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The internet kills Gap's new logo

John D. Sutter
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Gap's new logo fails quickly
  • Facebook and Twitter users complain about new logo for Gap clothing stores
  • The company on Monday said it will go back to the old blue-box logo
  • The now-defunct logo featured a white background, black letters and a small blue square

(CNN) -- The internet's logo snobs won this one.

Gap Inc. on Monday announced it will drop a new version of its logo after thousands of Facebook and Twitter users called for a return to the classic blue box with tall, white letters -- a logo the clothing retailer has used for more than 20 years.

The now-defunct new logo featured a white background, black letters and a small blue square in the top right corner. After the company proposed the new logo on its website on October 4, the internet lit up with snotty comments about the new look. "It reminds me of the old Microsoft Free Clip-art galleries," one Facebook user wrote. "I can't believe this is happening."

Another wrote: "It totally looks like a powerpoint design!"

The company responded with a Facebook post of its own on Monday.

"OK. We've heard loud and clear that you don't like the new logo," the company said. "We've learned a lot from the feedback. We only want what's best for the brand and our customers."

More than 1,700 people clicked that they "liked" that decision.

"Yay! I don't know why it matters, but it does," one Facebook user wrote in response to that post.

Another Facebook user wrote: "bit of an embarrassing 180 [degree turn], but at least you had the guts to face up to it, well done."

After the logo complaints started rolling in, Gap on October 6 said it would "crowdsource" the design of its brand, meaning it would take alternate suggestions from fans and might decide to use one of them.

But on Monday the company said that idea didn't work either.

"We've learned a lot in this process," the company said in a press release. "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 crowdsourcing."

A Gap spokeswoman did not immediately respond to CNN's requests for comment.

The back-and-forth has spawned several joke websites.

One, called Crap Logo Yourself, lets people create their own icons in the style of the now-dead Gap logo.

And two Twitter accounts were born from the snafu.

@NewGapLogo has been responding to complaints.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," said an October 7 post on that Twitter feed.

Another, @OldGapLogo, had been calling for a return to the old logo. On Tuesday, however, that account posted what appeared to be a final tweet:

"Well...looks like my work here is done. Peace. I'm out," it said.

Plenty of news sites and blogs took their stabs at the new logo, too.

Vanity Fair even wrote an obituary for it:

"The new Gap logo is survived by its antagonistic Twitter feed and a dozen 'failed branding strategies' slide shows, in which it will be archived in the annals of history," the magazine wrote. "To heaven, the Helvetica now ascends."

This obviously isn't the first time a company has backed off of a branding change. The blog The Stir has a nice roundup of marketing history's biggest blunders, including the New Coke experiment.

For more information about why Gap says it changed the logo in the first place, see this article by Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America, on the Huffington Post.

"We want our customers to take notice of Gap and see what it stands for today," Hansen wrote on October 7. "We chose this design as it's more contemporary and current. It honors our heritage through the blue box while still taking it forward."

Well, at least until they changed it back again.


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