OK Gap. I can hear the pitch. "You guys have been on the defining edge of retail culture and fashion brand management but you're still inside the box with your logo. Take the step outside the box.." It's a sad, sad situation when you start taking Pauly Shore's design advice. At least it's Pauly Shore who's giving the pitch in my head. Sorry Pauly.
I am not sure I get the motivation behind it -because we've seen the Gap flip-flop between it's serif and sans-serif brand incarnations before over the last 20 years - but it looks like for now, the comfortable, classic, 'oh I need jeans and/or khaki's I'll go to the GAP' brand is now the 'oh, I need to rethink my hard-drive configuration' GAP brand. Really, has no one noticed that the Gap's new logo makes it look like it should be launching it's own social media platform?
Also, riddle me this, why is it so terribly bad to be inside the box? A preppy, conservative, classic, 'everybody wears it' line of timeless basics, practically screams 'inside the box' and when you close that box, the box has the OLD GAP LOGO on it. Ugh. And by the way, putting your wordmark literally 'outside' of the box, is not exactly outside the box. Gack.
Just remember folks, regardless of how you feel about a rebrand, for every bad design or branding decision there's someone to sign-off on it... and then there's someone to fund it. It takes more than 2, generally, and knowing the Gap, it took a huge team, a ton of market testing, and more money than we can imagine.
I'm trying to think rationally about this shift, but the only thing springing to my mind is an astrology article I read recently about Venus going retrograde.. the long and the short of it is that cosmetic overhauls aren't favoured about now, are usually short-lived, require correction, and cost more money than originally anticipated. That's the only rationale I could come up with. And if that's not outside the box, I don't know what is.