Web browser Firefox is undergoing a rebrand, and has published two possible identity systems on its website, to gather the public’s feedback on the designs.
Firefox is owned by Mozilla, a free and open-source software company that lets people use its browser for free.
The rebrand comes as Firefox is extending its services from a web browser to other apps and services, including simpler screen-shot and file-sharing tools, and voice control and virtual reality tools that will enable people to access the internet, with the aim of “helping people to be more efficient, safer and in control of their time online”, says Mozilla.
“This new brand is an extension of the Firefox browser brand that will enable us to bring a whole family of new products and services to market in a way that builds on the established brand,” says Tim Murray, creative director at Mozilla. “[We want] consumers to identify and associate our new products and services.”
Mozilla is leading on the rebrand, and originally commissioned three different design teams to create Firefox brand concepts.
This includes Firefox’s in-house user experience (UX) design team, London-based branding studio Hicks Design and San Francisco-based digital studio Ramotion.
The ideas proposed by Firefox’s in-house team and by Hicks Design have now been merged into the first proposed design, incorporating influences from the existing Firefox logo and also fire imagery, says Murray.
Ramotion’s concept is the second proposed design, which uses a fire icon as inspiration and started with a “completely blank slate”, Murray adds.
The result is two design systems, incorporating a similar graphic style and colour palette, but with different icons and symbols.
They both use a bright colour palette of orange, red, blue, green, purple and pink, which is part of the Photon Design System – Firefox’s graphic and UX design guidelines.
Each system is centred around a main brand icon, which would be used across most marketing such as on app stores. This is an abstract diamond icon in one, and a fire icon in the other.
The design systems also include general purpose browser icons set in various colours, which would be used across desktops; special browser icons, to represent Firefox’s new browsers currently in development, including its virtual reality browser Firefox Reality and privacy-focused mobile browser Firefox Focus; and icons for new apps and services that Firefox is exploring. These are “metaphorical” and include rockets, foxes, keylocks, and mail symbols, alongside more abstract ones.
Murray says that both design systems aim to symbolise how Firefox is “fast, private and on your side”, as well as how it “puts people first” and is “socially responsible”.
The public are not able to vote but they can leave feedback in the comments section on the Mozilla blogpost detailing the two proposed brands, which will be used to inform further decisions, says Firefox. This feedback will be used alongside user testing and the design teams’ own insights.
Feedback could inform decisions around typography choices, graphic patterns, use of motion, the kind of events and partnerships Firefox may run, and more.
This open design process was first used by Mozilla for its own rebrand process in 2016, where design studio Johnson Banks created seven different concepts, which were then put to Mozilla staff and the public to provide feedback on.
The final design was revealed in January 2017, and incorporated the “://” symbols used in internet urls.
The final Firefox brand is expected to be revealed in the next few months. Leave feedback on the branding proposals here.
All images courtesy of Mozilla.