Back in 2010, The Gap broke new ground in minimalist redesigns – their reimagined logo was actually so bad that they ditched it after only a week. Neuroscientists have studied (I’m not kidding) why we hated the new logo, but really, just look at it:
Some unsuspecting designer received the following email at 4:50pm on a Friday:
Need new logo for investor meeting. Should be hip and fun. Use one of those web 2.0 fonts (sand sheriffs?). Keep the blue square. Add a gradient – kids love gradients. Have it to me by 5pm!
Counting a minute to absorb the email and 5 minutes of banging her head on the desk, that only left our fearless designer 4 minutes to actually do the work. All things considered, it was a heroic effort.
Sadly, the reality is that this rebrand probably took months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Years later, I still feel bad for them, and I don’t want them to walk away with nothing. So, The Gap, here’s your re-reimagined logo.
What Is “The Gap”?
To really do this project justice (in the 15 minutes I’ve allotted for it), we have to understand what “the gap” refers to. Is this an actual gap or a metaphorical one? Is it the gap between our perception of beauty and our ability to realize that beauty for $49.99 at the mall? Is it the gap between the garish display of wealth in high fashion and the sweatshop working conditions of garment manufacturers? Is it the gap in my teeth, and do I have spinach in it? No, seriously, could you look?
As Freud said, maybe a gap is just a gap. Also, I can’t shake the British voice in my head that’s saying “Mind the gap.” If you’re not aware, this is a beautifully understated English way of saying “For the love of God, try not to fall in the crack between the platform and the train, or you’ll probably be gruesomely disemboweled, and I’ll have to clean that up!”
Minding The Gap
Ok, I looked it up. Apparently, “The Gap” is a reference to the generation gap, but just for fun, let’s make it a literal gap. Let’s also try one of them sand sheriffs:
Accidental added bonus – it seems to be saying “Gee, an app!” THE KIDS LOVE APPS! While we’re at it, let’s just rename the company. I have to justify my fees somehow:
Pure genius, if I do say so myself (which I usually have to, after you jerks leave me hanging).
Gap, Extreme Edition!
Just one thing bothers me – what if people think the gap is a typographical error? Maybe we need to add something to it, like some water:
I know what you’re thinking – is that water or some kind of rare triple Smurf mustache? You make a compelling argument. It’s just too subtle. Needs more shark:
Sorry, I think I may have lost track of the point. I’d like to say that this is an object lesson in the perils of designing by committee, but I really just wanted to draw a shark. In conclusion: You’re welcome, The Gap.
Now With More Fonz!
I’d like to thank Will Stevens (in the comments) for pointing out the obvious flaw in this post – how can you introduce a shark and then not jump it? I apologize for this oversight and humbly present one more design:
I think we can all sleep easier now. Thanks again, Will!