At the start of the month, Twitter rolled out a new visual identity— their first in 5 years— representative of the frenzy of the past year as reflected on the social media platform.
Self-described by Global Executive Creative Director Donna Lamar as “art-first” and “intentionally imperfect,” the new identity features ripped and layered imagery, memes, and gifs with bold text and paint splashes of their signature blue hue. Twitter’s in-house team developed the identity in collaboration with Paris based agency Atelier IRRADIÉ.
Included in their new identity is a unique and bespoke typeface, Chirp, developed by independent Swiss type foundry, Grilli Type. Speaking on the new typeface Derrit DeRouen, Creative Director, Global Brand, shares, “Our key objective with this brand refresh is to improve how we convey emotion and imperfection.”
In light of the noteworthy events on and surrounding the social media platform, the reveal seems to come at an appropriate time. From accusations of facilitating the spread of misinformation about covid-19 to the permanently suspended Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump following the US Capitol’s storming, Twitter has had itself an intense year in the news.
From a creative standpoint, we are fans of the expressive and imperfect direction of this identity. It is a refreshing deviation from the overbearing trend of homogenized, minimalistic, and clean-cut identities taking over Tech and other industries. We highlighted five major tech companies that rebranded last year and already took a similar route.
We also resonate strongly with the use of ‘retro’ aesthetics — tactile paper-like textures, cutouts, bold imagery, and collages — to humanize technology, bringing it closer to the users it serves.
The ‘messiness’ and complexity of its new identity aptly mirrors the nature of Twitter’s ecosystem. Adequately described in a tweet as “the world’s stream of consciousness,” Twitter’s appeal comes from the spontaneous, witty, unedited, and unrefined quality of its content. Something a polished identity would not be able to serve.
Simplicity works great for product design, as it enables users to learn and use it quickly and easily. However, it is not always the best solution for a brand, especially one distinguished as Twitter, which needs little to no introduction.
Twitter’s new identity reflects how with time, its users have evolved from being just users to the actual embodiment of the platform. Brought closer together by the events of the past year, Twitter positions itself as an extension of its community’s creativity and vibrance.