The last vestiges of the familiar avian insignia on Twitter are fluttering away as Elon Musk, the new overlord of the social media giant, orchestrates a complete rebranding, morphing Twitter into “X.” The transformation, which began subtly on a sleepy Sunday morning, witnessed a series of cryptic tweets from Musk, the harbinger of the upcoming metamorphosis: “and soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds.”
This shift, intriguing yet seemingly abrupt, introduces the X logo in place of the long-standing bird symbol, on Twitter’s web interface. Marking the first stride towards Musk’s ambitious vision of an “everything app,” the rebranding follows his acquisition of Twitter last November for a hefty $44 billion. This X symbol, still in its nascent stage, will soon perch itself across all mobile versions post the forthcoming updates, signaling a clear departure from the bird theme, or so we hope.
Despite the ongoing transformation, traces of the past still linger, with references to Twitter visible on the main web login screen. Following Musk’s open call for X logo submissions, the emblem that now stands testament to the new era of Twitter was crafted by a user named Sawyer Merritt. Musk didn’t shy away from showcasing his support, promptly pinning a tweet containing Merritt’s creation and adopting the new X logo as his profile picture.
Embodying a glyph from the Special Alphabets 4, the X logo is purported to be an “interim” replacement, potentially indicating another shift on the horizon. The Twitter family was enlightened about this change through an email, notably the last one to be sent from the Twitter.com domain under Musk’s authorship.
Pioneering the new age of Twitter, the fan-created X logo has replaced the traditional blue bird logo that has remained a core part of Twitter’s identity since its inception. However, the blue bird hasn’t yet flown away completely, maintaining its presence as the website’s favicon and holding its ground on the mobile apps.
Shedding light on the evolution of Twitter’s insignia, the modern bird logo was the brainchild of Martin Grasser, Todd Waterbury, and Angy Che, succeeding the original “Larry the Bird” logo from 2010-2012. Jack Dorsey, the former CEO, picked it out of 24 options almost instantaneously.
Constructed ingeniously from 15 overlaid circles, the bird logo, according to Grasser, enhanced its legibility. The recurring shapes simplified visual processing, resulting in a clutter-free symbol that represented Twitter’s noble aim to democratize information. The bird logo was more than just an insignia; it was the embodiment of Twitter’s lingo and service.
The newcomer, the X logo, while simplistic, is a stark departure from the erstwhile bird theming, reflecting Musk’s vision for the platform. Musk’s terming of the X logo as an “interim” suggests a likely refinement in the pipeline. The new logo is derived from Merritt’s submission, inspired by an online font and strikingly similar to the Unicode character “Mathematical Double-Struck Capital X.” While the new logo seamlessly blends into text-based tweets, questions arise about its generic design.
As the transformation unfolds, the long-established bird theme that’s ingrained in Twitter’s DNA faces an uncertain future. In response to Merritt’s playful query, “What are tweets called now?,” Musk jests, “X’s.”
The grandeur of the iconic bird logo hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Dorsey responding to a thread from Grasser about his approach to designing the bird logo with a single goat emoji, symbolizing “GOAT” or “Greatest of All Time.”
As the curtain rises on the new era of Twitter, or should I say ‘X’, the tech world watches with bated breath. Will the X symbol be able to replace the deeply ingrained bird theming entirely? Only time will tell. One thing’s certain though – Twitter is spreading its wings into uncharted territories, birthing a whole new narrative in the realm of social media.
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