Monday, August 22, 2016

Mozilla's new logo ideas

The folks over at Mozilla (makers of Firefox) are redesigning their logo—because apparently just having a wordmark isn't good enough. That said, maybe it's time to retire the dinosaur head.

In the spirit of openness, Mozilla has posted a series of logo concepts to their blog and invited the public to review and share their opinions. I am doing so here.

Choosing a logo is tricky business. When you ask business owners to talk about their logo, they want their logo to be the next Nike swoosh or the next Apple apple. Everyone recognizes the Nike swoosh:

But the truth is that not every organization needs a logo. And in Mozilla's case, my opinion is that maybe they don't need to update their logo.

Mozilla wants to tell a story with their updated logo. From the Mozilla home page, Mozilla highlights their impact and innovations:
Our impact

Working at the grassroots and policy levels, we teach web literacy, provide tools and advocate on behalf of every individual who values an internet built on fairness, inclusion and respect.

  • Stand Up For Encryption
  • Teach The Web
  • Try the Lean Data Toolkit

Our innovations

Using the web as the platform, we build open, innovative technologies that allow developers to work free of closed, corporate ecosystems and create faster, safer web experiences for us all.

  • Gaming on the Web
  • Virtual Reality Platform
  • Servo
  • Rust
That's a lot to encapsulate in a logo, if Mozilla wants to embody these principles in their new logo. But they gave it a good try.

I'll leave it to you to review the candidates. For myself, I think the best option is their "Protocol" logo:
That's a simple logo that represents both the "Mozilla" wordmark and reminds users that they are about the Internet.

And the new logo has something else going for it: colors. I once wrote in my other blog "Coaching Buttons" about color choice. For example, your tie color says a lot about you. This "Protocol" logo is in blue, which reminds people of harmony and working together. From my other post:

If you want to reassure others in a meeting, wear a blue tie. From the article: "Blue ties are a good investment because the colour reminds people of the sky and ocean, which has a calming effect, said Lindsay. … Patterned blue ties tend to give off a classic professional feel and can be worn in a global business environment without sending the wrong message. A subtle blue can be “soft and introspective” while a cobalt or royal blue can help you stand out just the right amount, she said. “Dark blues are often reminiscent of well-respected pilot uniforms. Navy blue is a trusted colour and gives us confidence."

So that's my recommendation to Mozilla: if you're really going to update the logo, this one seems best to me. But whatever logo you choose, I encourage you to use pleasant shades of blue.
Nike swoosh: Wikimedia (public domain)
Mozilla logo: Mozilla blog ("Protocol" logo)


  1. One big problem with the Protocol design... to me, it looks too much like the new logo recently introduced by the CURL project... the letters "curl://" rendered in blue.

    1. Yeah, that's what instantly came to mind as well. I also don't like this logo at all, it's looks very boring and clunky. Just like the curl logo.

  2. I hadn't realized Curl updated their logo! Looking at the curl website, the Mozilla "Protocol" logo seems very very similar.

    1. They said the same on the Mozilla design pages when it was pointed out. Which should be a bit embarrassing, given that the reason *I* know about the CURL logo is that Planet Mozilla recently (June, I think) ran a series of blog posts by Daniel Stenberg, discussing the design of their new logo.