Using Neuroscience to Explain Why You Hated the Gap Redesign

Remember all those many weeks ago (or, rather, around one and a half) when you were all up in arms over Gap‘s decision to redesign their logo, only to see that your anger made such a loud roar that the company immediately back-peddled and went back to the one you know and, well “love” is maybe too strong a word for it, so “the one you know and are kinda okay with because you’re used to it” probably works better here. While you disliked it considerably, and it was a red hot debate over just why that was on countless comment threads, we ran across this press release trying to explain what the redesign did to your brain to make you lash out. The company, NeuroFocus, which specializes in the slightly eerie sounding business of “neuromarketing,” put together a series of tests to figure out what was happening inside people’s grey matter to scientifically understand their reactions to it. We have no idea if the science is valid, but if you go in with the assumption that it is, it’s an interesting read, broken down into mostly-readable material for we mouth breathers who didn’t get PhDs in psychology (except for this writer, who got his online for just $59.95). Here’s one of the six points the company pulls out to explain why the new logo failed:

Sharp Edges Unsettle the Subconscious: “Forcing the brain to view a sharply-angled box behind the letter ‘p’ provokes what neuroscience calls an ‘avoidance response’. The hard line cuts into the rounded shape of the letter. We are hard-wired to avoid sharp edges — in nature, they can present a threat. Our so-called modern brains are actually 100,000 years old, and they retain this primordial reaction.”