The Twitter logo in its current form seems to have been around forever. The bluebird design is well known and even survived Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform – at least for now. But the original Twitter logo was really different.
While Twitter is now synonymous with blue – in more ways than one after the launch of the Twitter Blue paid verification service, the colors of the brand were for some reason an almost soapy, slimy green with a waterdrop effect. Here we take a closer look at the Twitter logo history from 2005 to the present. To learn more about logo design, see our guide to designing a logo. For more social media logo histories, see our YouTube logo and TikTok logo related pieces.
First Twitter logo: 2005 – 2006
Is this a detergent’s logo? Could it be a sewer-based platformer video game? No, oddly enough this is the first Twitter logo. Many of the tech and social media giants we know today had very different logos before they were recognized (see the Google logo for another example). The Twitter logo is another example. This logo was never made available to the general public, and we think that’s fine, too.
Twitter was founded by Noah Glass and Evan Williams, who runs the San Francisco-based RSS syndicated audio and video directory Odeo, Biz Stone and Odeo employee Jack Dorsey. for the company.
It is a surprise name in early logo designs – apparently created by Stone himself. Initially, Twitter would be called Smssy (yes, really) followed by Twttr. A few designs had the tagline “An Odeo thing”. The first tweet, posted on March 21, 2006, was a message from Dorsey that read, “I’m just setting up my twttr.”
First official Twitter logo: 2006 – 2010
The first official Twitter logo to reach the public displayed the last name “Twitter” in light blue. The font was designed by Linda Gavin with smooth, rounded sans serif shapes combined with a white frame that creates a bubble-like effect. It was a huge part of his time. The company also purchased a small graphic symbol of a light blue bird for $15 from Simon Oxley on iStock. Named Larry after basketball player Larry Bird, it wasn’t originally part of the logo (something banned by iStock), but appeared as an icon on the website.
The evolution of the Twitter logo: 2010 – 2012
Biz Stone designed a bird that Twitter can call mine, based on an existing bird image. It had wings, large white eyes, and a sharp tail. He pitched the idea to designer Philip Pascuzzo, who, along with Douglas Bowman, developed the design to create a bird he could add to Twitter’s logo. The logo type has also been updated and simplified by removing a slightly childish white outline from the type.
Twitter logo today: 2012 – present
Finally, in 2012, the Twitter bird logo became so well-known that the company decided it could stand alone. Nike had reached swoosh status. The word ‘Twitter’ was removed from the logo, the blue color was changed to #1da1f2, and the bird was refined by Martin Grasser, one of his first jobs after graduating from the Art Center College of Design.
It is said that Grasser drew at least a thousand birds before he achieved the proportions and simplicity he wanted. Jack sent Dorsey 24 sketches, and without a moment’s hesitation, Dorsey chose the winner (apparently numbered ‘5CS’). The Twitter logo design doesn’t represent a specific bird, but Grasser said it was inspired by a flapping hummingbird.
The shape is much more circular than a real bird – in fact, the design is made up of 15 circles superimposed in layers forming perfect curves on the beak, head, wings and chest. The bird looks up to represent hope, freedom, and progress, while the circles used to create it are said to represent connecting people and ideas.