Every Monday, Breaking Even profiles a company, non-profit, or website doing cool things online. Have an idea? Contact me and I may take you up on it (while giving you full credit, of course).
So I first heard about the Gap logo redesign project when my friend and web developer Lynn Cyr posted this link on Facebook of a graphic artist’s take on Gap’s logo redesign project.
Essentially, Gap crowd sourced their logo redesign project, meaning they held a contest to get a free logo created. Insert eye rolls from professional graphic artists everywhere, which is where this funny post via Lynn comes in. The blogger Mike has created a design for Gap but it is hidden behind a Post-It Note and he explains why:
“..So as much as I’d like to just show you the greatest logo I’ve ever made for anyone… I’d like to be properly compensated for it. Because I put a lot of time and effort into it. And it’s how I earn my living.
And that time and effort was used to make sure I delivered something that actually met your needs and objectives. You guys have numbers to meet. (I imagine at least a 10% increase to last year’s $14.5B in revenue, and $967M in net income.) And plans for the future based on meeting those numbers. So do I.
And for the sake of full disclosure I should let you know that I’ve also frequently shopped at your stores. You sell good stuff. But never in my experience has any of your employees offered me a free pair of pants because the ones I was wearing looked bad. I wouldn’t expect them to. Their job is to sell me clothes.
My job is to sell design.”
So the contest was already pretty unpopular amongst online artists (seen as Gap trying to get something for nothing) and when the final logo was unvieled, people were decidedly unimpressed, setting up fake Twitter accounts and posting negative comments on blogs and social media websites.
So what did Gap do? Withdrew the new logo, reinstated the old logo and made a public statement (from Marka Hansen, president of Gap Brand, North America):
“Since we rolled out an updated version of our logo last week on our Website, we’ve seen an outpouring of comments from customers and the online community in support of the iconic blue box logo.
Last week, we moved quickly to address the feedback and began exploring how we could tap into all of the passion. Ultimately, we’ve learned just how much energy there is around our brand. All roads were leading us back to the blue box, so we’ve made the decision not to use the new logo on gap.com any further…
We’ve learned a lot in this process. And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing.
“There may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we’ll handle it in a different way.”
What can we learn from Gap? Well, you probably don’t want to crowdsource your company’s entire image. You can pull, say, a Mountain Dew, have customers vote on and decide a shorter run product. Giving customers options to choose from or making the entire decision on a small part of your market is the smartest way to do these sort of things.
And if you want to read a ton more about the whole fiasco: