The online graphic design store 99designs has scored a marketing coup by tying into the Gap logo debacle. To capitalize on the worldwide criticism Gap, Inc. endured when it unveiled a new logo design, 99designs launched an online contest to design a better Gap logo. Response was huge, and the winner will be decided by a popular vote.
Crowdsourcing via 99designs
When 99designs launched its “Design a Better Gap logo” promotion, in five days the company received 4,660 submissions from more than 1,000 designers. The contest isn’t affiliated with Gap or endorsed by the apparel giant, but 99designs said the winning Gap logo design will be presented to GAP management in a “gesture of goodwill.” The winner gets $500. The innovative approach of 99designs involves contests where designers compete to create logo designs. Customers only pay for the design they like best.
The new Gap logo debacle
The Gap logo, a blue box with white lettering, had been around for 20 years. When Gap released a new logo design last month, public disapproval was swift and devastating. Advertising Age said the new design looked like “something a child created using a clip-art gallery.” Twitter accounts ridiculing the new Gap logo design proliferated. Satirists developed a website with an automatic logo generator that turns whatever type is entered into an unflattering take-off on the ill-fated new design, which was rapidly pulled.
How not to design a Gap logo
Entrants in the 99design Gap logo contest could do well to learn why the failed design generated so much animosity. NeuroFocus, a neuroscience research company, said the design failed in areas such as attention, emotional engagement and memory retention. By measuring brainwaves, NeuroFocus found that the new Gap logo “lost critical ground at the deep subconscious level” for style and novelty. The new version also lost the connection to the brand’s “core origins.”