Twitter should have launched a new brand story, not just a new logo

I am a huge Twitter Fan. With more than 10,000 tweets to my name and almost 2,500 followers (I’m eight shy of the round number) — But the reaction to Twitter’s new logo is a classic example of what happens when you launch a logo, and not the story behind the logo. 

The Twitter logo before (left) and after
The Twitter logo before (left) and after

If you launch a logo you get three types of hate: Hate The Cost. Hate The Business. Hate The Idea. Sure enough it’s happening…

• The Cost

The Daily Mail predictably goes for the ‘HOW MUCH!’ — route (Apparently between £5k and £13k).

• The Business

‘Twitter flips the bird, adopts new logo’ — says the LA Times (a reflection on the business’s approach to be populated by, but not to consult, the masses).

• The Idea

Commentator rdd_johnson on says: ‘Birds attack without any type of reasonable warning (no growling, raised fur, pounding a big beaver tail) and by “attack” I mean the ridiculously close fly-by while standing on your deck thereby spilling your drink. They poop on you while stealing your fries on the Boardwalk. They divebomb your dog as you walk past “their” trees, and who presumes to “own” trees? Only asshole birds, that’s who.’

This kind of thing doesn’t happen (as much) when rebrands are led by the story of what’s happening to merit a new look, a new name or a fresh approach. Particularly if there’s actually something in it for the audience. 

At SomeOne we believe rebrands should create symbols of change, not just a change of symbol. 

We create BrandWorlds — our collective phrase for lots of good stuff for people to see and use. Typefaces, Colour systems, photography, illustration, sound, animation, film, pictograms… and in there, a logo (or three)… then there’s something in there for everyone… more to love, less to hate…

Never launch logo as part of a programme of change, otherwise it takes all the flack (remember Gap-gate?) — launch a story, explain what’s going on… and use a rich visual brand identity to support change. 

Simon Manchipp (@manchipp) is co-founder of Someone.

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  • OVIARTIST November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    But Twitter’s brand isn’t changing at all; this really is just a simple logo change, and that’s all it needs to be. They already own a “brand world”, having fundamentally changed the digital social landscape. The new bird just does what the old logos did but in a slightly simpler way. No need for a major overhaul of their intrinsic identity; just a prettier bird to be used more consistently by themselves and their users.

  • Roy November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    surely this is just an advert for someone design?lol

  • Somapix November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I agree entirely with Oviartist. The brand hasn’t been changed in the slightest, it’s just tidying up the logo a bit and repositioning the importance of the icon over the full name. No story needed.

  • Steve Price November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I don’t disagree with Oviarist or Somapix, but to say there is no need for a story is kind of the point Simon was making.
    This is not to say that you just make some stuff up to create fluff around what is effectively just a new (tweaked) logo.
    Although they probably don’t care, I do think Twitter missed a trick here, and by not creating a story it simply creates the opportunity for the new identity to be shrouded in criticism and cynicism rather than constructive debate and discussion.
    Perhaps this was a chance to launch their new logo alongside owning the message about their service updates, acquisitions, or (more importantly) leading the way on debating the concerns many users have regarding privacy.
    Not because they can guarantee complete abstinence from Privacy issues, but leading a global conference/talk/debate about it, surrounding their brand and their new logo. For example, ‘Why did we tweak our logo? Because we’re streamlining for the future, including our own privacy policy…’ Might have been a better story. After all, we as creatives and designers don’t merely show the new design without telling the story (or at least I don’t). Stories are a chance to create narrative which inspires thought and reaction – good and bad.

  • jaskeerat November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I see a lot of story happening between the “simple” change in the logo. As opposed to the old logo which looks like a little fledgling, hopeful, excited to fly, with cute ruffles and all, seems to have been purposely converted into a bird in flight ( definitely ) looking upwards giving a feeling of superiority or self assurance… cant say! To me this looks like pompous display of success..

    But, somehow i do not like it. I like their old, playful, untidy-ish , ready to “explore” new ideas look!

  • Simon November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    What Steve Said.

  • Steve Price November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    What Simon said.

  • Mob November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Agree with Simon. If you don’t tell your story, your audience will provide their own interpretation. Just look at @jaskeerat’s comment above. Best take the initiative and at least direct the conversation.

  • Secondary November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Classic DesignTalk from Manchipp. What’s he actually saying here? Not a great deal. It’s a logo tweak, they don’t need to change their ‘story’. The users define the brand, not the other way around.

    It’s a terrible article that turns into an often wheeled out sales pitch for SomeOne half way through.

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