Introducing the Mozilla Visual Identity Team

Saturday February 14th, 2004

One of the most striking aspects of Monday's Mozilla Firefox 0.8 release was the new logo. This graphic is the work of the Mozilla Visual Identity Team, part of the Mozilla Marketing Project. The Visual Identity Team is headed by Steven Garrity of silverorange, who was contacted by Mozilla Marketing lead Bart Decrem after writing document of Mozilla branding suggestions last year. Steven began to assemble a group of designers, including his coworkers Daniel Burka and Stephen DesRoches, to improve quality and consistency of the visual elements of the Mozilla products. The creators of Firefox's default Mac OS X theme, Kevin Gerich and Stephen Horlander, are also part of the team.

The actual Firefox logo itself was created by Jon Hicks of hicksdesign, who was recruited by Steven Garrity when he saw a set of Camino icons Jon had designed. The concept for the Firefox logo came from Daniel Burka and the final image is based on a sketch by Stephen DesRoches.

On their respective weblogs, Bart Decrem describes the reasons for starting the Visual Identity Team and Steven Garrity talks about how he put the group together and what they have done so far. More information about the design itself can be found in Jon Hicks's weblog post showing how the logo evolved, while Daniel Burka shares his views on the process and Stephen Desroches outlines his role. There's also a silverorange news item about the company's involvement with the Visual Identity Team.

#1 Great work

by dave532

Sunday February 15th, 2004 5:29 AM

I have to say that this is a great idea and will help the brand recognition of Firefox. With the addition of the installer in 0.8 plus Ben's recent checkin (not yet built by default) of the IE and Seamonkey profile migration code which will be in 0.9 there's only one thing I think the average (non technical) user needs for a successful 1.0 release and that is bundling of common plugins including flash, java, etc (as long as a build without these plugins is also available).

Of course there's probably other things that certain users would want or need but we're very close to a decent 1.0 for the masses - just remember to remove placeholder text like 'Cookies are delicious delicacies" :)

#4 Re: Great work

by Waldo_2

Sunday February 15th, 2004 12:41 PM

>remove placeholder text like >'Cookies are delicious delicacies" :)

Realistically - you're right.

Unrealistically - I think that's one of the best bits of text in the whole UI. Spunky, original, very Firefoxesque. It isn't just some boring "Cookies save preferences from the websites you visit.". This is Firefox, not an *explorer* or a *navigator*. As a result it's really in my opinion the best representative of the attitudes of the numerous people behind Firefox.

#2 New logo

by irve

Sunday February 15th, 2004 7:00 AM

The new logo was a nice touch, It looks so good on desktop that I almost consider switching Mozilla Suite to Firefox.

Jokes aside I'm glad that marketing is taking off.

#3 What next?

by permanentE

Sunday February 15th, 2004 10:58 AM

I'm sure the new VIT team already has a nice todo list, Thunderbird, Sunbird, more icons, more logos. There's also a huge branding problem with the birds vs the fox vs the reptiles, I'm sure they'll be involved in that.

But I think it would be great if they came out with a whole new theme for the 1.0 release. Something really slick and beautiful. I don't have anything against the current default theme, but it could always be improved.

#12 Re: What next?

by coldacid

Monday February 16th, 2004 6:25 AM

Sunbird needs a lot of work before MVIT should take a look at it. Especially with fixing the UI and having it be more than an extension on a modified Firefox. It could use a new name, too, since 'fox has taken the edge off of *bird names.

#13 Then again...

by coldacid

Monday February 16th, 2004 6:26 AM

Seeing that part of the MVIT mission is UI design, perhaps they can help with at least that part.

#18 Thunderbird as a name

by rkfoster

Thursday February 19th, 2004 9:29 AM

I'm not involved in the development of the Mozilla products, just a user who switched and can't find any reason to go back to anything else for both Firefox(firebird) and Thunderbird. Initially, before I used them, I would confuse Firebird and Thunderbird, which is the browser and which is the email client. Now that we have Firefox that confusion is no longer likely for others.

But as to the name Thunderbird, I think it is highly appropriate for an email client. If I remember my myths correctly the Thunderbird was a messenger from the Great Father in Native American tradition. I may be wrong about that but still, the idea of a bird thundering in with your latest messages fits an eamil client. Also, I think there are fewer "Thunderbird" products out there that would result in a conflict.

#5 Thanks, and good idea :)

by Jugalator

Sunday February 15th, 2004 1:13 PM

So *these* were those behind the nice logo :)

I'd like to go as far as to say that this team is not only great, but *necessary* for Mozilla to go beyond mostly usage by computer enthusiasts. Teams like these are often missing in extremely well made open source projects, and it's often I have found out about them in forums or Google searches.

Bring Firefox to the people, and don't wait for people to notice Firefox! ;)

#6 Bring Firefox to the people

by pkb351

Sunday February 15th, 2004 5:07 PM


"Bring Firefox to the people, and don't wait for people to notice Firefox! ;)"

I couldn't agree with you more. I wonder if the marketing team will be making deals with companies to have FireFox and Thunderbird (when they reach 1.0 of course) be included on software disks for distribution.

A deal could be made with Apple to include FireFox and Thunderbird on the OS X instilation disks, and deals made with computer manufactures such as Dell, IBM, Compaq, etc.) to pre-install Mozilla products. This would certianly bring Firefox/Thunderbird to the peoplem. Many users would give Mozilla products a try if they do not have to first search them out and struggle with the instalation. A good number would stay with Mozilla once they try it (and see thow much better it is than IE ;) ). Though with pre-installation comes the thorny issue of who will offer the support of the Mozilla products. OEMs may not want to have to support (i.e. by telephone, web, or email) any more software than they have to since it drives their costs up.

I like what I have seen so far from the marketing/branding team so far. The main issue as I see it, and as I stated in the above paragraph, is getting the browser to the people. Here is one more example about how important getting the browser to the people is. During the early days of the internet Apple (before the MS deal to use IE) provided both IE and Netscape on the instalation disks enven though Apple could have supplied one with the understanding if you wanted another browser you could get it off the internet. When Apple began to only supply IE on the instalation disks suddenly Netscape usage dropped from being the most used browser on the Mac to second place behind IE. I am speaking of the days when Netscape was by far the best Mac browser with loyal users. Netscape began loosing user share primarily by being dropped from the instalation disks. All this occured before Netscape shot itself in the foot by taking so long to update to version 6.02 (the first semi usable version). Get the browser to the people easily (preferably pre-installed) and many will use it and a large number will find that they prefer it to IE.

Just my 2-1/3cnd cents!

#7 Re: Bring Firefox to the people

by remline

Sunday February 15th, 2004 6:43 PM

I doubt Apple will include Firefox on OSX installation discs, considering they have invested in creating Safari. :-) But nonetheless, anyone not using IE will help push webmasters into creating standards compliant web pages, which will help Firefox and freedom in the long run.

#8 How about..

by Smigit

Sunday February 15th, 2004 10:28 PM

Maybe they could create some desktops or screensavers also so u can brand ur computer and browsed =)

#11 Re: More info.

by aha

Monday February 16th, 2004 6:21 AM

Do you mean wallpaper with "some desktops"? Something like

#17 Re: Re: More info.

by Smigit

Wednesday February 18th, 2004 5:42 AM

Yeah sorry what was i thinking. I reckon they should have some on the official site, even one or two might be nice, althought it would be pointless and create extra navigation.

#9 Surprising

by ccseifert

Monday February 16th, 2004 4:22 AM

While I certainly enjoyed the look of the new logo, I was quite surprised to see that the creator(s) were people other than Jairo Boudewyn. He has created icons for Mozilla and Firebird for Stardock's ObjectDock program as well as wallpapers that are -strikingly- similar to the new Firefox icon. One example is:

#10 red panda

by bhuot

Monday February 16th, 2004 5:15 AM

Nice final touch for a great project. Firefox finally has surpassed all other browsers, at least on the Mac platform. Most importantly is the launch time and stability - not mentioned very often, but which are most important (after rendering). A cute furry animal will bring in a lot of regular users. My mom loves red pandas or firefoxes and I can now recommend it to her.

#14 Why was the "about" screen changed?

by neilparks1

Monday February 16th, 2004 7:26 AM

Why doesn't the About screen in Firefox look as nice as the orig design? (see "09.02.04 Branding Firefox")

#15 Re: Why was the "about" screen changed?

by AlexBishop

Monday February 16th, 2004 8:46 AM

Mine looks the same. It just has more copyright information and a different user-agent string.


#16 Re: Re: Why was the "about" screen changed?

by neilparks1

Tuesday February 17th, 2004 9:14 AM

Yes, it does. Seems to be theme-dependent. I didn't realize that till just now.

#19 Great design work

by SLHelper

Friday February 20th, 2004 3:40 AM

The new Firefox icons and buttons are sweet. One small point though: the word "web" on the buttons is lower case when it should be uppercase.

Satan's Little Helper.