The Challenge of Rebranding: Our Take On The New Mozilla Logo

Rebranding is challenging. Here's our take on Mozilla's rebrand.Rebranding is never a small task, but Mozilla’s recent rebranding was a particular kind of behemoth. The team heading up the project took a unique angle that threw a new wrinkle into the process. It’s not something that is widely used in the creative field, so of course, we had to share our thoughts on both the rebranding, and the creative methods used to complete said rebranding.

ABOUT THE MOZILLA REBRAND

In case you aren’t hip to the whole Mozilla scene, here is a quick overview: Mozilla is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the web by creating open standards and an open source process. Most people know Mozilla from the organization’s web browser, Mozilla Firefox.

In the spirit of Mozilla’s love for open source, the team in charge of the rebranding decided to use an open design process. Translation: They exposed the design process from start to finish, allowing the public to provide feedback on all iterations throughout the project.

Intrigued by the idea of open design, we showed the new Mozilla logo to our team of designers to gather some thoughts. Here’s what they had to say:

WHAT OUR TEAM HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE MOZILLA REBRANDING

“I have mixed feelings about this logo. From a design perspective, this one isn’t a home run for me. I keep seeing an emoji in the middle, and it isn’t even a happy emoji. The use of emojis is so pervasive that I think their design team should have given this concern more consideration… I like the slab serif they are using though. From a strategic perspective, I think they made a bold move by using an open design process, and I really respect that. Our whole mentality here at Iconic is to marry the design side of things with sales and strategy, so I can appreciate why they went the route they did in the name of wanting their rebrand process to capture the spirit of their brand as a whole.”

Carolyn B.

“I’m rather lukewarm on the new Mozilla logo. There are things I like: the new typeface is an improved version of what they had previously, and I can appreciate how it seems they are planning to use the logo… Adding the :// to the new logo is a cute idea for an internet company, but aesthetically, it sits a little awkwardly. Reminds me a little bit of my teacher in grade school telling me not to slant my letters when I wrote, because it made everything look a little…off. Altogether, this is not my favorite redesign. I would have loved to have seen something else with a similar typeface – that’s where it wins for me!”

Rachel T.

“I’m not huge fan of the new logo overall. I just can’t stop seeing a ‘meh’ face in the middle of the word. Although the many color variations are not what I would typically choose, I do like how fresh they feel. The weird imagery next to the logo is fun and energetic but I’ll be interested to see how they will use that. It could very easily be too chaotic and confusing.”

Casey R.

“I think the Mozilla logo is like an onion, it has many layers that will make you cry… First, I think that the Mozilla should not have used the different colors for the type because it draws the readers to the o, z, and, a. I also think that the use of the colon and two backslashes was a trite move from a design standpoint. I also think that a company this size should have more than a wordmark and have some sort of illustration.”

Craig O.

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WHY CREATIVE FEEDBACK IS GOOD…

So many insights! All are truly valuable. Overall, the response of the design team could best be described as lukewarm. There were some trends in the responses. People thought the colors and the typeface were interesting… but the use of the :// seemed like a miss for almost everyone.

Why is this important? Well, Mozilla probably doesn’t care about what our team has to say about their new brand, but this little exercise is the perfect example of the typical creative conversations happening in house during a rebranding. We try a look on for size, then we try to see it from as many angles as possible. The more creative minds on the job, the better the outcome.

Our next step is to engage in that same creative conversation with clients. While we don’t publish our design process for all to see, we actively engage clients in our design process. We iterate, we test, we research, we gather opinions. All of this is a healthy, productive creative process. The end goal? To come up with the strongest brand possible.

…AND WHY CREATIVE FEEDBACK CAN BE BAD.

Gasp. Why would a creative design group say such a thing?!

Because there is such a thing as too much creative feedback. You see, Iconic is not just a graphic design group. Iconic is first and foremost a marketing firm, which means our focus is on sales first. At the end of the day, our job is to make our clients happy, but most importantly, our job is to make something appealing to our clients’ clients. And sometimes what our clients initially want for their brand is not something that their clients will relate to.

Remember our stated end goal from above? (If you don’t want to go back and hunt for it, the goal is to create the strongest brand possible.) Sometimes creating the strongest brand means focusing on building something the client loves, not pleasing the largest group possible. If your target market is female millennials, your brand doesn’t need to also appeal to retired males. It is critical during a rebranding to maintain laser focus on building something that has direct appeal to the right group.

NEED A REBRAND THAT CONNECTS WITH YOUR TARGET MARKET?

If you want a rebrand that is beautiful, but is also the right fit for your target market, Iconic Digital would love to help. Feel free to check out our previous branding projects.

Not sure if you need a brand refresh? We have quizzes for that… or a checklist, if that strikes your fancy. No time for either of those? Just drop us a message. We are happy to help.

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Carolyn Byard

Carolyn is Iconic's art director and office dog handler. She strives to build unicorns, and she is completely obsessed with the fusion of beautiful design with strong strategy for unforgettable user interfaces.