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Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Body Ad Steals Twitters Logo [updated]

I was walking by Mastercuts in Eden Prairie mall yesterday and I saw the Twitter bird in a window advertisement for Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree products.

See for yourself.

Tea Tree Body Advertisement


Twitter Logo & Branding

Twitter Logo & Branding

Looks to me like someone has some explaining to do.


enSue has pointed out that the bird also shows up in a WordPress theme by Randa Clay.


Bluebird WordPress Theme

Bluebird WordPress Theme

This is leading us to believe that the bird is a stock graphic available for anyone to use.  This also means that there is no Twitter bird, just a bird that shows up on Twitter’s homepage.  

If you head over to iStockPhoto, helloyiying is more than likely who created the original graphics.  This artist has many Twitter like settings and even a graphic of the now famous, fail whale.  Fail whale, and the bird above, no longer seem to be available though.  Maybe someone bought them outright.

Mystery Solved???

13 Responses

  1. enSue says:

    I’ve seen that bird and branch also used in a WordPress theme. Maybe it’s a purchasable stock item available for commercial and non-commercial use? I’m very curious to know what Twitter and the original artist think of this predicament.

  2. They’re using the same branch and everything… it’s either the same artist, or something fishy is going on.

  3. Thomas says:

    I wouldn’t think that such a popular service such as Twitter would use stock items for its identity. But I guess it’s a possibility.

  4. Thomas says:

    The WordPress theme is from Randa Clay. I guess this sounds like it’s a stock graphic element and that there is really no Twitter bird.

  5. Randa Clay says:

    Yep – it’s a stock image from iStockPhoto. I’ve had lots of people email me saying that Twitter stole my illustration. 🙂

  6. enSue says:

    Interesting. Thanks for posting the update on your quick detective work.

  7. I guess it makes it easier to make a twitter clone especially since you can use their artwork on your site.

  8. No twitter bird? There are so few things to believe in these days. I am really sad to hear there is no bird

    • stuart says:

      Stumbled on this. Say I bought the bird image before twitter and I had royalty free use. Then if someone has bought the image outright as was suggested does this mean that I can’t use it royalty free anymore? Surely they can’t do that?

  9. stuart says:

    Ok – few searches on istockphoto and its nailed 🙂 – the artist is at

    Scroll to the bottom of the page to see his work

  1. 11/23/2008

    […] visiting this blog, I was actually surprised to see that a big company would consider purchasing stock art versus […]

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