After six years, Twitter announced today that it will be updating its little blue bird. In fact, the company is dispensing with bubbled typefaces and lower-case t’s altogether for a more symbolic logo. “From now on, this bird will be the universally recognizable symbol of Twitter. (Twitter is the bird, the bird is Twitter.),” writes creative director Doug Bowman.
Some likened the more aerodynamic redesign to Twitter’s new business model. With a rumored $1 billion in sales expected in 2014, “It’s fitting that the Twitter bird is looking skyward and has a new professional haircut,” says TechCrunch.
But on careful reading, the oddly high-minded announcement (about lopping off a few feathers) could also be read like a coded plea to Twitter’s most curmudgeonly critic, noted bird obsessive Jonathan Franzen.
Back in March, if you’ll recall, Mr. Franzen followed up his scathing anti-Facebook screed with some choice words for the 140 character crowd. “ Twitter is unspeakably irritating. Twitter stands for everything I oppose,” Mr. Franzen told students at Tulane University, denouncing the service as “the ultimate irresponsible medium,” for “serious readers and writers.”
But Mr. Bowman’s description of the new logo makes it sound anything but frivolous:
Our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry. This bird is crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles — similar to how your networks, interests and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends. 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.
A love of ornithology? Freedom? Ever hear of playing hard to get?