by Omatic Design

THE CONDEMNATIONS ARE ALL IN, so this is old news. Gap’s new logo is an atrocity of banal, gelatinous proportions. What’s interesting is how the masses have suddenly become critics of identity, prodded by the numerous media outlets getting their gimlet eye into a game of which they know nothing. I see choice meditations that mention “brand panic,” and I don’t feel they’re wrong. But what’s hilarious is when an aesthetic nightmare such as Huffington Post has something to say, it’s like a twin brother calling the other one ugly.

I digress. But  here’s the interesting thing: when a fashion or design-based company such as Gap has a drastic (and very underpublicized and unexplained) identity mood swing, everybody is suddenly all up in arms. It speaks of a deep lack of confidence.

You can’t explain the concepts of overall brand identity or visual language in a nice concise manner to a reactive public. Nope, you’ve got one shot and people respond from the gut. Gap is a very well known consumer brand struggling with perceptions of weak design, homogeny and crap quality. So when a half-assed logo pops up on a full-assed website and the executives leave it on the zeitgeist’s doorstep, ring the bell and run, you’re looking at a recipe for a public flogging.

Yeah, it sucks. So do many identities—I’ll be politic here and not mention them. (But I’ll tell you over beers.) New identities can either herald change or repositioning or they can come off as sad little gestures of insecurity.

My analysis: Gap just found itself naked in front of math class with a geometry problem on the chalkboard.