The new 2013 logo is unbalanced & dull.
1) First it's extremely unbalanced, all the eye popping color, depth, & detail is in the tail with nearly no highlights on the left side of the logo.
2) The fur on the end of the tail is 3D, slightly wrapping itself around the globe. Why? Why simplify the whole logo and leave the tail with the same awful complexities as the previous 09-13 logo? The tails in the 04-05 and 05-09 are near perfection and more simple. The newer tails add unnecessary detail yet they were kept.
3) It's inconsistently flat. Usually flat coincides with simple, but the logo's complex outlines have actually been exaggerated while the coloring has been flattened and simplified. The fox's head and torso on the other hand were nicely simplified (aside from the little hairs added all over).
4) It's dull. What was once planet earth is now a dull blue ball with coffee stains.
5) The gradient of orange to yellow is too hard. The entire fox is orange then sharply turns to yellow after the tail starts. The gradient change in the 04-05 version is perfect. The new logo's gradient is harsh and too distracting.
6) Micro-details were added. Why? I thought this was about simplifying? Look at the fox's fur on it's back. There's little tiny hairs that have been added that weren't there in the 04-05 and 05-09 version. There's no reason for those to be there. When the logo is shrunk and viewed at it's normal size they won't even be visible, why not just remove them altogether. In fact the ears have added hairs as well.
It's easily salvageable and the designer was on the right track:
Just bright up planet earth, contrast the continents from the ocean more, remove the 3D-ness of the fox's tail, further simplify or remove the tail's inner fur spikes, and soften the gradient of orange to yellow that runs across the fox's body and get rid of those annoying hairs that one can only see when zoomed in 400%.
Considering this was right before the rise of Web 2.0, we can see the gloss was appropriate at the time, but it suddenly follows the flashy trend downhill.
yep. it must be hard to hear for designers but sometimes i wonder if they're "necessary because we need to change because people like change" or if they're utterly useless and trying to justify their existence by changing everything every year, no matter what the change is ;-)
I often think this is more of a case of "we think people like change" and not that people actually like it.
Honestly, the "flat" design starts looking a lot more like a blue-and-orange-smudge at that scale.
That's by design.
You missed the key part of the article where the author mentions why the micro-details were added: "but purposely added more detail where needed to accommodate today’s high resolution screens".
That is an extremely important piece. If you don't go completely geometric and flat (which they didn't), and you don't add in those kinds of tiny details at large sizes the form will feel empty.
Instead, the designer chose to add details that wouldn't distract from the icon at small sizes, but would still make the form feel "full" at large sizes. To do that, the details themselves had to be made much more subtle. Add too much contrast and you run into the 2009-13 design's failures where distracting detail makes the icon hard to read at small sizes.
And please don't get me wrong, I love when after a sensationalist article/title, a well written informative comment puts the article in its place, but the pattern seems to repeat itself in every kind of post.
"Positive" comments only serve to make people feel good, or even just neutral. This really doesn't bring a wider or prolonged benefit of any sort.
"Negative" comments, on the other hand, often make flaws and problems more obvious. This is the first step in actually getting them addressed, which is a truly beneficial thing.
I would hope that useful comments, which often are seen as "negative", do get more attention here, just because they are more useful. This is especially true if the people here can in fact make a difference in some way by helping to resolve some of the problems.
Even if this were true, positive feelings are a powerful motivator.
But it's only true of vaguely kind/affirmative comments, and not all positive feedback can be categorized that way -- it's less common than it should be, but I've observed constructive positive feedback where the purpose is to describe specific positive effects and mechanics.
> "Negative" comments, on the other hand, often make flaws and problems more obvious.
Depends on what you mean by negative.
If it's really pretty much about statements of fact making explicit the negative connection between some attribute / process and a goal under discussion, then sure.
But just as positive comments can be vaguely affirmative and only serve to make people feel good, negative comments can be vague and only serve to make people feel bad rather than illuminating a problem.
You could argue that making people feel bad is a powerful motivator, too, I suppose, and I suspect that if you do feel that's an important tool, people would appreciate knowing that up front.
Also, any changes to a product that impacts ~ 20% of all desktop internet traffic  deserves some level of attention.
Brightening up the earth would negate one of the main points of the redesign, which is to fix the lack of contrast by removing the distractive specular highlight.
I was there for the presentation and at first I really didn't like it but more cleanup work has happened since then and I am really happy with the result. I think it's pretty irrelevant how it looks in larger sizes considering most people will only ever encounter it as an icon.
04-09 versions feel too layered, the fox really floats atop the globe, giving a disjointed feel. While the 3D tail on the third iteration aims to remedy this, it was still too popping (due to brightness, gloss and drop shadows) and increasingly so as one moves farther away from the tail. In the new version, the subtler earth ('dull') combats this. The fox actually feels less menacing.
A lighter blue makes the earth feel milky/foggy. Adding contrast to the continents just makes more details come up front and feels messy. Even with the toned down land masses, the sphericality of the new continents is actually much better felt in the new version.
The brightness and the details of the thinner tail makes it weight evenly with the wider and more uniform head and body. Ironically you argue for more details in the body while asking to remove the subtle hairs. Anyway I feel there's enough details in the form of volume lines and self-shadows.
Because it communicates that the fox is wrapped around the globe and not lying on top of it, to make it more "nurturing".
In regards to the flatness and lack of detail that some people are complaining about: when I look at the Firefox icon in my taskbar, I don't parse it as a fox and a globe but rather as an abstract red/blue circle. The simplified design will make this easier to read -- much more in line with, for example, the Chrome logo.
Why's that? Firefox has always had incredible design aspects to their products?
The rush to copy Chrome in appearance and behavior has essentially ruined what was a decent experience before. What's worse is that the design changes haven't actually brought any benefits, either. And to make it even worse, there has been nothing to suggest that things will actually improve any time soon.
Firefox's declining market share over this period is very good evidence that people are not happy with it. It initially became popular because it provided a better experience than other browsers; now it's declining because it's providing a worse experience, and the recent changes clearly haven't been helping the situation.
The only evidence we have is that Google's marketing team has been very effective at advertising Chrome. :-P
> Many of us long-time Firefox users have actually found the past three years to be the worst so far, in terms of design.
I'm not sure why you think you can speak for many Firefox users.
> rush to copy Chrome in appearance and behavior
I'll quote myself from a different discussion :
Outside of manilla folder-like tabs and a panel menu, Chrome is given far too much credit in innovating the direction of browser UI. Tabs on top is an objectively better UI choice . The download manager is an original Firefox design  and almost anything else that other browsers have adopted (tabs on top, start page tiles, etc) is all from Opera.
> now it's declining because it's providing a worse experience, and the recent changes clearly haven't been helping the situation.
FWIW, Firefox has held steady over the past year hovering around 20% according to Net Applications , and they even had a small uptick in the past month. In any case, I am confident Firefox lost users because of Chrome's superior performance and snappy behavior, not because of UI changes. I think projects like MemShrink , Project Snappy , and the revived Electrolysis  will go a long way towards improving Firefox's performance. Will those changes be too little too late? Who knows. Will the upcoming Australis design be the last straw if your theory holds true? That's up for debate.
I've recognized your handle on other Mozilla/Firefox related posts on HN and your comments seem to be universally negative . Have you had a bad experience with the community? I understand strong dislike for a company or product, but it just seems...difficult to hate on such an underdog like Mozilla. :-P
/says self-declared Mozilla fanboy
StatCounter's desktop and mobile stats show a consistent decline from 26.49% in June 2011 to 16.86% in May 2003.
StatCounter's desktop stats show a peak of 32.21% in November 2009 down to 19.76% last month.
The Clicky stats are similar, showing a peak of 33.43% in December 2009, down to 21.19% in May 2013.
And then there's W3Counter's data, which shows peaks of 32.3% between December 2009 and March 2010, down to 19.2% in May 2013.
Wikimedia's data, although not as recently updated, shows a peak of 30.96% in February 2010, down to 19.11% in October 2012.
The numbers you cite are quite different from these other sources, which are all relatively consistent, which in turn makes me suspicious of yours.
I think we have indeed seen Firefox go from approximately 30% share at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 down to less than 20% today. That's a pretty significant drop in just 3.5 years.
As for my negatively, like I said, the Mozilla crew has earned it. I know many others share this opinion, as well. The numbers above support that very strongly.
We were quite happy with Firefox up until Firefox 4. Before then, the focus was on usability, and providing a good browser. Since then, however, the priorities have clearly shifted, and the resulting product has declined in quality and usability quite severely. It's a bad situation, and I'm not going to pretend otherwise. Some people speak out, others just move to a different browser.
I don't disagree that Firefox lost marketshare over the past 3 years. Interestingly enough, the peaks you list are nowhere near Firefox 4's release date (March 2011), while Google's advertising for Chrome began near those points . Both StatCounter and Net Applications show this trend (decline after Q4 2009).
Whether or not StatCounter or Net Applications is more accurate is an argument I don't want to pursue (page views vs unique visitors, country weighting to remove bias vs no weighting to preserve data integrity, etc.).
> I know many others share this opinion, as well. The numbers above support that very strongly.
I'm willing to bet if Firefox continued to look like version 3.6 yet took the same performance/behavior from every version along the way it would be in the same position. Chrome has simply been the superior browser to get things done, but that can actually be questioned now with a more competitive browser landscape.
> Before then, the focus was on usability, and providing a good browser. Since then, however, the priorities have clearly shifted,
> It's a bad situation, and I'm not going to pretend otherwise.
Who's pretending? I'm quite aware of Firefox/Mozilla's position as an underdog (in fact, I'm concerned). I'm just wondering why you feel the need to reiterate your dislike given that if someone has not been convinced to move from Firefox to another browser by now, then either they don't know other options (unlikely) or they clearly still appreciate something about the Firefox or Mozilla community and ecosystem that goes beyond the growing pains that pushed you away.
Mozilla did wonders breaking the IE monoculture and they are doing solid work now keeping the other major players honest, if not competitive by offering a solid contender now. In the end, I want Mozilla to be successful because I believe Mozilla matters: https://brendaneich.com/2013/02/why-mozilla-matters/
Not that it's not justified, but I'd challenge anyone to pull up an example to the contrary. I'm sure someone can find one, and it'll probably somehow involve Stripe :)
In so much of my experience, it often seems like version 1.0 (or sometimes 2.0 or 3.0) is the best version of something. All the original creators are still on board, the interface is straightforward, the functionality is clear, the product is good.
But then, by the time you get to 4.0+, the original creators have moved on, a new team comes in looking to make their mark, and suddenly a graphic overhaul is introduced, they start focusing on "content" or "exposing features" or whatnot, the interface loses organization and coherence, and bad decisions start being made.
I don't know of a name for this phenomenon, but it almost seems to be the rule rather than the exception. But it may explain why people seem to be so anti-change -- because, so many times, the change actually is just pointless or bad.
If posts looked more like "These bits are good. These bits need work. These bits should be scrapped entirely." then it would be easier to call them constructive. As it is, they just seem uncompromisingly conservative and pointless.
This isn't purely by technological choice ("we want a svg logo"), as one can somewhat build a svg where the level of detail varies depending on display size (http://timkadlec.com/2013/04/media-queries-within-svg/).
So it's either a deliberate "it's better that way" choice, or a "better one really good logo than a couple of less good ones", or they weren't aware of media queries, or they don't think them supported well enough.
I appreciate that people get bored and design sensibilities change. But spare us the long-winded itemization of why this is 'objectively' better, when it's obviously a simple matter of taste.
>The first step in the rebuild was to go in and strip out all the detail that was using blend mode layering such as multiply, screen and overlay – mostly found in the tail area 1. As stated, a key goal of the redesign was to make it work flawlessly in SVG as well as open up the possibility to rebuild all the internal structure using SVG and CSS gradients.
>Having reduced the logo down to its shape-tweaked forms 2 and softer gradients, we continued to remove any detail we thought wasn’t critical to the overall image. This tied into another goal of having the image hold up with greater clarity at smaller sizes.
However, given that one of the stated reasons for the change is "SVG compatibility", I'm surprised that there's no link to an SVG version. And the official Mozilla branding page doesn't seem to be updated yet:
I like what Wolff Olins did for Firefox OS and would love to see Mozilla take major new steps in that direction, with more radical changes to the logo (which frankly has always looked like a shrimp at favicon size): http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/mozilla_...
The only reason I noticed it was to do with firefox was because the original is so recognisable. This one just looks like either:
A fox hugging a blue ball
A fox on its back looking into the sky
Thumbs-up on removing the high gloss, though.
(yeah yeah, everyone's a critic)
“Violent,” you wonder? “Surely you are insane and hyperbolic.” I am neither. Look at those spots and tell me they don’t look like a cheese grater. I wouldn’t touch this icon if it existed in 3D space. Would you?
It would be a nice project to automatically recreate existing image files as efficient SVGs.
However, this procedure seems to make things look flat and textureless.
It turns out Shepard Fairey created the red "Mozilla.org logo and mascot" (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_%28mascot%29).
I like the idea of the ship's wheel in the navigator logo, and the compass in Safari. As for the other logos they don't do anything for me (oh alright, IceWeasel is quite a funny knock off, and Nightly's is boringly okay.)
I think the name started it started out as Phoenix, then Firebird - which they couldn't use as it was a database, and then was named Firefox. I quite like the transition. Not sure if it was Clint Eastwood inspired or not. I like the way that Firefox is the Red Panda - so it's nice that it kind of has that evolution. It so happens that the Firefox is rare and is totally cute. There was an icon floating around on Linux which was based on the panda that I liked - and the panda has loads of potential for a lovely icon.
Cough... cough... iOS7
Though really iOS7 is the least flat looking.
can see here: http://blog.seanmartell.com/wp-content/themes/simplified/sty...
Would have been nice if they used retina-quality assets in the announcement...
Is it a fox hugging a globe? Is the fox red/orange? Yes? Is it somewhat detailed? Okay. _Good enough_.
Just put the gun to its head and pull the trigger. Flat's all the rage man, why not kill another great logo with it!