Archive | Branding

Mozilla Goes Green

A bunch of Mozillians are up in San Francisco today as part of our involvement with the SF Green Festival. It’s certainly a new type of conference for us, but when you look at the core values of the various other affiliated organizations there are a lot of commonalities in terms of trying to affect change through community building and grassroots action.

We’re also using this as a platform to communicate our “100% organic software” concept, so from a design perspective this gave us a great opportunity to use one of my favorite elements from the Mozilla.com redesign: our little family of egg illustrations. They’re so bizarre and yet, so perfect.

We worked with designers Monique Johnson and Rhonda Spencer to create egg-based collateral that included a print ad for the festival guide (below), landing pageaffiliate buttons (available for download) and more.

There will be Mozilla-related activity at the festival all weekend long, so if you’re in the area definitely stop by and check it out. Mary has a good overview of the details up at her blog.

Mozilla Goes Green

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Feeling Fennec-y

Now that Firefox 3 is out the door, it’s a good time to look ahead to some other projects, like our mobile efforts.

At the request of Doug Turner and the Mobile team, I worked with Nobox to create a logo they could use in a variety of spots during the Fennec development process. (Big caveat: this logo has nothing do to with the final Firefox Mobile branding.) The result looks like this:
big caveat

There’s also a significantly simplified version that will be used in spots where the fully rendered one won’t work. The inspiration for both was an actual Fennec fox, although the image had to be toned down a bit so as not to overwhelm the cuteness filter on most handheld devices.

Big Caveat

This logo has already popped up in the header of the new about:mobile newsletter…keep an eye out for it coming to plenty of other places soon.

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Celebrating 10 Years of Mozilla

This year’s 10th anniversary of Mozilla is a major milestone, and certainly one worth celebrating with some special imagery. I’m a huge fan of the original Mozilla art created by Shepard Fairey way back in 1998, so the opportunity to do something new in that style was just too good to pass up.

So, Tara Shahian and I contacted designer Lee Tom (creator of the Rock Your Firefox artwork and Spread Firefox t-shirt, among other things) and worked with him to create this:

Celebrating 10 Years of Mozilla

Our goal was to create a piece that retained the bold, constructivist graphic style of the original without the “happy worker” Communist imagery that understandably rubbed some in our community the wrong way.

If you’re so inclined, there’s a bigger version that’s more suitable for printing, and Tara created six different sizes of desktop wallpaper. Plans are also in the works for a t-shirt that will be tied to Mozilla Foundation donations…David Boswell will have more details on that soon.

Big thanks are due to Lee and Tara for lending their talents to this, and even bigger thanks are due to the thousands of people around the world who, for the last 10 years, have helped to make Mozilla what it is today. Happy anniversary, everyone!

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Mozilla.com Site Redesign Update

It’s been awhile since I blogged about the Mozilla.com site redesign, so it feels like time for an update on our recent progress. In order to provide some context, I’ll also take a step back and give a little background about the process and how we’ve approached this project.

First, why redesign Mozilla.com?
* To support the Firefox 3 release…we did the same for the launch of versions 1.5 and 2.0.
* To provide new and improved content about both Firefox and Mozilla.
* To make sure the site continues to evolve and improve along with our organization, our expanding userbase and the Mozilla Project as a whole.

The process so far:

* September 2007: We began soliciting internal suggestions for design agencies.
* October 2007: We sent RFPs (requests for proposals) to six agencies that seemed like good potential fits.
* November 2007: Based on their design abilities, understanding of our brand and history of working on sites with heavy community involvement, we selected the Royal Order and immediately began giving them massive amounts of background info about Mozilla.
* December 2007: The Royal Order created a detailed information architecture plan and did some initial design exploration.
* January 2008: Worked with the Royal Order to refine the design direction; they began designing the site in earnest.

Design background:
The overall design goal is that the site should embody Mozilla’s unique nature, while still being very usable, informative, etc (read more about our design objectives). Having said that, it’s also important that the design not overshadow the key content goals of driving Firefox downloads and educating people about Mozilla. Plus, the site also needs to be easily localized, highly accessible and compliant with Web standards.

After sifting through people’s reactions to the initial design explorations, Paul and I realized that, although the basic layouts were quite solid, they were still lacking a main visual element that met the above design goals. Specifically, we decided that using photography as the main element would make it too difficult to fully represent the global scope of Mozilla, so we and the Royal Order began to focus on illustration options instead.

With regard to illustration style, we wanted hand-created elements rather than slick, vector art in order to represent the fact that Mozilla software is created by a community of people around the world rather being than a faceless corporate entity. The Royal Order recommended an illustration studio called the Delicious Design League, whose style really complemented this concept, and things began to come together.

Our somewhat ambitious goal for the illustrations was that they should abstractly reflect the good things about the Web itself…things like connectivity, collaboration, creativity, etc. That’s certainly not an easy task, but the designers and illustrators have come up with several different concepts – all based around metaphors for networks – that support this really well. The final site will incorporate a few of these, one of which is shown below.

This mockup of the homepage will still receive a few more tweaks before it’s all said and done, but it’s a good sneak peak of what’s to come. As noted earlier, the illustration of the tree is meant to suggest the power and possibility of the Web, as well as the way Mozilla works. And the various handmade elements, such as the pencil-drawn lines and background shadings are all meant to evoke the grassroots, people-powered nature of Mozilla itself.

Mozilla.com Site Redesign Update

What next?
The design work is still in progress, and we’re busy creating some cool new content like a detailed Firefox features page. From there, we move on to development with our friends at silverorange(who have been closely involved in the entire process), localization (for more on this, definitely check out Pascal’s recent post on the subject) and QA – all with the goal having the site ready for the upcoming Firefox 3 launch.

There’s still lots more work to be done, and I’ll have plenty more to say about the design and the specifics of the new site later. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more!

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Coming Soon To Mozilla.com, Part 1

As our engineering and product teams move ever closer to the launch of Firefox 3, the marketing department is focusing on ways we can support the release. One of the biggest projects that we’ll be working on is a complete redesign of Mozilla.com.

Although the current site has served us very well in terms of driving lots of Firefox downloads, we still haven’t successfully used it to tell the story of what makes Mozilla so special. We want the new site to reflect Mozilla’s unique personality…that we’re a public benefit organization that relies on the active support of thousands of worldwide contributors to help keep the Internet open and free. Although readers of this blog surely know these details, this aspect of our brand hasn’t fully been communicated to the broad base of Firefox users.

It’s really a pretty amazing situation when you think about it: this unconventional arrangement has created a web browser that’s not only holding its own against the corporate giants, it’s used regularly by roughly 130 million people. How will we communicate all this? To be honest, I’m not sure yet but am looking forward to figuring it out together.

I should also make it clear that none of the branding stuff will get in the way of making the site extremely usable, accessible and localization-friendly…those are always top priorities. As a bit more background, here’s an excerpt from the project’s creative brief:

Unlike almost all other major tech companies, Mozilla is a people-powered, grassroots organization built by the contributions of community members around the world. The site design absolutely needs to embody our unique, unconventional and extremely un-corporate nature…while still being professional, informative and useful, of course.

The site design should be clean, but not boring; modern, but not tied to any short-term trend. It should be friendly and accessible enough to communicate the details of a high-tech product without feeling cold and technical. It should convey our passion for and faith in the power and potential of the web.

Lastly, it should have a sense of fun and playfulness – we’re serious about what we do but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

We kicked off this project with an agency a few days ago…I’m planning on sharing some of the early creative direction and mockups as we go for your review and feedback, so stay tuned for much more on this topic.

 

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Mozilla Power

At John Lilly’s request, we’ve created a new “Powered by Mozilla” logo. The idea is that companies that use Mozilla technology as the basis for what they do would proudly display this logo on their sites (or wherever it’s most relevant).

I’m happy about this because I think it will do two good things for our brand: 1) help differentiate Mozilla from Firefox (among the broader audience, there’s still some confusion around this) and 2) further establish us as an organization working on the cutting edge of a lot of cool new technology (again, beyond just being “the Firefox guys”).

Mozilla Power

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