Firefox will get a new icon again, because today's is too confining
Mozilla wants to hear what you think about some possible replacements.
Stephen ShanklandFormer Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Shankland covered the tech industry for more than 25 years and was a science writer for five years before that. He has deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and more.
"As an icon, that fast fox with a flaming tail doesn't offer enough design tools to represent this entire product family," said Madhava Enros, senior director of Firefox user experience, and Tim Murray, Mozilla's creative director, in a blog post Monday. "Recoloring that logo or dissecting the fox could only take us so far. We needed to start from a new place."
As a starting point for discussions, Mozilla offered two high-level "master brand" icons that can be rejiggered into a variety of incarnations for its services and software. One master brand is a stylized fox head, the other is a circularly curving flame, and both are examples of what's possible rather than final ideas.
But revamping icons and logos also gives a chance to modernize for a fresh look. Firefox's icon over the last decade has moved away from its original 3D look of a fox wrapped around Earth to embrace the prevailing "flat" design style.
Plus, linking multiple icons with a unified design style can be useful. Many of Google's services employ the company's characteristic red, green, blue and yellow color pallet, making new apps more recognizable. And when Facebook's Instagram changed its icon in 2016, the company picked a style that could apply to its subbrands, too, like Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse.
Mozilla is looking for commentary on the new logo ideas and plans to finish the icon revamp in coming months. And although Firefox is open-source software that anyone can contribute to, and Mozilla likes to work collaboratively and in the open, the organization is ultimately in control of this rebranding.