Mozilla has had a few different looks during its 18-year history, but none have ever been quite as appropriate, or quite as wonderfully geeky, as their newest rebranding efforts. As the creators of the only popular web browser that is completely not-for-profit, Mozilla has always had a different approach from competitors such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Now, Mozilla will be focusing even more intensely on some of these differences, including their commitment to an open and free online world.
The New Logo
Aside from everything else, Mozilla’s new logo is instantly eye-catching and will speak to those who are in the company’s target audience. The logo now says Moz://a, and it’s hard to believe that they’re the first well-known entity to utilize this easily recognizable reference to a web address. However, the average computer user can only perform the most basic tasks, so choosing to switch Mozilla to Moz://a is actually a very bold move that risks alienating a lot of people.
Of course, Mozilla knows their core audience, and they’re definitely no longer speaking directly to average or beginner users. In fact, their rebranding was partially crowdsourced, and hardcore users were given the opportunity to make their thoughts known about different logo options in August 2016.
Open Design Expansion
It would be easy to look merely at the aesthetic changes that Mozilla has undertaken, but that’s not the only thing that this rebrand seeks to accomplish. Asking others for their input on the logo design was unusual enough, and this definitely helps set Mozilla apart from other similar tech companies. To keep the open design concept alive and well, Mozilla is also making their new custom font, Zilla, free for everyone to use.
Fighting for an Open and Free Internet
Mozilla has a history of standing up for the rights of Internet users, and this rebranding is meant to reflect those values. Creative Team leader Tim Murray indicated on the company’s blog that Mozilla “want[s] to be known as the champions of a healthy Internet. An internet where all are free to explore and discover and create and innovate without barriers or limitations.” Murray went on to state, “today, we believe these principles matter more than ever.”
This standpoint is what influenced the decision to use the “://” in the new Mozilla logo. After all, if they’re going to appoint themselves as spokespeople and guardians for the concept of an open and free global Internet, it makes perfect sense to use the language of the Internet within their designs.
With many challenges facing the open and free usage of the Internet, including politicians who have called for parts of it be shut down, Mozilla definitely has their work cut out for them. On the plus side, cultivating and expanding their member base of intermediate and advanced Internet users can give them the power of many voices banded together to fight for one shared cause. Will their rebrand be enough to help them reach such a lofty goal? Only time will tell, but Mozilla’s history has them well-positioned to make a positive difference.
Bonus: Here the 19 Best and Worst Logo Redesigns of 2016