Nov12 “Old is Boring”

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During the reporting of Hatching Twitter I discovered a number of internal emails that showed the early logo explorations of the company.

As I wrote in the book, there were several different ideas for the name of the service, including “Twitch,” “Friendstalker” and “Smssy.” In the end, of course, it was called “Twitter” — though the company did spend a short amount of time as a vowelless “Twttr.”

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Most of the early logos were designed by Biz Stone. You can see the examples of his logo designs to the left. The very first version he explored was a red jagged oval with off kilter letters cut out in white. Below the logo sat the tagline: “An Odeo Thingy.” He described another version in an email as having a “retro atari vibe.” And there was also an option of a large green speech bubble with the word “twitter” written in lowercase.

While Biz explored almost a dozen different designs for the site, it was actually a logo created by Noah Glass, the forgotten co-founder of Twitter, that ended up becoming the company’s face — at least for a short time.

As you can see, Noah’s design was not very pretty. It looked like a blob of green goop. But to Noah it was the culmination of several well thought-out concepts.

In an e-mail he sent to his co-founders in late-June 2006, Noah defined his thesis behind the design.

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“This logo is engaging and visceral. It feels like something. It compels the viewer to feel,” Noah wrote. “The current iteration of our product is about feeling. Not about us feeling, but about our users feeling. I believe that this logo does exactly what we want it to do.” He also noted that the logo inspired “youthfulness, because old is boring…..and nothing is worse than boring.”

It didn’t take long for the green blob to go through a rebranding into the traditional blue that sat above the site for years. But even that had its detractors. Linda Gavin, a designer who created the blue logo said people were not very enthusiastic about the new  look and feel.

“Shocked Twitter users complained about the redesign at first,” she said in an interview in 2012. “They thought it looked like a Japanese chatroom for teenagers, with that baby blue and bubblegum logo. And it kind of did, but Noah loved it.”

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44 Responses to “Old is Boring”

  1. Pingback: I am Youth | That Twitter thingy was almost Smssy

  2. Pingback: Early logo designs reveal what Twitter could have looked like under alternative names Smssy and Twttr | Alternative News Alert!

  3. Pingback: marketing.com.gr » Early logo designs reveal what Twitter could have looked like under alternative names Smssy and Twttr

  4. Pingback: Early logo designs reveal what Twitter could have looked like under alternative names Smssy and Twttr - The Headlines Now - Live News India, World, Business, Technology, Sports, Fashion, LifeStyle & Entertainment

  5. Pingback: Twitter'ın İsmi Smssy ya da Twittr Olabilirmiş | Sosyal Medya

  6. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too) | Kronosim

  7. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too) - Digitono

  8. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too) | シ最愛遲到.!

  9. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too) | Enjoying The Moment

  10. Pingback: Eerste logo’s verraden dat Twitter bijna SMSSY geheten had! | Twittermania

  11. Pingback: We were almost "smmsaging" not tweeting Logo Curious

  12. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too) « Robot Insurance

  13. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too) — DesignProspective

  14. Fred says:

    I always hated the bubbly blue logo, looks so unfinished, even skype had a better execution

  15. Pingback: Twitter quase se chamou Friendstalker, e quase teve estes logotipos | Tech News

  16. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too) | Tech News & MoreTech News & More

  17. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too) | Ross-Millard.com

  18. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (And Almost Looked Awful Too) | Gizmodo Australia

  19. Pingback: Twitter já teve outro nome e visual; veja a evolução até o lançamento | Feed Notícias

  20. Pingback: Smssy to Twttr to Twitter: A look back at what could have been | Lanka enews

  21. Pingback: Twitter quase se chamou Friendstalker, e quase teve estes logotipos | Guia Em Guarapari / News

  22. Pingback: Twitter já teve outro nome e visual; veja a evolução até o lançamento | Tecnologia

  23. Pingback: Early logo designs reveal what Twitter could have looked like under alternative names Smssy and Twttr | Networld Interactive

  24. Pingback: Twitter já teve outro nome e visual; veja a evolução até o lançamento - Atual Feed

  25. Pingback: Smssy to Twttr to Twitter: A look back at what could have been

  26. Pingback: Twitter Might Have Been Named 'Friendstalker' - The Atlantic - TWITTEROO.NET

  27. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too) | Geek 3 Web Articles

  28. Pingback: Smssy to Twttr to Twitter: A look back at what could have been | TechNewsDB

  29. Pingback: Check out these early names and logo designs for Twitter | New Mild

  30. Pingback: Smssy to Twttr to Twitter: A look back at what could have been | TechyTrend

  31. Pingback: Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too) | Barnes Technical Consulting Blog

  32. Pingback: Twitter quase se chamou Friendstalker, e quase teve estes logotipos | Google Mais Brasil

  33. Pingback: Friendstalker, il vero nome di Twitter | Socialandtech

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  35. Pingback: ..:: vortrus ::.. | Twitter Was Almost Called Smssy (and Almost Looked Awful, Too)

  36. Pingback: Cuando Twitter era Smssy: nombres y logotipos en sus inicios

  37. Pingback: Here are photos of Twitter's earliest logo design studies | Digital Trends

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  39. Pingback: Check out the evolution of the Twitter logo

  40. rumple says:

    Appreciate various other excellent publish. The area altogether different might any individual have that form of facts in such a great manner of writing? I have a business presentation in a few days, and i’m on the search for like facts.

  41. Sam says:

    Old will never be boring .becouse we never learn something without remember history . The world is changing too fast. We have to learne history.so we would not make the same mistake again&again.if “old is boring” Nick is boring.if old is boring we should not have any family,or love’s one in our life. Second God is old but he is not boring.&thank you

  42. Pingback: Twitter pernah dinamakan sebagai Smssy | TechoSocial

  43. Pingback: Hatching the Twitter Logo | Logo | ClubFlyers Magazine Articles on Logo

  44. Pingback: Smssy to Twttr to Twitter: A look back at what could have been | BaciNews

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