Mozilla's 7 new "open design" logo concepts(

over 7 years ago from Tyler Deitz, web at iFixit

  • Adrien Maston, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    I think it's very interesting, so here is a lengthy comment. You can mentally add « I think that … » in the beginning of almost every sentence. I did not for the sake of brevity and not being overly repetitive.

    The Eye

    The intention behind this route is valid and straightforward but the execution is miles away. This really says « Big Brother is watching you » and « Sauron’s Evil Eye will find you ». The black and yellow does not help. I get the « watch out for you » sentiment but making a connection to this logo is more of an intellectual process, whereas the evil eye is a gut feeling, instantaneous like a reflex.

    Two eyes might help shifting from internet dictator to internet’s friendly Sully. Or teeth (see t-shirt). Not convinced this would be the right look anyway. It does take Mozilla’s history into account though. And you could argue that it makes sense to look like a friendly bestiary when most people knows you for something called Firefox.

    I suspect that the designers at johnson banks knows it all and that this route is made public as a « let’s check what people see in this one », that’s the whole point about the open design process.

    The Connector

    Clear winner for me. Strong concept and execution that embrace the values of Mozilla in a broad non-geeky way. It has an Olympics feel in it (in a good way) which says a lot about celebrating humanism and human potentials. It also takes multiple shapes without looking forced, making it flexible, even more coherent with the concept and very expressive (the « Maker Party » version is spot on). The black background version is a nod to NeXT, nice touch for an internet related entity like Mozilla.

    The « Developer Network » one (and « All Hands » one, to a lesser extent) is really subpar compared to the others.

    Not so found about the Privacy, Open Systems etc. They look kinda random:

    • Privacy works in an (good) obvious way.
    • Open Systems works by comparison to Privacy but does not make much sense alone.
    • Web Literacy happens to form a « W » but is the only one depicted by a letter which feels like « that’s the only idea we had ».
    • Speaking Out may be some kind of open mouth. It mostly feels like « we had to pick a symbol from the logo, so… »

    Taking these symbols (if they are needed at all) from parts of the logo doesn’t add much and is far too restrictive.

    Overall it’s a solid starting point with lots of obvious ways to tweak it in its current form and see if it feels better (colors, thickness, ends and joins shape, backgrounds… ). The stroke width could use some work to look correct. Right now, the « o » looks thicker and « m » thinner even though they are not.

    The Open Button

    The most uninspired of the whole to me. From the concept to the execution. Yet another smiling figure. Smiling but looking sad. It’s vague and says « digital tech stuff » in a dated way more than anything else. It looks extracted from an 80’s signposting system: men’s room, information, locker, baby changing room... Or an on/off switch on a tape recorder. Is it bad enough to switch Mozilla off ? I certainly hope not. Then the type looks mismatched. And why is the « Not closed » figure angry ?


    Feels obvious in a geeky way. Should Mozilla’s public face speak in a geeky way. I don’t think so. I think it should be broader.

    It definitely works but I’m not convinced it’s the right tone for Mozilla to adopt when they need to make a statement of how great they still are to less and less people using Firefox.

    The current execution looks really Microsoft-y. The blue doesn’t help. The single color versions of the full name work better. They don’t emphasize M:// (or is it oza ?) and it’s not lacking. The whole thing, with it’s safe blue and Helvetica bold + light is too quiet.


    Very obvious execution of an obvious concept. Not that it has to be a bad thing but in the particular case, the mariage of the symbol and the type really screams designer’s underground t-shirt brand if I may be caricatural. It sets it in a a trendy realm, which could end up being a very short-lived one.

    Impossible M

    Nice concept but like the « Wireframe », the execution, from the patterns and stroke/fill color choices to the font family and tracking, really sets it in trendyland with all its downsides: there are tons of logos and graphics like it right now as it’s one of the current best-seller to look « edgy », it doesn’t say much and it could be over 6 months from now.

    All the derived material, like the WebMaker, MozFest etc. symbols and catch phrase posters, are just that times 1000.

    Flik Flak

    Makes for cool illustrations and goodies but for a very complicated logo. Like with the other routes, the derived symbols (MozFest, All Hands, Speaking Out etc.) look forced and superfluous.

    It’s hard to decipher but it doesn’t lack in originality which is really what ties it to the concept behind it. It has a slight dated look to it though and I am suspecting the color scheme.

    It would be a shame to ditch it without some further rework though.

    2 points