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Dear Gap, I have your new logo. (muledesign.com)
219 points by cgomez on Oct 7, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 121 comments

Posts like this seem like the designer equivalent of the music labels spending years complaining about how sharing music is wrong and trying to put the "evil" back in Pandora's box, while millions of people merrily continue to download music off bittorrent anyway. The reality of the internet is that people can easily solicit work on spec from thousands of designers, and they will get good stuff in return. Will it be great? Rarely. But it'll be good enough for most, and if it's not, they're out nothing. See 99designs.com.

This seems like classic game theory. While it's in the design industry's collective best interest to never work on spec like this, it might be in an individual designer's best interest to design Gap's logo for free. And even if it's not, if most of them think it is, you've still lost. Believe me, I understand that Gap's move here is a slap in the face, but many designers out there will do it anyway, just for the chance to say they designed Gap's logo.

To be fair to the music labels, they at least have copyright law on their side. This is more like how professional journalists whine about bloggers.

Arg! Much better example.

To be fair to designers, it's often pretty clear the stark difference in quality between a carefully designed logo/brand and a crowdsourced one. (Gap's new one is a great example).

I think music and journalists (designers being grouped with journalists) are vastly different situations because of copyright law, yes. The law allowed a huge industry to grow around information asymmetry, hype, and price inflation. Journalism and graphic design seek (and work) very hard to produce things of value far greater than bloggers/crowdsource usually aspire to.

That said, blogging/crowdsource have and will continue to put a great deal of pressure on those performing at the highest levels in those fields. It's simply my hope that the top performers there will justify themselves while producing perhaps a new era of relevant work. Increased competition doesn't always involve complete steamrolling, just evolution.

(In fact, one evolution I could see happening is a design firm outsourcing some percentage of their own mock work to crowdsource sites. Prototypes are about instantiating the field of possibilities so you can learn about them and talk about them. I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't hurt them too much to not personally generate each and every one. The real value thus becomes their professional finishing touches, the market research, etc.)

Crowdsourcing involves getting many people to work for you for nothing; after which, you only pay one person.

I don't think it's surprising that many people dislike the idea.

Alternately, crowdsourcing involves many people getting the chance to try their hand at something that, normally, only one person would do.

I don't think it's surprising that that one person dislikes the idea.

The argument that the designers (/entrants) benefit isn't anything other than disingenuous posturing.

Crowdsourcing doesn't give many people an 'opportunity' to try something new - it provides the client with cheap design.

There's a very clear motivation behind providing design in this way, and the designer is always going to lose out.

If you are a good designer, this will work.

I bought a design on 99designs. Had a great experience with the designer, who I recommended to my friends, and now she is getting loads of work.

I'd say that's truly meritocratic <- a good thing.

The "designer" gets a little bit of scratch and exposure they never would have gotten otherwise. The "client" gets a design that meets their budget, and which is likely to be much better than what a professional designer would do for the same price. Who's losing out here?

> and which is likely to be much better than what a professional designer would do for the same price

Why would you think a novice on the web with Photoshop will automatically do better than a professional with experience and who is looking beyond making a cool design?

Logos aren't just pieces of art — they also brand a company. Crowdsourcing will never match a professional brand designer.

And why would you think that a novice on the web with Photoshop _couldn't_ do better than a 'professional' with blah blah blah, especially when this new logo is amateur hour at best and utter crap at worst.

I sincerely hope that the entire Internet is being trolled by The Gap on this one, given that the alternative is entirely depressing.

Either that or this logo is legit, meant to last, will work on consumers, and in turn will reduce designer's hourly rates around the world. :)

Is there any doubt that they were trolling with this new logo? It looked like a placeholder from the first moment I saw it, and I know nothing about design (see historious).

You're committing a fallacy in assuming that they have no choice. Even if there are a million novices with Photoshop and two professional designers, they'll still get a better deal than having chosen one professional designer. They'll pay the same money and get two professional designs they can choose from, instead of just one.

Depends. If the professional designers don't enter the competition, things may change.

Sure, but the Gap didn't commit to choosing one, as far as I know, so they still only stand to gain from this.

Exposure where?

The rhetoric involved is an extension of the line "I can't pay you for this, but you could use it in your portfolio".

The whole process reeks of exploitation. It's bullshit, imo.

Crowd sourcing doesn't mean "no pay", you should probably check some quality crowd sourcing sites, like TopCoder.

I understand one person gets paid. This doesn't make the system any better.

The problem is, so many people are still put in a situation where they end up with no payment.

I'd still like to know where the remaining participants will gain exposure.

At Topcoder:

* Top2 get paid directly

* Top5 get points to be ranked in a monthly leaderboard, they'll eventually get paid depending on their ranking in that leaderboard.

* Winning/ranking good will help you get a position in a review board to review other submissions and then get paid.

* You still can participate in bugraces, which generally doesn't take too much time (hours or even minutes) and get paid accordingly.

This is just a small portion of how you can make money. Granted, it is not easy, but if you're good, well, you are good.

Gain exposure? Working with big clients, AOL, ferguson, lendingTree, and a lot more - Plus, If you have a job interview, you still can get a recommendation from TopCoder with a list of your winnings/projects (it's visible in your profile anyway)

I'm speaking from experience here, It's so wrong on many levels to put all crowd sourcing websites in the same basket.

The winner gets paid, sure, but the "losers" get nothing for their time.

Which is exactly what would've happened if the "winner" was hired in the first place without crowdsourcing. What's your point?

No it isn't.

You have 99 people enter a crowdsourcing 'contest'. One design gets picked - and that person is paid.

98 people have worked on the project for nothing; which wouldn't be the case if the winner was hired in the first place.

So, are you pleading for the designers' "fear" of this crowdsourcing trend, a fear based on their time being wasted because designs from other people may be better (for any subjective definition of the term)? Are you honestly saying with a straight face that designers should be awarded for any and all their efforts regardless of the quality of their work?

I'm sorry, but they should just suck it up and change. Like the world around them is.

PS: I don't remember the last time that people rewarded me or anybody else just for trying. Perhaps kindergarten, but I have no clear recollections of the daily scrums in there.

No. I'm not suggesting that all participants should be paid.

I'm suggesting that the model put forth by crowdsourcing is ill-thought out and unfair.

"[..] they should just suck it up and change. Like the world around them is."

I completely disagree. People who exploit others for their own personal gain should always be challenged.

Since you're not referring to economic fairness, did you mean moral? I don't understand how crowdsourcing is immoral in that sense, or how does that constitute exploitation.

If someone works for the chance to earn money, how can that be fair in _any_ sense?

It can be fair, if he chooses to do it, no?

Wow. You just invalidated startups (among other things) in a single sentence. Nice.

Investing in your own idea is very different to working for someone else.

.. or developers who complain about work being outsourced to cheaper economies.

or professional photographers whining about microstock.

I don't agree. I think it's probably more similar to a professional journalist complaining about another professional journalist.

Or are you suggesting gap crowdsourced their identity requirements .. ?

The original post is a rebuttal to this:


Ah, sorry - I didn't realise.

Well, I suppose this is a reasonable strategy.

CP+B have done similar things, and tried to explore how crowdsourcing can create buzz (e.g. with Brammo) .. I think at one stage they even decided to ebay the services of their designers to create a sense of the agency's openness to 'new'.

It does seem that aesthetics aren't the main driver behind branding decisions any more. It's impossible to stand out by having the nicest looking identity.

Taking an approach like this makes sense on lots of levels, especially when marketing budgets have been reduced; create a couple of reasonably strong memes, which last long enough to seep into the public consciousness before they die .. and gain phenomenal exposure without spending too much. Gap get to create the hallowed 'relationship' with the customer by involving them their own brand 'journey'.

I did make myself slightly sick after reading back over that last sentence, but to an extent I think it's true. We all build up relationships with brands over time, and the course these relationships take can be manipulated.

Just like the proliferation of cheap musical instruments diluted the value of the "pro" rock'n'roll bands. Nowadays any random dude with a cracked version of Illustrator can call himself a designer. And, they will be able to generate designs as good as 90% of the designers from back in the day. (See Sturgeon's Law). Only ability with scissors and glue and an expensive drawing table are no longer a requirement.

For a comparison, check out this post from an old/ex-pro cover band rocker. Title of the thread was "Who is responsible for bands making peanuts?"


It's not true. It's a common misconception that anyone with a cracked version of Illustrator / Photoshop can design.

Crowdsourcing isn't democratising design - it's reducing the importance of good design .. in much the same way that bad acting increases our tolerance for poor quality soap operas.

Good design is clear thinking, made visual. Good design solves problems and it follows conventions which take time to understand.

Having a cracked version of Illustrator has nothing to do with producing good design. Similarly, just because you can code doesn't mean you can write good software. Good design is a lot like clear thinking made visual, we live in a visual world and a design/logo often becomes the face of companies.

The problem with gap is they went away from who they are and they're trying to sell an untrue story. Using a minimalist font like American Apparel as an attempt to be "hip" is clearly bullshit to everyone. But again it has nothing to do with the tool, rather its about the concept and thought behind the graphic and that is where Gap has slipped.

hey ryan,

i've got a venture-backed business opportunity. we're looking for a strong application developer, and have heard good things about you, but not sure you can take on this task. we'll send along the technical and functional requirements, and it looks pretty easy. it shouldn't take more than a week of your time. after you sign our nda, we'll take a look at the application you built. if it's good, we'll pay you around a thousand dollars, maybe up to $10k.

unfortunately, we're not looking for any more founders, and don't need any support beyond the first production release. this will be a one time engagement, and we'll part ways after.

sound fair?

(read: how spec work would translate to the developer world. to me, it doesn't seem fair or reasonable -- especially if you're looking for a professional deliverable.)

You missed off "we've got a few different developers but we'll probably end up paying one of you"

"While it's in the design industry's collective best interest to never work on spec like this, it might be in an individual designer's best interest to design Gap's logo for free."

People play the lottery - but I wouldn't argue it's in their best interests to do so.

Yeah, and people invest dozens or hundreds of sales hours to land a million dollar contract. It's all about the ratio of risk to reward. For many/most designers, the ability to say, "I designed the Gap logo" is a big enough reward to justify the risk. And, unlike the lottery (but more like my sales example), it's at least somewhat based on merit and effort.

Came here to comment exactly this. Furthermore, the logo is just one part of their re-branded design, and just because Gap crowd sources their logo does not mean that they do not understand the value of paid professional designers to their business and brand overall. Gap has not downsized the design department based on this "newly discovered" brand-strategy.

And, as far as I can tell, the purpose of a logo is to provide a unique and memorable identity to the business/brand. Gap's PR/Social strategy here has reinforced their identity in ways that a professional re-redesign never could.

Gap's brand was tired, and quickly becoming forgotten after its late 90s peak... Suddenly people are talking about Gap again. You might view their response as innovative, manipulative, or your run-of-the-mill corporate spin, but there's no denying that it is a gracious response. And grand acts of public graciousness tend to reinforce rather positive feelings for a brand.

The reason is the world does not need so many mediocre designers.

With internet and social media, companies can interact with designers much more effectively and fewer designers are needed to do the same amount of work.

So the supply side from designers is high, while the demand side is low. So the consumers can pay arbitrarily low rates. Once the not so good designers and designers who do other things just as well (high opportunity cost) move to other streams. The supply side would start having a higher say.

I researched your customers. Talked to a variety of them, in fact. Asked them not only about The Gap, but about their own lives. Their needs. Anxieties. Their thoughts on the future. I took all that into account.

I also interviewed employees in a few of your stores. (They’re quite dedicated, you know.) I asked them how they felt about the company and about their interactions with customers. Because customer service may actually be the most important part of your brand. And the logo’s job is simply to help evoke those pleasant experiences.

Does anyone else find this pretentious? I somehow doubt that most of the world's biggest brands have logos that came about through this process, or at least are measurably different than they would have been if a talented designer came up with something that felt right and looked good.


I bet a lot of those are just variations on the original logo of the company when it was started. Maybe I'm completely wrong though; just seems like if you'd expect anyone to think that designing a new logo should include hundreds of hours and dozens or hundreds of customer and marketing surveys, it would be a branding firm who wants to charge you for all that. I'm not sure anyone else would be able to tell the difference between a logo that came from that process and one that came from a few hours of a great designer throwing out ideas.

It's not pretentious, it's just what happens with a big budget rebrand. I don't know if I can explain my take on all this that well, but I'll try: You can either do something at one level, playing off gut-feel/fairly safe assumptions and get it 80% right, or spend 10 times as much, do research and maybe get it 95% right.

That said, in an argument, designers will talk about all those lovely theoretical things they were trained to do. Then, most of them will just sit down and muck around with fonts, shapes, etc until they have something that fits the bill.

Same is often true with web design (my gig). You can use your experience, gut, etc to create a $10k site, or you could spend $100k to get something not miles dissimilar but involving actual usability testing (instead of gut feel decisions), buckets of documentation, etc. You could spend $100k on a single page microsite if you wanted to take everything to the extreme with endless focus groups, eye-tracking tests, etc. Or you could just put the branding in the top left, use buttons that look like buttons, remember what worked from last time you did some A/B tests, make the text legible, etc.

It's a funny game. Most of the time I estimate/quote by rolling dice rather than spending hours trying to guess the budget of a client or the level of polish they want to pay for with a site.

I think it's inaccurate to say most designer's work process is to "just sit down and muck around with fonts, shapes, etc until they have something that fits the bill". Of course design is a process but all those "lovely theoretical things" tell you where to start. If you're quoting by rolling the dice, you're not quoting effectively.

I don't want to truly trivialise it, but I imagine a lot of it is brainstorming, thinking, and gut feel than direct conversations with customers, market research, etc.

And I have to disagree on the dice. The best situation is a client giving me their budget and me telling them the best way to spend it (often, not all of it). So, when the budget is not disclosed, instead of spending hours trying to guess their pricepoint, I just randomise the approach and then fill that budgeted time in the best way possible.

I thought this was going to be an article bashing designers, I kept waiting for the punch line. I understand what he's saying, but it comes across very pretentious. And I say that as a designer.

Three words:

Pepsi Gravitational Field

In most re-branding efforts I've seen at companies of Gap's size, they absolutely do go through this process - some to discover new things, but also as risk mitigation. Right now I suspect the firm that did this new logo is on conference calls with Gap people to say wait, we did the studies and they said xyz, we know that any change to your iconic brand was going to be received negatively, etc.

But more importantly, it's not just logo that changes when you re-brand, it's product labels, business cards, web sites, stationary, building signage, color palette, EVERYTHING. So actually, you could spend a few k on a new brand with a quality designer, or spec out a logo for a few hundred on crowdspring, and frankly that's all most smaller companies need, but for a larger company like Gap, a re-branding ends up being a huge investment, so the research makes them feel more comfortable in making the decisions on how to move forward.

I think he's using a bit of hyperbole and sarcasm against the processes that would actually be conducted. As per other feedback - all of the activities presented here are pretty reasonable for a decent design project. He's just added a bit of snark to fit the context of the response.

It also ties in with other items here re: Design <> photoshop. Creating a graphic is to design what fitting a tyre is to performance motorsport - an element, an important one, but hardly the entire scope of what goes into it.

I found it a little sarcastic; even snarky.

So let me get this straight: Gap first hires someone to design a logo, and it's universally panned by the design community. They then ask the community "if our new logo is so crappy, why not see if you can do better?" Then, the design community bitches at Gap for not hiring someone to design their logo? Does this seem a bit odd to anybody else?

Also, it's hard to bitch when your whole career depends on something as subjective as logo design. Because of this subjectivity it's possible a design rookie out of high school could design something as cool or cooler than the seasoned professionals, and do it for a fraction of the price (or free). Conversely, that same subjectivity allows people to get away with charging outrageous fees for design work (i.e. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXT#cite_ref-rand_16-0)

It seems to me like Gap is damned no matter what they do.

"Gap first hires someone to design a logo, and it's universally panned by the design community. They then ask the community "if our new logo is so crappy, why not see if you can do better?" Then, the design community bitches at Gap for not hiring someone to design their logo? Does this seem a bit odd to anybody else?"

Designers hate change (most redesigns are going to get panned). But they hate crowdsourcing way more. They were bitching in the first instance because they wanted to keep the old logo, not that they wanted the community to redesign it.

Also, logos for a brick-and-mortar store aren't like logos for a webapp (which a design rookie could do). The logo isn't just going to go on the front of the store, it's going to affect all of the materials in the store — bags/ads/signery/etc are going to be redesigned. Designing a logo as well as the entire branding scheme of the store is vastly different than sticking a cool pic next to a cool font.

I find it almost 100% more interesting that some of the people the design "community" exalts on a frequent basis, and even then some of the community itself didn't present any serious submissions when the call came. They all made fun of the idea that GAP was crowdsourcing a new logo.

That's slacktivism on a level Facebook breast cancer awareness can't even touch.

Participate or stfu is my opinion, but I'm no designer.

Did you even bother reading the article? As a designer I find most of the options presented to be humorous, or sub-standard at best. Nearly all of them miss the mark far worse than Gap's own new logo does. I wouldn't expect any serious submissions simply because why would anyone work for free for a multi-billion dollar corporation?

A bit of background on this. Gap just updated their logo, its getting pretty heavily slammed by the design community (I too think its god awful)

More here: http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2010/october/new-gap...

BTW the author's twitter feed, @Mike_FTW is one of the funnier feeds to follow.

Warning: @Mike_FTW uses a NSFW background.

Maybe in your world. In mine, it's perfectly OK to wear a Red Hat.

It's OK, you're safe from women. Really.

It's not a matter of objecting to the picture. I don't at all. But when you are linking to something that is not safe for work, you are supposed to warn people as common courtesy. Also, I find your tone patronizing and unusual for this community.

Looks like they are getting a good response and more mindshare then they should for a logo. Perhaps this will be the new "new coke/old coke" case study of the future but "now with more crowdsourcing (tm)".

I was thinking the same thing. GAP put out a crappy new logo on purpose (They aren't using it anywhere) knowing it would create buzz. Roll that buzz into a crowdsource contest. And in the end stick with your orig logo.

http://www.gap.com/ is using it.

Hadn't been to that site in a while...or ever? My first thought? This is how I expect Target's website to look.

Yea, that response was a little to happy. Feels planned to me. Bad gradients and Helvetica are almost guaranteed to piss off designers.

Anyone know what the business case for this change was? What was wrong with the old logo? I'm having a hard time understanding what the thinking was here.

Answering my own question, I found this in the Advertsing Age:


I don't think this is going to end well for Gap.

Main purpose must be repositioning of the brand - their largest competition is American Apparel. Place the new logo between the old gap logo and the AA logo, the thread linking all three will be pretty obvious.

Wouldn't surprise me if a buy out was on the cards.

Looking at the old logo, I'd say it looks like it's aimed at a fifty-something demographic -- I don't blame them for wanting something that looks "younger".

But the new logo is a mess, and looks like something you'd come up with in Powerpoint in five seconds without changing the defaults. There's nothing wrong ideas-wise with san-serif "gap" over shaded blue square, but it comes out looking bad.

The new logo looks worse than bad. It looks like an accident.

The new Gap logo reminds me of a Windows Metafile.

Also worth a quick look: the new Gap Logo sulks on Twitter:


Is it just me or is the new design really looking straight from the mid 90s.

Looks more like they're trying to visually compete with American Apparel's use of Helvetica.



EDIT—it looks like someone at iso50 had the same idea: http://blog.iso50.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/gapdesign2s...

It's a shame. Their condensed old style serif font subtly reminds me of Nirvana's condensed serif font.



yeah for me it looks like something a Hollywood prop department would come up with when tasked with creating a "Logo for Megacorp"

I’ve redesigned your logo. It’s behind the post-it above. It’s unbelievably good. Fantastic, even. I’m convinced it’s what you need.

aaaaaaand it turns out to be crap. Your policy of 3 (or whatever) "redesigns" turns out to give me 3 more crap designs and then, according to the contract, I have to pay you anyway. I spent $5,000 like that. Never again.

So designers should do the initial work for free? So their customer can say "nah, I don't like any of them" and then suddenly a design looking remarkably similar appears on their website/products, courtesy of a much cheaper 'designer' working off the 'rejected' design comps?

No, designers should not be expecting to form guilds or a cast and be treated like one. They're not a special kind of workers.

That is, assuming they do want to be treated like workers and not as artists. You hire workers, you don't hire artists, right? It'd be pretty derogatory for the real artist..

So, what i think is missing is this link that explains exactly what this dude is writing about:

  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. 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 
  crowd sourcing project. [1]
So, in this context, i think the rant makes a bit more sense. Equally funny is iso50's description of this as "a tropicana,"[2] which is a zing i never thought i'd hear.

But, i want to throw out there that this impulse to violently reject or passionately protect logos has an analog in language. "All living languages are always changing"[3] and same goes for logos and brand identities. Much like language or fashion, logos evolve and whatever.

And for everyone that's all "oh that's shite, i could do better," I invite you to really try your hand at this sort of thing with actual real life constraints and (gasp!) real life clients. There's all sorts of design work you can do without a client, but it takes a special type to actually, you know, design for somebody else and more hopefully, design with someone else.

[1]: http://www.facebook.com/gap/posts/159977040694165 [2]: http://blog.iso50.com/2010/10/06/gap-redesign-contest/ [3]: http://www.lsadc.org/info/ling-fields-change.cfm

edit formatting goofs always get me

I think what's really missing is the answer to: Who is this "Gap" of which you speak?

yeah, i mean it's The Gap. really, is this a brand we're actually getting worked up about?

Before I realized what this post really was, I tried to peel off the post-it note with my mouse. Now that's an entry that would have gotten some attention.

I thought it was the post-it note, and this was all satire. Guess I better read this again.

I did too. And then I got to thinking that a post-it note with "Gap" written on it might make a pretty good logo.

I went into firebug and was hoping that there was a background image on the container object :(.

yeah, by the tone of the post, I don't think he was going to even design a fake logo without having someone to send an invoice to.

I did that too.... Multiple times...

I feel so ashamed.

... or at least show the logo when you do display: none; the post-it ...

Call me cynical but a very similar play happened with Kraft and their launch of a new Vegemite+cheese spread.

They named it "iSnack 2.0", were met with strong derision, opened up a naming contest, and finally settled with the consumer-selected "Cheesybite". This whole rigmarole earned them quite a bit of publicity. People were even buying-up the iSnack-labeled jars before the renaming thinking they'd become collector's items.


"iSnack 2.0" and the new Gap logo are too terrible to happen innocently.

Perhaps 2% of the logos there could be taken at all seriously. The one which makes the A in GAP look like a pair of jeans is at least clever. But wow is there a lot of garbage there. Thanks for sharing the link!

There have been a ton of other designs submitted to ISO50. Some aren't too bad: http://blog.iso50.com/2010/10/06/gap-redesign-contest/

There are some good ones there. Personally I like number 42.

It seems to me that a place called "Gap" should have a gap somewhere in its logo.

I'd actually disagree. It's just a brand - your mind should associate the name and logo with connotations and feelings regarding their clothes and their shopping experience (and probably sex, it's a youthful clothing store). You shouldn't be thinking about what the word "gap" literally means - it's orthogonal to the meaning of the brand.

only moderately related, but the best thing Gap ever did was when they bought ads at a bunch of baseball stadiums on the outfield walls, so when ever someone hit a double to the gap thats what you'd see.

Being the person who ran the contest for 99designs. I have to agree there were a lot of average logos submitted, some very funny ones also. However there were also a hell of a lot of great logos and over 1000 designers participated in the contest. So all in all i think it succeeded in engaging with our community which was the idea behind it. To run a contest for the fun of it and let people work on something topical.

I'm not a design genius-- but when I saw Gap's new logo I think I knew what they were going for, and imho I doubt it was created haphazardly. The new logo is exemplary of the transition of "best practice" design principles from print to electronic media.

They unabashedly violated two rules of logo and print media design, and it's so blatant that I can't believe it was an accident. Their logo features a gradient (print-media epic fail), and two low-contrast overlapping colors, the P and the background square (also a print-media epic fail).

I hope that the executives do not knee-jerk a reaction and demand a logo redesign, but instead play out the campaign and see how it pans out. I'm not convinced it was a mistake.

Perhaps the real redesign wasn't the logo, but their website and online presence?

I should have provided some context since this isn't exactly the usual HN subject matter.

Earlier this week, Gap Clothing changed their logo from the old iconic blue box logo to the new one which is essentially another Helvetica wordmark and a box placed in the corner. Mike's post (the main link), which is employing quite a bit of insincerity, assumes you knew about this before hand.

Brand New, a great brand identity blog, has more and a lively discussion about it - http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/dont_min...

Whole post is silly and pretentious. If the design really is so great that Gap thinks it's worth using, then legally they'll have to pay him to transfer the copyright before they can do anything with it.

So cut out the stupid ego-drenched drama and just show the logo. He'll get a lot farther that way than demanding compensation up front anyway. Even if Gap rejects the logo, it will stand as a nice portfolio/concept piece if it is really good as guy claims.

He doesn't have a logo.

Simple response:

The value of a product is set by the consumer, not by the producer. (This is true for over-inflated values as well, so don't bitch.)

If the value set is too low for the producer, he either has an inflated sense of worth, or isn't doing a good enough job of educating the consumer, or both.

And here I was thinking that it was both demand and supply. Damn you, Adam Smith!

250 years ago, the notion of infinite supply didn't exist.

In a vast majority of cases, infinite supply is exactly the world that many producers live in these days, especially on the internet.

Many clever alternate designs (and parodies) have been posted on the ISO150 blog:


I hope I'm not the only one who added style="visibility:hidden;" to the post-it-note image hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

Posts like this misunderstand how decisions about corporate logos are made. You need to back-stab the ad agency and cozy up to the marketing VP to change the logo.

Posting like this on the web just invites the marketing VP and the account rep to go out to dinner and laugh at your feeble attempts, over a couple of stiff drinks.

It really is exactly like Mad Men.

A lot of the comments in this thread seem to imply that brand specialists will always deliver a quality logo. I can think of one recent example where that wasn't the case: the London 2010 Olympics logo. It cost £400,000 and was negatively received by the public and many industry professionals:


This was the first thought I had when I saw their "if you can do better" press release.

Kind of depressing from such a large brand, to be honest. As if it wasn't bad enough getting this kind of "Well it's just a design, it takes like five minutes, I can sketch one up right now! So here, you can do it, but we're giving you peanuts" mentality from smaller clients.


And now I have a vision of the word "Gap" with fingers pulling at the G and the p.

Yes. Blame goatse on me. But once you see it, it never goes away.

Well played. How about a sneak peak?

I don't think you quite understand the sarcasm in the article (or perhaps I misread it...?)

I did not understand either, I feel I am missing some context to this post that the writer should have included.

I think he was basically saying that good design comes from hard work and a deep understanding of a large number of variables, while the Gap is just getting a million monkeys banging on typewriters and picking the best design.

Seems like GAP announced an unpaid logo contest.

I think it was pretty clear that he was being sarcastic, but only up to a point. I am still left wondering if he actually has a logo to show or if he is offering his services in a professional capacity, or not.

Neither. It’s just rhetorical.

The context is that a $14B company is trolling for a free logo.

I have to wonder if there is going to be some Chambers Brothers-esque drama regarding these initiatives in the future.

The new logo is horrendous.

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