to relate to. When changing the visual identity of a corporation, an organization must be careful because they run the risk of losing support from their stakeholders. To ease the transition companies should explain why they are making this transition. The visual identity a corporation presents is closely linked with public opinion.
There are obvious differences between these two logos. When examining design principles, it is important to know that there is no right or wrong; but more or less, what is right for the message the company is trying to convey. For starters, the color scheme is different. The old logo uses navy blue and white, while the new logo uses black and a royal blue. In terms of the typography, the old logo uses a serif font that is tall and skinny, while the new logo uses a ticker, san serif font. The old logo is symmetrical and balanced while the new logo is asymmetrical with the blue square in the upper right hand corner.
It could be suggested that the modification in the blue box was meant to modernize the logo while keeping its original foundation. However, the new blue box’s gradient, size, and placement make it virtual unrecognizable, except for the fact that they are both squares. There is no brand coherence between the two.
A common reason companies change their visual identity is because they feel it is out dated. A vital question corporations fail to ask themselves when faced with this situation is, “Is our visual identity still serving our company the way we want it to?” If the answer is yes, then a change is more than likely not necessary.
Gap has admitted that they did not take the appropriate steps in developing a new visual identity for the company. Enough emphasis was not placed on the research or the design process. Thus, they were unable to appropriately go about modifying the visual identity of their company. This was evident in the reaction of their stakeholders. If there is one thing Gap has learned from this, it’s not how to effectively redesign but the importance of research.
Gracie Anderson, Meghan French