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Gap Logo: Did Gap Blow its New Logo Launch?

The Gap quietly unveiled a new logo on its Website last week that is met with widespread disdain. This week the retail company reverts to its original logo.

(Gap logo poll updated with Gap's attempted crowd sourcing project and Marka Hansen's statements.)



) -- The new


(GPS) - Get Gap, Inc. Report

logo debut surprised consumers and outraged the design community, causing the retail company to revert to its original logo.

One week after quietly unveiling the logo on its Web site, the retailer announced late Monday that it was abandoning its new logo.

Last week, Gap introduced the logo redesign on its Web site without any explanation, it simply appeared. Within a day, the advertising and design worlds began ridiculing the new design, making their opinions known on blogs and across social media.

In response to the backlash, Gap said the new logo was the first step in a crowd sourcing project. The company posted to its Facebook page and Twitter that it was "thrilled to see passionate debates

about the logo unfolding!"

"So much so, we're asking you to share your designs. We love our version, but we'd like to see other ideas," it said.

A few days later, the company pulled the project. Hansen said that company management realized that they "did not go about this in the right way."

"We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community," Hansen said. "This wasn't the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing."

"Last week, we moved to address the feedback and began exploring how we could tap into all of the passion," said Marka Hansen, the president of Gap Brand North America, in a statement posted on the company's Web site.

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"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 any further," the statement continued.

Wall Street Strategies equity research analyst Brian Sozzi thinks that Gap shouldn't have looked to the world of social networking so quickly for feedback.

"Gap's management team bumbled the delivery of the new logo, immediately turning to its Facebook and Twitter fans for feedback," Sozzi said. "The use of social media, while great to gauge product acceptance, hurt Gap's long overdue step into the new generation of specialty apparel retailing.

The debacle may have also been indicative of where Gap stands as a retailer. "Ultimately, I think the logo brouhaha demonstrates that Gap is struck in between the past (1990s iconic khakis and t-shirts) and where it wants to go in the future (merchandise that is at the leading edge of fashion, though will still be en vogue year after year," said Sozzi.

Hansen said that in the future the Gap would take a different route if it decides to make any changes.

"There may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we'll handle it in a different way," Hansen said.

The decision on the new logo was one of


5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street

last week.

Redesigning the logo was a big risk. Gap is the 84th most-valuable brand in the world, valued at nearly $4 billion according to a study conducted by


. Was that risk worth it?

We'd like to hear what you think. Take our poll and find out what other readers of


think about how Gap handled its logo redesign.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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