It’s amazing what the look of a brand can do. Everything from the website design to the letterhead to the logo all need to be in sync and reveal something about the company it’s portraying. Sometimes, the problem is that both people and companies tend to eschew one segment of their brand, and are then surprised that their company isn’t performing quite as well. One place where I often see this, more than anywhere else, is in the logo.

Sure, logo design can appear to be costly, yet it can pay you back in dividends, even if you never see it. The logo is your presentation to the world of what your company is, and even portrays some of your ideals. For example, the colors you use: the use of greens and browns often, yet not always, signifies an earthy, environmentally conscious company. Or it could be the imagery used: the use of hand-drawn elements often, but again not always, shows that the company is approachable and creative. But rather than just describing, I would rather show you a recent example, thanks to the people over at Brand New.

Above is a logo redesign for Gap, done earlier this year (and since changed back).  The original logo (on the left) I think is a great representation of their company. It is bold, austere,  confident and approachable. However, especially in contrast, the logo redesign (on the right) is a complete change for a company that internally hasn’t changed much. The redesign makes the company look amateur and unimpressive and really says nothing about the company itself. The most interesting part about the change, and the reason I bring it up, is the response that it brought from the world.

People hated it! The uproar was so big, that Gap had to respond within the week, and stated on Facebook “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.” The good news is that they listened. Less than five days later, they not only canceled the crowd sourcing (which I believe is a bad idea on their part – getting community involvement is ALWAYS a good thing in my book) and they reverted their logo back. A big ole Ctrl Z. Who knows if they are ever going to change again, but they will probably be more careful. As should anyone when thinking about branding their company. It matters a lot more than you think.

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