Firefox is getting a new logo, and Mozilla wants to hear what users think

Mozilla is redesigning the Firefox logo, with a little help from the rest of us.

This time around, though, the plan isn’t just to create one new icon for the flagship browser, but to design an entire series of icons to fit the brand’s different ventures — from mobile and VR browsers, to screenshot and file sharing tools. Mozilla’s already uploaded some possible takes, and now wants users to comment on its blog for feedback about what the icons should look like.

“As an icon, that fast fox with a flaming tail doesn’t offer enough design tools to represent this entire product family,” Mozilla designers wrote in a blog post. That means looking past recoloring the logo or making the fox sleeker: Mozilla is starting from square one with many aspects of this Firefox redesign.

The company shared two “design system approaches” to get feedback from its users. Both options offer a “master brand” icon — either a stylized, geometric fox head, or a more familiar swooshing flame — that all of the products will live under. Mozilla also shared options for a general browser icon, along with what appear to be other, more singularly focused browser icons (for Firefox Focus, for example). There are even symbols for some of its standalone apps, but these proposed icons might be far from where they ultimately end up.

“Each individual icon will undergo several rounds of refinement, or may change entirely, between now and their respective product launches,” the company said. “Our focus at this point is on the system.”

It’s not the first design change the Mozilla platform’s undergone recently, either. Back in December, it launched a bolder, brighter, and simplified icon for Firefox Quantum that was “less about fur and more about a being made of flame,” the company wrote in a blog post. Not only that — but this whole Firefox change is pretty similar to the process Mozilla used when it was redesigning its own logo about two years ago.

Mozilla’s not asking for users to submit their own ideas for designs, and it’s not looking to put these designs to a vote. It’s just looking for feedback on the design ideas as they stand, with the caveat that “these design systems are still a work of fiction”, and that “icons are not final.”

Portrait bank cards are a thing now

Consider the ways you use your bank card on an everyday basis, whether handing it over to a cashier, swiping it to make contactless payments, or inserting it into an ATM. How are you holding the card as you do all those things? Vertically, I’m willing to bet, or in portrait orientation, to borrow a term. And yet, the vast majority of credit and debit cards are designed in landscape, sticking to a thoroughly outdated usage model. This is the senseless design inertia that the UK’s Starling Bank is rowing against with its newly unveiled portrait card design, which was spotted by Brand New.

Starling is one of a new wave of mobile-only banks, whose business is primarily conducted through a mobile app. It also issues a debit Mastercard as part of its service (I know, because I’ve got one). Given its diminutive size and forward-thinking ethos, Starling has much more liberty to experiment than traditional banks, hence its choice to flip the orientation of its bank card. Mind you, this is still something of a mongrel design: the rear of the Starling card is still set up in landscape, perhaps to retain compatibility and some level of familiarity.

Looking around for other examples, I also found that Virgin America does a full-on portrait credit card, and CapitalOne has a range of vertical credit cards for a tie-in with GM. There’s been a smattering of banks and payment services experimenting with the portrait design over the years, with Venmo being perhaps the best-known recent convert.

The question is why these cards haven’t taken over entirely. Everything in our lives is portrait now, with the formerly square-only Instagram not only allowing portrait photography but creating a whole portrait-mode video service as well. Even I’ve caught myself taking photos in portrait lately, having once been a landscape photography absolutist. And consider the somewhat popular phone case-wallet hybrid, those fine leather goods that house both your phone and your valuable cards: in almost all cases, the cards are sitting in an upright orientation. The more you think about it, the more portrait bank (and business and loyalty) cards make sense.