Firefox is a collection of Mozilla Corporation applications and services. The most famous product of the family is the browser of the same name. It appeared in the second half of 2002 and immediately attracted users’ attention, declaring its security and privacy. The issue of confidentiality is still in the first place. At the same time, it is possible to modify the program to suit your requirements. The developers have created many extensions so that those who wish can change the set of functions, remove unnecessary ones and add what they need.
Meaning and History
The history of the Firefox brand began much earlier than is commonly believed. The oldest “starting point” can be called 1994. Then a new major player appeared in the IT industry – Netscape. It introduced one of the first browsers but could not compete with Microsoft, adding Internet Explorer to every Windows software package. To show its edge, Netscape made the browser open, but even that didn’t help it.
In the late 1990s, the company and its main product were bought by the American media conglomerate AOL. Subsequently, Netscape members formed the Mozilla community to develop free software. The changeover had to be celebrated somehow, so Dave Hyatt and Blake Ross decided to release the Phoenix browser. They made a mistake with the choice of the name: it turned out that such a trademark already existed. The second option – Firebird – was also busy.
As a result, the creators had to name their project Firefox after the tiny red panda. By the way, she is depicted on the browser logo and not a fox, as everyone thinks. The original visual symbol of the brand appeared in 2004. Over time, it has hardly changed: the designers only slightly simplified the design and increased the picture’s brightness. As a result, the image lost many details and became more colorful, which is the main trend in the identity of many companies.
The iconic round icon helps the browser compete against web giants like Google Chrome and Safari. The events of recent years have shown that due to a global redesign, it could lose an impressive part of its target audience. As far as we know, in 2019, Mozilla introduced the Firefox logo without an animal and a globe – only with a red-orange half ring. It was designed for a parent brand that brings together many different services, from the Lockwise password keeper to the Send data app. At the same time, all products have their logos, including the browser.
But the public did not understand the changes: users of social networks made a fuss, deciding that Firefox will no longer have “foxes.” They were loudly outraged and created thousands of demotivators, so the representatives of the Mozilla company had to make excuses. So it turned out that many Firefox fans don’t even know what the program’s icon looks like now.
2002 – 2004
In 2002, the Phoenix browser was developed. Its visual symbol lived up to its name: the designers depicted a red bird, the feathers of which resembled tongues of flame. Her tail and wings seemed to be on fire, in keeping with the legend of the phoenix rising from the ashes.
But problems with trademark rights forced the owners to rename their project. For several months it was called Firebird, and the icon has not changed. Subsequently, it turned out that this name already belonged to one of the Internet services.
2004 – 2005
In 2004, Firebird became Firefox, although that name was also taken over. At the same time, the browser needed a conceptually new logo because the old one no longer matched the theme. The Mozilla branding team was created specifically for this purpose. The initiator was Steven Garrity, who proposed to rename the project. He represented the interests of the software development company Silverorange.
Just before Christmas, Steven brought Jon Hicks to the team to visualize all the ideas. The first concepts were proposed right on holiday because the deadline expired on January 2. The best option came up with Daniel Burka. Stephen Desroches did a black and white sketch that became the basis for a full-fledged logo.
Jon Hicks designed the final image using Fireworks MX tools. First, he drew the icon at 128×128 pixels. He then reduced it, simplifying the shape and removing unnecessary details until he got a 16×16 format for displaying the browser on the taskbar. This symbol was used for Firefox 0.8 and 0.9 programs.
2005 – 2009
A new logo has been created for Firefox 1.0. The animal’s tail became more yellow in a modified version, and more light spots appeared on the body. The pointed ends of the ears and nose softened slightly. The globe was repainted in a bluish-blue color and acquired a barely noticeable glowing halo.
2009 – 2013
When Firefox Mozilla 3.5 was released, users saw a modified icon. The so-called fox has become darker and more voluminous due to the contrast of colors. The drawing on the globe has changed. A large light spot appeared at the top of the logo, and an elliptical gray shadow appeared at the bottom.
2013 – 2017
In 2013, the image was smoothed: the developers removed many details and used a gradient for a smooth transition of different shades. Only the tail remained multi-layered.
2017 – 2019
In 2017, the design was simplified as much as possible. The detail has decreased to the point that the outline of the animal has become blurry. Only the elongated silhouette in the form of a semicircle, wrapped around a three-dimensional blue ball, has survived. The gray shadow at the bottom has disappeared, and the colors have taken on brighter hues.
2019 – today
Eighteen months before the logo change, company representatives conducted a study to determine what it should look like. In the process were Michael Chu of San Francisco agency Ramotion (he was responsible for parent brand identity for the entire Firefox product line), Jon Hicks (creator of the first logo), and Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks (consultant and creative inspiration for the designers).
Together, the team developed the logo, which was presented in 2019. The concept has remained almost unchanged, but the image has become simpler: many details disappeared. The central circle has shrunk and acquired a blue-violet gradient, and the animal’s head was turned to the right and positioned in profile.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
Few people know that the fox is not represented on the Firefox icon. This is a miniature panda, which is called Firefox in English. It looks like a red long-tailed raccoon, which is reflected in the browser emblem. It is not in vain that the animal bends around the globe: such flexibility testifies to the adaptability of the software and its globality.
There are no inscriptions on the logo, but there is a very colorful image of a red panda and a globe. The use of colors such as orange, yellow, dark pink, purple, and blue creates interesting dynamics, especially in a gradient.