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The mind behind ‘Other Birds as the Orioles Logo’ talks the account’s inspiration and his least favorite bird

This account will be your new favorite follow.

The Baltimore Orioles logo is a relatively simple design. It’s a two-toned oriole, accented with white touches, smiling and wearing an Orioles hat. “I enjoy baseball!” it says, while not seeming too weirdly excited about it. It’s just a logo that has stemmed from the same relative idea for decades now, even as it undergoes the usual permutations that every logo must suffer season after season.

So it doesn’t make a ton of sense why the ‘Other Birds as the Orioles Logo’ Twitter account is such a satisfying thing. The account, run by WTA designer Michael Taylor, exists to do exactly what it sounds like: to alter the design of the existing logo so it looks like other types of birds. Yet it’s kind of mesmerizing, the perfect balance between creative and familiar, and one of my new favorite things on the escalating demonic cesspool that is Twitter.

Taylor tweeted out the idea as a joke a few days ago and now it exists, because sometimes the internet can still be good. Each various design isn’t a complete overhaul of the logo. A few color changes here, some different feathers there, and a beak change to polish things off if necessary. It’s a whole lot of fun, and if you’re a scientist (or just at heart) you’ll also appreciate his use of the correct ornithological names alongside the common name for each bird.

I talked to him about how this idea came to him, how long he plans on doing it, and what other logos he thinks have similar potential.

How did the idea come about?

I really can’t place my finger on the exact spark. For some reason last week I remembered, and tweeted out a quick concept I did waiting for a flight of the Blue Jays and Cardinals logo in that style. Then I guess I was thinking about it, and tweeted this that was 100 percent just a joke and I had no intention to actually do it.

I was driving home from Tennessee and got thinking about playing the Out of the Park baseball game when I got back to Florida, and as a graphic designer, I can make any team look like how I want. I thought of doing a weird bird logo as a quick one off team, and it spiraled to a point texting a friend saying how funny certain birds would look in that smug looking Oriole bird style.

About how long does it take for you to do each different bird?

Only about 15 minutes, there’s only a few moving parts to each one. The more beaks I make the easier it’ll be to change as they go. As it’s blown up I get comments along the lines of “its amazing what people spend their time doing” but I’ve done way more work for things that don’t get any sort of reaction on Twitter so I can spare 15 minutes and a laugh.

Were you a bird lover before this, or did the idea lead you to do bird research for each design?

I’ve never been a bird person before this, I had a bird feeder once and that’s about the extent of birdwatching or anything! I think i’ve learned more about birds in the last three days than I ever have before. People keep suggesting birds and I’ll look it up since the name looks like gibberish and it’s a bird I’ve seen a hundred times. The Sand Plover comes to mind as one I had no idea the actual name of, but they’re all over beaches here.

Do you have a least favorite bird?

The ones that shit on my car.

How many templates are you working off of for the various designs? A lot of them seem close with just a few tweaks (which is time saving, I would assume).

I think I’m at about 10 templates now, and each bird is a little different but I’ll generalize if there isn’t much of a difference. Then the one-off ones like the pelican probably won’t get used again unless I do a different pelican.

How long do you plan on continuing? There are a lot of birds.

There are SO many birds! The tweet I referenced making earlier makes it seem like i have aspirations to do every bird ever. A quick Google shows an oddly specific amount of 10,000 species of birds.

I’ll hit the major well known birds that I think will get a lot of retweets. I doubt people will care if I don’t do 20 canaries with minor changes to each, you know? I see everyone’s suggestions and it’ll keep me entertained to know there’s a niche market for this type of thing, I guess!

What’s your favorite so far?

My favorite is without a doubt the Kingfisher (ed. note: mine too!). It’s such a pretty bird and I did that one solely because of the color, and it’s at the fourth most retweets as of right now.

If the Orioles were to adopt one of them which one would you choose?

The Orioles have two minor league teams — the Delmarva Shorebirds and Aberdeen Ironbirds — with bird mascots so I’m starting to wonder why they haven’t made a logo to put on merch.

Are there any other team logos (any sport) that you think it would be fun to do this with?

The Padres’ Swinging Friar logo as different occupations would be great if I wasn’t so bad at human logos. Imagine a Swinging Teacher, or Starbucks Barista. Now that would be some major time wasting.