99designs’ GAP Logo Community Contest

No one knows how to submit GAP logo design ideas to GAP, but if you head over to 99designs, you’ll see a great number of entries, some extremely creative, and I’d say with potential of becoming the winning entry in GAP’s crowdsourcing contest. There are about 800 entries right now, and a $500 cash prize – but to make things crystal clear, this is not a contest held by GAP: This is NOT an official Gap promotion and is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by The Gap Inc, reads the disclaimer in the design brief.

Kristen L Holden, the SEO Guru at 99designs.com, is the one who saw the opportunity in using GAP’s branding flop to get 99desgins in the media. 99designs is a pioneer in design crowdsourcing, and, despite the fact that many established designers are against such contests, the company gets business, and its community is getting close to 100,000 designers.

Gap's new logo.Judging by the entries so far in 99designs’ GAP logo community contest, if GAP were to change its logo, they have a lot to choose from, although I fear the worse. In a recent Washington Post editorial, we learned that a GAP spokesman suggested that internally, everyone loved the new logo, and that, apparently, the online launch was an initial screening of the logo.

Despite the negative media, GAP plans to continue campaigning the monstrosity gracing its websites now. They’ll even use it in holiday advertisements. Over at The Huffington Post, Marka Hansen, President, Gap North America, explains what the company thinks about the new logo:

We chose this design as it’s more contemporary and current. It honors our heritage through the blue box while still taking it forward.

Obviously, the flack had an impact on the company, that decided to “engage in a dialogue” posting a message on its Facebook fan page:

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 question is, will GAP organize its own crowdsourcing contest, on a special site, like Pepsi did once having the consumers redesign its cans, or would they use a crowdsourcing company like 99designs, CrowdSpring or Prova?


  1. says

    Hey Dee,

    I just wanted to address some of the comments you’ve written above that seem to be concerning you – As you probably know now GAP has reverted back to its old logo and has no plans to change again in the future and in terms of our community contest, all your queries have been covered in full by Kristen (the contest holder) on the contest page in the comments section.

    As the top entries have now opened up for public vote, i hope you visit and place your vote for the best re-design!


  2. dee says

    I am a designer who has used 99 designs with great success in the past. I am aware of the controversy surrounding crowd sourcing and sites like 99 designs. But despite the valid points against it, I have found it to be useful in my career.

    HOWEVER, the Gap contest poses some real concerns for me. 99 Designs will award $500 and a newsletter feature to the winner. The winning logo will be PRESENTED to Gap. If Gap chooses NOT to use the logo, then $500 is a fine prize. BUT WHAT IF GAP CHOOSES TO USE THE LOGO? So far, 99 Designs has not answered this question. My guess is that even if Gap uses this new logo from 99 Designs on all there billions of dollars worth of advertising, the poor “winner” of the contest still only gets $500 bucks. When a multi billion dollar company like Gap only pays $500 for their logo, this will surely destroy and completely devalue the work of all Graphic Designers in the entire industry. I suppose Coca Cola will want their logo re-designed for $20 next?

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