For designers wondering what counts as iconic, it’s hard to beat the famous Twitter logo. The free-spirited bird with adorable wings lifted in praise just makes you want to venture out of the nest and, well, tweet. Let’s look at how this logo has morphed from an unimaginative type logo to one of the great icons of the social media age.
Twitter Logo Design Elements
What often shocks designers wracking their brains to copy the cuteness is that Twitter’s logo didn’t start out so cute. No, it still wasn’t all that snazzy even after it boasted flocks of tweeters. The evolution of the brand’s logo took every bit as long as it took for some of us to figure out #hashtags.
From those early days of sans serif lowercase dullness, a transformation has transpired to remind us all that perfection is a process. Today’s logo is a simple blue bird looking up with mouth open merrily and wings raised in celebration. There are no words, for no words are necessary. Like a proper tweet, the Twitter logo is a study in cute conciseness. The picture is worth a thousand words – or, in this case, 140 characters.
Twitter Logo History: Changes and Evolution
So how has the Twitter logo design changed? Well, back in the dusty antiquity of 2006, the original Twitter logo was a simple typed “twitter.” Rounded sans-serif with “un-glyphed” characters, it was nothing to write home about.
The 2010 updated logo was unchanged in shape except for the addition of a small bird following the “r.” With a saucy crest and a swooping tail, he could have been mistaken as a brush stroke for the unimaginative.
In 2012, Twitter’s designers wisely capitalized on the bird, dropping the superfluous “twitter.” The cutesy creature was tweaked to be facing upward; he lost his crest atop his crown, and his profile became much sleeker. This present logo has become iconic for more than just Twitter. It represents how powerfully logo transformation can define a brand and focus it in a very short time.
The original logo was a light blue. The 2010 update changed the “twitter” type to black, adding the bird in a light blue flourish.
In the 2012 revision, the bird stayed blue but grew just a few shades darker. It would still be considered light blue, but closer to true blue than aquamarine.
The font of the early versions of Twitter is PICO Alphabet by Maniackers Design.
The Twitter logo began with a search for the perfect bird. In 2006, that bird was an elegant if not anorexic creature that looks nothing like a real Twitter bird, even if it does better resemble a real bird.
The 2010 bird draws inspiration from an iStock image. Unfortunately, companies are not permitted to incorporate iStock pictures in logos, so designers worked to craft a unique Twitter bird from that cartoony creature.
The present Twitter bird obviously adapted from the 2010 bird. More streamlined and eye-catching, she’s a lot like the Tweets of a long-time Tweeter: perfected by age. She is ten years old, after all.
For designers interested in the durability of a logo, the Twitter logo history offers an intriguing glimpse into just how short-lived a logo can be. Rather than view the progressions of the Twitter logo as intrusive and distracting, most Twitter users have welcomed the changes just as much as they’ve embraced the rapid-fire changes on their Twitter feeds. For a company like Twitter, staying static just doesn’t fit.
Perhaps the best lesson a designer can learn from the Twitter logo history is to follow the company dynamic. If it’s a progressive company leaning toward constant change, be ready to change design regularly. For a company that is based on decades or centuries of steady quality, think longevity. To everything there is a season. For the Twitter bird, the seasons move quickly.