Just under two weeks ago Twitter revealed a ‘tweaked’ redesign of their iconic bird logo (image 1). They rolled out some brand guidelines that included usage rules that stated that you should not ‘rotate or change the direction of the bird’ (image 2). Some eagle-eyed twitter users noticed that when you rotate the bird anti-clockwise by 90 degrees it looks oddly like Batman (image 3).
As well as updating the bird, Twitter is aiming to rid the web of the huge range of twitter icons; the boxed ‘t’, the variety of birds and the lowercase bubble script ‘twitter’ (Pico font with an adapted ‘e’ if you are interested).
The announcement highlights the difficulties in controlling a brand image in an inter-operable and collaborative web. Brand guidelines are endemic in the culture in large organisations, but the ability to enforce rules on the use of the brand logo is much diminished. Five years ago a phenomenon emerged where people were reinterpreting the logos of iconic brands as if they were new web brands. Logo 2.0 interpretations took these identities and played around with them. My favourite was ‘Quakr 2.Oats’.
It will be interesting to see how successful Twitter is at controlling its brand identity in a world users as well as corporate communications departments make the rules.