Twitter rapidly rebrands as X with user-submitted logo

In a string of Tweets, Elon Musk said he would “bid adieu” to the Twitter brand and gradually “all the birds” too.

24 July 2023

An “interim X logo” has appeared across Twitter’s masthead, replacing the bird logo that Twitter once called “its most recognisable asset”. Elon Musk tweeted regularly as the changes took place. At approximately midnight ET, he appeared to ask users to submit logos that could work for a brand called X. He said: “If a good enough X logo is posted tonight, we’ll make [it] go live worldwide tomorrow”.

The winning logo was posted by Twitter user Sawyer Merritt, co-founder of the sustainable lifestyle apparel brand Twin Birch. Merritt offered up a symbol that was originally designed for Merritt’s podcast about Elon Musk and his ventures called X Pod – which is now discontinued. Merritt credited Alex Tourville as the designer behind the work, saying a thicker version of the logo was “inspired by a font [Tourville] found online”. Tourville said that Elon Musk was welcome to use the logo for free.

Merritt created a slimmed down version of the logo for the purposes of a launch video, “adding a glow and little lines in the logo to make it look ‘imperfect’”.

Musk shared a few of the reasons he liked Merritt’s logo. He described it as a “minimalist art deco” option, adding that it will “probably” be changed later, or at the very least “refined”. The owner also pointed out how much he loves the letter X, which crops up again and again across his ventures. He even wanted to call Paypal X and is using the old X domain name he purchased for Paypal to redirect users to Twitter.

Musk also asked users to get involved in design decisions such as changing the default platform colour of the brand to black. At the time of writing, a poll posted by Musk has received over a million votes, with almost 75 per cent of respondents in favour of the change.

Feedback to X has been mixed. Some users raised valid questions about what would happen to core elements of Twitter’s brand after the change – for example, the phrase “tweeting” or “tweets”. Others, like Channel 4, were quick to point out the difficulty in getting audiences on board with major changes to well established brands.

The bird has been a part of the Twitter brand since it launched in 2006. It was originally designed by Simon Oxley and updated in 2009 and 2012 with the help of Philip Pascuzzo and Douglas Bowman who both took steps to simplify the outline of the shape. The Twitter bird is also known as Larry, a tribute to NBA player Larry Bird.


Sawyer Merritt / Alex Tourville: X. Image from Twitter. (Copyright © Sawyer Merritt / Alex Tourville, 2023)

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Sawyer Merritt / Alex Tourville: X. Image from Twitter. (Copyright © Twitter, 2023)

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Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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