Johnson Banks reveals first designs for “open-source” Mozilla rebrand

The non-profit company behind free internet browser Mozilla Firefox is asking for staff and public input to help determine its new brand identity.

Johnson Banks has unveiled seven potential brand identities for Mozilla, as part of its ongoing “open-source” rebrand.

The search for the not-for-profit software company’s new identity was first announced in June, and it has been taking feedback from the Mozilla community and members of the public since then.

Seven initial themes were created by Johnson Banks, all exploring different facets of Mozilla’s advocacy for shared and open-source internet access and software.

More open and positive message

After further refining these themes in response to feedback that suggested “upping the positivity and doing more with the whole principle of ‘open’”, seven visual identities and their accompanying assets have been made available to view on the Mozilla Open Design blog.

The designs include everything from a simple typographic mark to a modern version of its former Dinosaur logo, and public comments on them are already coming thick and fast.

“Our work on the narrative has changed a lot as we learn more about them,” says Michael Johnson, founder and creative director of Johnson Banks.

“It’s debatable whether some of our other clients, either blue-chip or not-for-profit, could handle this – but this is unprecedented as an approach. Perhaps it will push others to be more open.”

We outline all of the proposed design concepts below.

1) The Eye


This abstract eye design plays on the not-for-profit’s former Dinosaur logo, which is still used internally.

2) The Connector

The consultancy has experimented with Mozilla’s name, using intertwining letters inspired by circuitry and tribal patterns.

3) The Open Buttonjb_Mozilla_design_pres_edit_3.key
This button pictogram is designed to represent Mozilla’s commitment to making the internet “open to everyone on an equal basis”.

4) Protocoljb_Mozilla_design_pres_edit_3.key
Alluding to the not-for-profit’s longevity, this symbol is intended to show that the not-for-profit is “at the core of the internet”.

5) Wireframe World

This concept highlights Mozilla’s place within “the enormity of the internet”, forming an “M” symbol out of a series of 3D grid systems.

6) The Impossible

Another simple typographical mark, this “impossible” design gives a nod to computer graphics and optical illusions.

7) Flik Flak

As an extension of the former dinosaur logo, this visual identity builds a character out of isometric shapes, also spelling out the name “Mozilla”.

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  • Richard August 28, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    The logo should be aligned to the brief and analysed accordingly. The Eye loses out on legibility. The Connector feels wrong – it’s a puzzle, too young, too complex and the name isn’t prominent enough – tribal patterns – what relevance has that? The Open button is like a game console icon; again the rationale given is the sort of thing gives design consultants a bad name; its pretentious twaddle. Nos 5, 6 and 7 are simply too complex, too playful, tricky for all-round reproduction and irrelevant. Protocol works for me: it’s simple, clever, and relevant. It’s entertaining enough without trying to do the work the rest of the visual identity should do. Design agencies should only present one solution ie the idea they believe works best, and be able to justify why it is fit for purpose. This ‘referendum’ asking people (who have not seen the brief) to vote on purely superficial grounds, with no knowledge of the business of brand identity, shows a lack of confidence from both the agency and client. Leave it to the experts to make sure that every angle is thought through. One that delivers a rational, considered and meaningful logo that fulfils the brief with creative flair and intelligence.

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