First Impressions of The Next Mozilla Logo

An unfiltered critique

Mozilla recently opened the doors to the internet community in the process of redesigning its logo/identity.

Back in June, the browser developer announced that it would freshen up its logo and enlist the Internet’s help in reaching a final decision.

The company hired British design company Johnson Banks to come up with seven new “concepts” to illustrate the company’s work.

Mozilla states that their goal is not to bring in spec work but inspire a discussion — and I’ll gladly take a look at the options presented so far and provide critique.

While there are many avenues from which a designer can critique a single logo, I’ll choose to scope down my effort to make for a more concise article — and focus on the visual association aspect.

You have 50 milliseconds to make a good impression

People make snap judgements.

It’s not easy to make a logo that ties together your brand story, promise and personality. Yet it is crucial that your first impression is a positive experience (you only have about 50 milliseconds to do so).

The principle role of a logo is to identify, and simplicity is its means…It’s effectiveness depends on distinctiveness, visibility, adaptability, memorability, universality and timelessness. — Paul Rand

So today I will make snap judgements and blurt out (or rather, write out) what symbols, thoughts or feelings come to mind.

And I will limit the time I look at each logo set for 30 seconds each.

There are 7 total sets. Here goes:

1. The Eye

  1. Monsters Inc.

2. Big brother vibes due to the giant eye

3. Cartoonish colors

4. Invisible Creature

5. Over all its playful and a lot more functional/adaptable.

From Instagram of Invisible Creature

Conclusion

A great fit for a graphic design agency or freelancer with a playful style.

2. The Connector

  1. A little Googley…something about the color palette.
  2. Abstract shapes are reminiscent of a certain Olympic logo.
  3. I get a strong kids vibe from the rounded shapes
  4. I like the diversity aspect and can see how it’s working with different pattern/color selections.

5. Feels very safe.

Conclusion

Seems knowledgeable, diverse and incomprehensible. Makes me think of a libraries identity.

3. The Connector

  1. A face! Made out of…a power outlet?
  2. Colors are a bit too saturated.
  3. Almost seems like a nightclub?
  4. Perhaps a neon sign, in the way the colors glow/vibrate.
  5. A bit too inhumane for how I feel like Mozilla embraces community. The statement saying “of People” is almost contradictory to the symbol used.
Design inspiration?

Conclusion

Too techy. Better for a code/art website.

4. Protocol

  1. Mobil
  2. Strong, solemn.
  3. Facebook colors with a industry serious font.
  4. Somehow too generic for my taste. Forgettable.
  5. If the other logos thus far are young children, teens, this one is their grandpa.

Conclusion

Better for banking, finance or an oil industry identity.

5. Wireframe World

Memories of the terrors of Organic Chemistry flooding back
  1. Science museum exhibit about structural forms.
  2. Atoms.
  3. Feels boring on its own.
This one was more colorful

4. Diverse

5. Open, yet undefined.

Conclusion

A teenaged logo trying to figure out its identity. Get a strong science vibe due to atoms/connections. Better for a science museum identity.

6. The Impossible M

  1. Somehow personality is similar to Tumblr or Giphy

2. Young and somewhat rebellious.

3. Neon makes my eyes hurt

4. Should something be animating?

5. Expecting animations in the background to start any second now. Any second…

Conclusion

Better for a company focused on animated gifs for a youthful demographic. Is Mozilla that place? Can’t rule it out I suppose.

7. Flik Flak

  1. Art Museum
  2. Modern art
  3. Origami
  4. Deck of cards
  5. Playground for artists

Conclusion

I like this one a lot actually, but can’t make the connection to Mozilla.

It looks like a fun craft project that you can fold/unfold and put on your desk. And the last one is like a TV network for modern art. The outline contrast makes it more refined/grown up (which I feel a lot of the other iterations are lacking). The logos without outlines makes for a beautiful modern art museum identity.

Final Words

Defining the internet is hard. It’s not simple to pin down the correct symbol to represent something that doesn’t quite a physical form and is in constant flux. My advice for Mozilla — focus on what your unique promise is to your users and deliver. Otherwise, don’t change your logo.

Sincerely, 
A Mozilla user/designer

Thanks for reading! Feel free to check out my design work here if you’d like. My handbook on UX design is now available on Amazon.