Twitter Logo

Twitter Logo

The Twitter logo went through a sequence of changes. Today, the Twitter bird is so well-known that it does not need text to be recognizable.

Meaning and history Twitter Logo

Twitter Logo history

Back in 2005, the podcasting company Odeo had a brainstorming session, during which one of the employees, Jack Dorsey, came up with an idea of a text service that can be used by a person to send a message to a small group. Noah Glass, an American software developer, who was also working for Odeo at the time, suggested naming the service “twttr”.

Some of the earliest versions of the Twitter logo, which have never actually reached the status of the official emblem, reflect the name “twttr”. These logotypes were designed by Biz Stone and varied by style and color schemes. For instance, there was a nature-inspired emblem featuring the dark and light green colors and drops of dew on the characters. Also, there was a bright, multicolor retro Atari-inspired logo.

We can mention two bubble designs. One of them featured a magenta bubble with the white word “twitter” placed inside, while the other had a green filling with an alternative name of the service – “smssy” – also in white. Both the bubble designs included a tagline “An Odeo Thingy” right under the name of the service.

The first Twitter prototype was utilized as an internal networking service for Odeo.

By the time the site was launched publicly in 2006, the company had developed an emblem on the basis of a blue bubble font. The typeface was designed by Linda Gavin. The name of the service was given in the way it is used now – “twitter” (with both the vowels and no capital letters). The light blue letters with a white outline were placed inside a rectangular shape with a light blue filling.

Larry Bird

Logo Twitter

Next to the wordmark, a little blue bird could be seen. The very first bird was bought by one of the Twitter employees for as little as $15 on the iStock website. It was among the illustrations offered for sale by a UK graphic designer Simon Oxley. The bird looked very different from the current version. It was a slender creature with a stylized eye and two paws. The original icon faced to the left. It was called Larry after Larry Bird of the NBA’s Boston Celtics.

Interestingly enough, Simon Oxley himself did not even know that such a promising company chose his picture until he was told about it by a friend. However, as far as businesses are not allowed to turn iStock icons into their official logos without any changes, Twitter had to redesign the bird completely.

This time, Larry faced to the right, had a light blue belly and two wings but no paws. The following version looked rather similar in terms of shape, but acquired several cartoony details that were probably supposed to make it look friendlier. The beak grew open, while the eye got a black pupil. Also, the bird received a fluff on its head, an eyebrow, and two thin black paws.

The cartoony Larry did not last long and was soon replaced by a cleaner silhouette image. Probably the most notable change referred to the shape of the wings. The paws were removed once again and the bird acquired a classic look that is rather similar to the way it looks today.

Current emblem Twitter

emblem Twitter

On June 6, 2012, the company introduced an updated logo claiming that it will not make any other changes to it for a while. The person responsible for the project was Twitter’s creative director, Doug Bowman.

The first thing, the designers got rid of the name of the service, assuming that the bird alone was enough to instantly identify the brand. The beak has been pointed higher, toward the sky, while the fluff on top has disappeared. In addition to this, the head has grown smaller, while the number of the feathers on the wing has been reduced by one. The bird also changed its name from Larry the Bird to the Twitter Bird.

Geometry behind the Twitter symbol

Twitter symbol

The Twitter logo, simple as it may seem at first glance, has a very interesting geometry behind it. In fact, the picture is built up of parts of perfect circles. This means, that every part of the bird can be defined with the help of portions of circular arcs (one or two circles). If we compare the 2012 logo with the previous one, we will see that this was not true for the earlier version. Although there were quite a few circular arcs, some of the curves did not match up.

Of course that is in no way an innovative approach. It has already been used in several very popular logos, including those of Apple, Pepsi-Cola (an older version), and iCloud.

Twitter logo and golden ratio

logo Twitter

One more artistic concept the Twitter logo relies upon is the golden ratio. The proportions of the smaller and the bigger circles are rather close to the golden ratio, and there is every possibility that these proportions were chosen by the designers intentionally.

Font of the Twitter Logo

Font Twitter Logo

In 2012 the company got rid of the text in its logo. As the designers explained, “There’s no longer a need for text to represent Twitter”. Earlier versions of the logo utilized a bubbled typeface created by Linda Gavin.

Color of the Twitter Logo

Color Twitter Logo

Blue is a very popular color for networking services, so the choice seems quite natural in case of Twitter.