Mind the Gap

Remember when when Gap tried to change their iconic logo and the immediate backlash from consumers? No? Well it happened. And as luck has it, neuroscientists were consulted for advice on why their new logo failed. Some advice:

-When a word overlaps with an image, the brain tends to ignore the word in favor of the image

-The sharp edge behind the letter “p” can invoke negative subconscious feelings.

-The old logo had a slightly odd font, which our brains prefer and remember better.

-High contrast is good. The new logo’s “p” is lost in front of the blue box.

-The capital “G” followed by lowercase letters makes our brains think of “Gap” as a word rather than a logo.

Some would argue that these are principles that every designer knows, regardless of lacking a neuroscience background. But it’s nice to know the neural reasoning for things we take for granted, like design.

via PR Newswire

About the author

Ian Park

Ian graduated from Wesleyan University in May 2011 with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior. In that same year, he was Director of Photography of a senior documentary thesis film at Wesleyan, which won first place. He recently acted as Director of Photography on a Clinique commercial for a competition--it won honorable mentions. He is currently working as a producer/director/editor of video and other digital content in Soho, NY, as well as working on a soon-to-be-released web series, "Postponed."

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  • I’d just add that “these are principles that every *good* designer knows” 🙂
    When I first heard about the logo I thought it was some facebook or internet prank and I still can’t believe they came up with that “thing.” I’d say some CEO might have claimed that “my daughter has a knack for graphic design.” I’ve seen that happen many times 🙂

  • For me it’s the change of font that makes it just so weird. Probably combined with the capital first letter. It’s not a logo, it’s just a *word*. If they had kept the font, and just changed the blue box in some way, that would have been much better. (Even if it would have ended up looking like an iPhone app icon.)

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