Design insights & tutorials.

The Making of the TweetBacks Logo

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So around 4:30 pm yesterday, I had originally planned to catch up on my emails and starred items in my Outlook. I had been meaning to do that for a few days now. However, that didn’t happen. Such is the case just about every day, I was easily distracted by something more urgent that I had not planned for in advance. What I will tell you is one of the strange coincidences that you’ll find working as a designer these days.

Around midday, multiple twitter friends posted about this new wordpress plugin called “Tweetbacks” so I checked it out and thought it was quite a nifty idea. The plugin basically adds “trackbacks” to your post from people who link your post on twitter. And it also tracks all the people that ReTweet it too. The plugin was created by Dan Zarrella in response to a Mashable article about how Twitter will change blog design in 2009. I followed Dan on twitter and gave him props on the plugin and wanted to give him a few suggestions. He gave me his AIM screen name and we chatted about how it could be improved. He asked me if I would be interested in doing the logo for him. I said of course!

Normally, when I design a logo for someone, I try to get inside their business and see what it is THEY see; what they envision. I have them write me some points about their target market and all that. But when I asked Dan those questions, he simply said “you are the expert at that stuff.” So then I looked at the time and it was nearing 5:00 pm. I had only 1 hour left in the work day and I decided not to make this a big production. I just wanted to bang out something quick and send it off to him. I already had the idea he wanted a classic “cartoony” twitter bird with a symbol that stood for “TweetBacks.”

This meant that I had to think fast. There wasn’t time for showing 3 logo concepts and explaining in any detail what they stood for. And this wasn’t your typical paying job. I was doing it as a favor in support of the plugin and he was going to credit us for the design and link to our site. So, I opened up Illustrator and started putting some stuff together. I knew that the way Wordpress displayed trackbacks was with the characters [...] surrounding the link [...] like that. So I was going to do a spin off of that.
sqbrackets
sqbird
sq-almost-doneI decided to use {…} curly braces and make the dots sort of form a smile to add to the friendliness and social nature of Twitter. I chose the typeface Mercury Bold for my {..} because I just love the way it makes those curly braces.

The bird was just a few vector shapes pieced together and the color scheme was taken from the blue twitter bird he already had on his site.

I surrounded the artwork with a square box to make it more iconic that could fit well anywhere. At first it was just a blue box, but I wanted to add a second color, just in case he wanted to build a dedicated website around TweetBacks in the future, he could pull from my secondary color to accent various parts on the site. So the second color turned into a grassy hill under the blue sky.

And I chose the font Mrs. Eaves Petite Caps for the word “TweetBacks” because it fit nice under the square. I had the idea of using a solid serif typeface the whole time, so I didn’t put a whole lot of thinking behind it, other than it looked nice.

In the meantime, while I worked on his logo, Dan was busy wrangling lots of big blogs to post about it. He told me ProBlogger posted it and he was scheduled on Smashing Magazine the following day. I had better act quick if I wanted to get this logo up on his site for maximum exposure! So I saved out a proof and sent it off.

He loved it immediately! Whew, no revisions. It was 6:00 pm and my wife Kim, who works as office manager here, was just about ready to go. Dan said he Mashable was going to post about TweetBacks and he needed a black and white version of the logo. So I went back into Illustrator and made both a grayscale and black and white version and send the vector files off to Dan. It was 6:20 pm and Kim was patiently waiting for me. Thanks Kim!

finalfinal

So later that night I checked Dan’s blog and he had posted the logo and gave credit to Go Media as planned. So, that’s how a crazy logo design process can work sometimes. It was needed in an absolute hurry and he wanted something cool and sophisticated that represented his plugin well. It was my pleasure to be able to offer him my idea and carry it out. I like how it came out and I’m really excited to see it being used.

About the Author, Jeff Finley

I'm a partner at Go Media, a Cleveland web design and development firm. We also specialize in print design and branding. I started Weapons of Mass Creation Fest and wrote the book Thread's Not Dead, teaching artists and designers how to start a clothing company. In my spare time, I write songs and play drums in Campfire Conspiracy. I'm a happy husband and an aspiring b-boy and lucid dreamer.
Discover More by Jeff Finley

Discussion

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  • http://twitter.com/Adam_Wagner/statuses/1107154372 Adam_Wagner (Adam_Wagner)

    want to see how Jeff made the tweetbacks logo? he explains it all here: http://tinyurl.com/8axfrk

  • http://twitter.com/Adam_Wagner/statuses/1107154372 Adam_Wagner (Adam_Wagner)

    want to see how Jeff made the tweetbacks logo? he explains it all here: http://tinyurl.com/8axfrk

  • http://twitter.com/tdenisdesigns/statuses/1107162296 tdenisdesigns (Tyler Denis)

    RT @adellecharles RT @Go_Media: New blog post: The Making of the TweetBacks Logo http://tinyurl.com/8axfrk

  • http://twitter.com/tdenisdesigns/statuses/1107162296 tdenisdesigns (Tyler Denis)

    RT @adellecharles RT @Go_Media: New blog post: The Making of the TweetBacks Logo http://tinyurl.com/8axfrk

  • Marcus X

    Jeff,

    Great narrative of the whole experience in creating the Tweetbacks logo. I love the art of communication via Twitter (social networks), especially when the objective is clearly achieved. This is truly a Twitter Soc-Net(So-sh-net) Success Story…I’ve done the similar favor for a fellow Twittee who requested a new logo for her blog. I used 2 Arsenal pack vectors in producing it. She loved it! I’ll Twitpic it soon for views.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Marcus X

    Jeff,

    Great narrative of the whole experience in creating the Tweetbacks logo. I love the art of communication via Twitter (social networks), especially when the objective is clearly achieved. This is truly a Twitter Soc-Net(So-sh-net) Success Story…I’ve done the similar favor for a fellow Twittee who requested a new logo for her blog. I used 2 Arsenal pack vectors in producing it. She loved it! I’ll Twitpic it soon for views.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Marcus X

    Jeff,

    Great narrative of the whole experience in creating the Tweetbacks logo. I love the art of communication via Twitter (social networks), especially when the objective is clearly achieved. This is truly a Twitter Soc-Net(So-sh-net) Success Story…I’ve done the similar favor for a fellow Twittee who requested a new logo for her blog. I used 2 Arsenal pack vectors in producing it. She loved it! I’ll Twitpic it soon for views.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    the first two comments are tweetbacks – now isn’t that perfect?

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    the first two comments are tweetbacks – now isn’t that perfect?

  • http://www.gomedia.us Adam Wagner

    the first two comments are tweetbacks – now isn’t that perfect?

  • ghost4hire

    I noticed Smashing Magazine put out an article today about the plug in and failed to use your logo.

    Their version of a bird lying on its back is pretty weak.

  • http://www.travelrelic.com Garrett

    Now, that’s efficiency! Great design – I’m sure it will pay dividends beyond expectation.

  • http://www.travelrelic.com Garrett

    Now, that’s efficiency! Great design – I’m sure it will pay dividends beyond expectation.

  • http://www.travelrelic.com Garrett

    Now, that’s efficiency! Great design – I’m sure it will pay dividends beyond expectation.

  • Simon H.

    Nice explanation and plugin !

  • http://www.williambiwer.com Bill Biwer

    Nice logo for the time alloted. Works well that you have also implemented the plugin on GoMediazine as well.

  • http://www.williambiwer.com Bill Biwer

    Nice logo for the time alloted. Works well that you have also implemented the plugin on GoMediazine as well.

  • http://www.williambiwer.com Bill Biwer

    Nice logo for the time alloted. Works well that you have also implemented the plugin on GoMediazine as well.

  • http://www.dooms-day-device.com Puke

    Sometimes pressure can help us not over-think something.
    I often do my best stuff while in a hurry.

    It’s not always true, but sometimes it is.

  • http://www.dooms-day-device.com Puke

    Sometimes pressure can help us not over-think something.
    I often do my best stuff while in a hurry.

    It’s not always true, but sometimes it is.

  • http://www.dooms-day-device.com Puke

    Sometimes pressure can help us not over-think something.
    I often do my best stuff while in a hurry.

    It’s not always true, but sometimes it is.

  • VRizo

    Nice, clean, and simple. If you had more time to work on it, I don’t think it would turn out better honestly.

    It’s funny, though, that under the pressure your mind defaulted to your last project (at least the last you posted) with the curly brace on the business card. :P So, what’s next for the noble curly brace?

  • VRizo

    Nice, clean, and simple. If you had more time to work on it, I don’t think it would turn out better honestly.

    It’s funny, though, that under the pressure your mind defaulted to your last project (at least the last you posted) with the curly brace on the business card. :P So, what’s next for the noble curly brace?

  • VRizo

    Nice, clean, and simple. If you had more time to work on it, I don’t think it would turn out better honestly.

    It’s funny, though, that under the pressure your mind defaulted to your last project (at least the last you posted) with the curly brace on the business card. :P So, what’s next for the noble curly brace?

  • Jhay

    Great! Simple but amazing!

  • ghost4hire

    I noticed Smashing Magazine put out an article today about the plug in and failed to use your logo.

    Their version of a bird lying on its back is pretty weak.

  • ghost4hire

    I noticed Smashing Magazine put out an article today about the plug in and failed to use your logo.

    Their version of a bird lying on its back is pretty weak.

  • Simon H.

    Nice explanation and plugin !

  • Simon H.

    Nice explanation and plugin !

  • http://www.gomedia.us Wilson

    What makes this clever is because you are an expert in blogging and realized the pattern of [...] on the WP postbacks you were able to use that insight creatively.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Wilson

    What makes this clever is because you are an expert in blogging and realized the pattern of [...] on the WP postbacks you were able to use that insight creatively.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Wilson

    What makes this clever is because you are an expert in blogging and realized the pattern of [...] on the WP postbacks you were able to use that insight creatively.

  • http://colorburned.com Colorburned

    Logo looks great and the plugin looks pretty cool as well.

    I do wonder however if the Twitter comments could possibly start to overwhelm a site’s comments area.

  • http://colorburned.com Colorburned

    Logo looks great and the plugin looks pretty cool as well.

    I do wonder however if the Twitter comments could possibly start to overwhelm a site’s comments area.

  • http://colorburned.com Colorburned

    Logo looks great and the plugin looks pretty cool as well.

    I do wonder however if the Twitter comments could possibly start to overwhelm a site’s comments area.

  • Nathaniel

    The black and white one kind of looks likes some strange animal clapping instead of a bird, great nonetheless.

  • Nathaniel

    The black and white one kind of looks likes some strange animal clapping instead of a bird, great nonetheless.

  • Nathaniel

    The black and white one kind of looks likes some strange animal clapping instead of a bird, great nonetheless.

  • Jhay

    Great! Simple but amazing!

  • Jhay

    Great! Simple but amazing!

  • http://vsbl.carbonmade.com Pieter

    Nice work, I think the bird looks a little like a ‘Back’-arrow.
    Am I weird now?

    Good work :)

  • http://vsbl.carbonmade.com Pieter

    Nice work, I think the bird looks a little like a ‘Back’-arrow.
    Am I weird now?

    Good work :)

  • http://vsbl.carbonmade.com Pieter

    Nice work, I think the bird looks a little like a ‘Back’-arrow.
    Am I weird now?

    Good work :)

  • http://www.clintonsband.com Levi

    You’re a stud. Loved the detailed story behind how it all went down.

  • http://www.clintonsband.com Levi

    You’re a stud. Loved the detailed story behind how it all went down.

  • http://www.clintonsband.com Levi

    You’re a stud. Loved the detailed story behind how it all went down.

  • Ruben

    Great story, seems like we all have those moments :)

    Question: Now that you have time, do you ever get the urge to go back and tweak the logo? (not that you need to or anything)

  • Ruben

    Great story, seems like we all have those moments :)

    Question: Now that you have time, do you ever get the urge to go back and tweak the logo? (not that you need to or anything)

  • Ruben

    Great story, seems like we all have those moments :)

    Question: Now that you have time, do you ever get the urge to go back and tweak the logo? (not that you need to or anything)

  • http://www.timothybsmith.com Tim Smith

    Great logo! Great idea!

  • http://www.timothybsmith.com Tim Smith

    Great logo! Great idea!

  • http://www.timothybsmith.com Tim Smith

    Great logo! Great idea!

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  • http://forthelose.org Wordpress Themes

    Nice and simple tutorial, just how I like them. It’s always interesting to see how experienced Photoshop users create their works. Nice one.

  • http://forthelose.org Wordpress Themes

    Nice and simple tutorial, just how I like them. It’s always interesting to see how experienced Photoshop users create their works. Nice one.

  • http://forthelose.org Wordpress Themes

    Nice and simple tutorial, just how I like them. It’s always interesting to see how experienced Photoshop users create their works. Nice one.

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  • thing

    check out my twitter logo :-)
    http://jela.hu/?p=330

  • thing

    check out my twitter logo :-)
    http://jela.hu/?p=330

  • http://www.logodesignpros.com/ Logo Design

    ha @ tweetbacks o.o

  • http://www.sharpe-books.co.uk/ Richard Sharpe

    I lived the logo lots

  • http://www.clubpenguincheats.me/ ClubPenguinCheats

    Now that you have time, do you ever get the urge to go back and tweak the logo?

  • JMT

    It's always interesting to see how experienced Photoshop users create their works.

  • Matt

    Thanks for this nice work!
    dizi izle

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  • http://www.facebook.com/gothicamethyst Amber Rowe Flowers

    Very nice! Simple, but perfectly fits with the ability to be used multiple ways.