Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Twitter Re-branded

Last month, micro-blogging site Twitter announced a slight re-brand of its logo. In what could arguably be the fluffiest official blog post I've ever read; Twitter claims the updated logo stems from a "...love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry." They continue along similarly whimsical lines; "Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope and limitless possibility." So apparently the logo has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that birds tweet...

The re-branded Twitter bird

Along with this re-brand have come some pretty specific rules on the ways in which the Twitter logos and brand assets should be utilized. For example:

1) The previous bird logo, the 'T' symbol and bubble text are henceforth not to be used, they should all be replaced completely by the updated bird icon.

2) Function buttons such as "Tweet", "hashtag" and "Tweet to" have had specific layouts created by Twitter for users to incorporate into online settings. For print publications the Twitter handle (i.e. @RTCAgency) must be in close proximity to the bird icon.

3) The new bird logo must not be altered or manipulated in any way and any other artwork specific to the Twitter website (for example the 'verified' badge) should not be taken and used elsewhere.

4) Now when you mention 'Tweeting' you must also mention Twitter in direct relation. For example, "Tweet with Twitter" or use of the bird logo in close proximity to the word 'Tweet'.

5) There must be no use of Twitter's logo or any other brand assets in any context other than specifically referring to Twitter itself.

6) The 'T' in "Twitter" and "Tweet" must always be capitalized.

In terms of strategy and implications for the brand, it seems from a purely visual standpoint that Twitter are attempting to modernize, standardize and mature their image. The updated bird icon is cleaner, more streamlined and apparently represents a whole lot more than just 140-character status updates. This coupled with the move away from (some may think) childish bubble text suggests a desire to give the brand a more sophisticated and intelligently-constructed public image. Perhaps to move away from associations with garbled celebrity rants and align itself with the image of a serious, business-friendly marketing and PR tool. I wouldn't be surprised if we see similar changes from other social networking sites like Facebook, Flikr, LinkedIn and Google+ before long.

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