A timeline of the Twitter logo

The internet’s birdsong fell silent on Monday, July 24, as Elon Musk said goodbye to the beloved blue Twitter bird, “Larry”, and unveiled the platform’s rebranding as “X.”

Although the decision to rebrand Twitter to “X” was shocking, it wasn’t completely unexpected. Since Musk’s takeover, Twitter has gone through a variety of platform changes, a new and disconnected logo, and an awkward rebranding. 

The team at Looka decided to dive deep into the Twitter logos throughout the start of the platform and how each change was done in a way that made the logo and colors globally known. 

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Twitter takes flight (2005-2006)

Twitter was created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams. The initial Twitter logo was far from the neat silhouette we recognize today. It was, in fact, a slime-green wordmark with a bubbly typeface spelling out ‘Twttr,’ a nod to the short, SMS-style messages the platform was designed for.

Blue enters the chat (2006-2010)

The first official Twitter logo made its debut to the public in 2006. The brand elbowed its way into the market with a striking sky-blue that remained its iconic hue until recently.

The rounded, bubbly display font is a recognizable 2000’s era aesthetic. The logo was created by graphic designer Linda Gavin in three days and set the tone for decades following.

At the time, a simple bird illustration was reportedly purchased from iStock for just $15. It was used on parts of the Twitter platform but didn’t make its way to the logo until 2010.

First major logo redesign (2010-2012)

In 2010, Twitter decided to revamp its branding. The iconic blue bird, “Larry” (after Larry Bird, the basketball player), found a permanent home in the Twitter logo.

The Twitter mascot initially featured a tuft of feathers on its head and wings spread wide, almost leaping into flight. This marked a significant shift in the brand’s identity, one that was well-rounded and intentional.

Larry the Bird became synonymous with the platform’s core features, the ability to “Tweet” concise thoughts onto a digital stage and to “retweet” thoughts and ideas of those you followed.

The iconic bird logo (2012-2023)

In 2012, Twitter unveiled its most significant logo redesign yet. The wordmark was completely removed, leaving only the bird. But Larry also underwent a transformation, stripped of all unnecessary details and reduced to a simple, sleek silhouette ascending skyward.

The refined logo underscored Twitter’s mission to be a platform of simplicity and freedom of speech. Its upward trajectory suggested limitless possibilities, mirroring the sense of liberation Twitter users feel when expressing their thoughts in 280 characters.

The Twitter bird, with its timeless charm and relevance, is a testament to the brand’s design evolution. It symbolizes the brand’s journey, growth, and commitment to providing a platform for people to connect and engage in meaningful conversations.

Elon Musk’s Twitter Rebrand: X Logo (2023-present)

Musk bid farewell to the iconic blue bird logo on Monday, July 24th, and announced a rebrand of the platform to “X”. 

While the move to rebrand Twitter to “X” was shocking, it’s not entirely unforeseen. In April, Musk changed the name of Twitter’s parent company from Twitter Inc. to X Corp.

The social media site has also begun limiting the number of daily messages unverified users can send in an effort to “reduce spam.” To increase that number, users have to join a subscription service. In short, Musk has slowly been whittling away at the best parts of the well-loved social media platform.

The rebrand itself is lackluster. The tone of the logo resembles a comic book villain. X is generic and also associated with danger. Nobody wants to google “X” unless they’re looking for…well…trouble.

Has Musk gone off the rails with this Twitter logo redesign?

According to Dawson Whitefield, the founder of Looka, it’s too soon to craft an informed opinion that’s not just a gut reaction to the rebrand. Maybe Musk has gone off the rails, or maybe he knows something we don’t.

Maybe it’s a publicity play to reclaim the narrative that Twitter is dying after the Thread wars, or maybe he just loves the name domain http://x.com and finally has a product he can put on it.

Either way, when a brand of this magnitude decides to rebrand, it should be done properly. The classic Twitter bird icon and name have been a part of the site for the past 17 years, and changing up an entire site that is world-renowned is not a move that should be taken lightly. 

As Musk’s long-term plan will have the platform become a hub for everything from payments to news and videos, keeping a short name will make everything more organized once the full site is released. Additionally, the simplistic black-and-white logo design and the name is extremely memorable.  

However, it’s necessary to have everything timed appropriately when rebranding. The words “Tweet” and “Twitter” are currently still all over the platform. Looks like this was done hastily and without much thought, I wonder what the rush is about?

You can read more about the Twitter logos here. This study was completed by Looka, which helps entrepreneurs create logos and start their business. 

Photo by Chris J. Davis