Musk's 'X' Twitter Rebrand Fails

Twitter's redesign under Elon Musk provokes controversy and confusion.

by Nouman Rasool
Musk's 'X' Twitter Rebrand Fails

The highly anticipated rebranding of Twitter by Elon Musk, its new owner, has spectacularly backfired amid relentless ridicule, design errors, and looming legal issues concerning trademarks. On Monday, chaos ensued outside Twitter's headquarters as workers began to dismantle the well-known logo, having been replaced by Musk with the letter 'X'

However, the procedure was halted due to the lack of necessary permits for the crane obstructing the street, causing only the letters 'er' to remain of the Twitter sign. The San Francisco Police Department confirmed that no laws were violated and the incident didn't warrant police intervention.

Musk's endeavor to rebrand Twitter, which he purchased for $44 billion in 2022, is proving to be a comedy of missteps. The move commenced with the removal of Twitter's iconic blue bird logo on Sunday and was soon followed by a significant plunge in the company's value, estimated between $4 billion to $20 billion.

Many critics have blasted the new design as bland and likened it to everything from an adult entertainment site logo to a human trafficking app. Comedian Adam Conover derided it as a desperate publicity stunt.

Trademark Troubles for 'X' Logo

In a tweet, Musk sought suggestions for a new 'X' logo, leading to the selection of a "minimalist art deco" icon.

However, the crowdsourced logo bears a striking resemblance to a generic Unicode character, making it difficult to trademark. Adding to the chaos, Meta and Microsoft both hold trademarks for similar versions of the 'X' symbol, suggesting potential legal disputes ahead.

Moreover, there could be copyright issues abroad, with Japanese users noting that the term "X Japan" is owned by a renowned J-rock group. Yet, despite these complications, a towering projection of the 'X' symbol was proudly displayed on Twitter's headquarters late Sunday.

Internally, bird-related merchandise has been removed, and conference rooms have been renamed to align with the 'X' theme. The 'Tweet' button and search bar with 'Search Twitter' prompts, however, remained unchanged, and continued to direct users to the platform.

Musk defended the rebranding as part of transforming Twitter into a more comprehensive communication and financial platform. Musk's acquisition and management of Twitter have been fraught with controversy. Massive layoffs and a push for a "hardcore" work culture have plagued the company, leading to operational hiccups, including occasional site crashes and even a toilet paper shortage at headquarters.

Furthermore, Musk’s dismissal of Twitter's previous content moderation policy, tailored exceptions to his liking, and his peculiar fondness for the concept of 'X' have been fodder for critics. The billionaire's 'X' obsession can be traced back to his cofounding of in 1999, which eventually merged and rebranded as PayPal.

Despite his predilection for the letter 'X', it seems this recent 'X' rebrand of Twitter is as welcome as an awkward late-night message to an ex.

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