2013 in Review: Going Social

John Slater

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Note: This post was written by, and details the work of, Matt Ternoway.

As a designer and self described brand junkie, I obsess over the fine details that create consistency in a brand. Things like logo placement, kerning, breathing space, etc. So what do I do when given the task of creating one-off, one of a kind weekly graphical Facebook posts that range from everything from quirky feel good posts like International Ninja day, to serious topics surrounding privacy and spying issues…doing this all while still maintaining that ever so important consistency needed to build a brand? Basically forget everything I learned in design school, and think back to my art school days…this is going to be fun :)

I will admit I didn’t have much of a plan when I started the task back in April, I was really just enjoying the ability to get very creative. Each week our Social media team would pass along some awesome/crazy ideas and have me visually interpret them…International Talk like a Pirate Day?? This is a thing. See.

After a few months I found myself getting into a rhythm…inadvertently I started to create a few loose perimeters in which I could draw from to create that consistency I mentioned, but hopefully not at the expense of uniqueness. One being color, as we know color can be the strongest aspect of a brand. You don’t need to go much further than Firefox…that blue and orange burns in your memory. As beautiful as that color combo is, it can get repetitive fast in the confines of social media. This lead me to explore a wider range, even just playing with saturation levels within those two colours i found that each post could take on that one-off uniqueness I was looking for but still say that it is Firefox.

Another perimeter which began to evolve, was inspired by some of the key words that I feel define Mozilla and the Firefox brand, words like, playful, approachable, warm and soft. My goal was to create posts that reflect these words closely. I knew that even our ‘darkest’ posts like the ‘No One Ever’ series still had to have an approachable touch to it. I found myself working with a combination of greys as opposed to black to achieve the right mood…I think this gave the posts a softer matte look. I carried this approach over to one of the more recent posts; International Ninja Day. At first I was trying to go for something perhaps a bit too sinister for Firefox with this concept. In the end I felt I needed to tone it down and play up the playful fun factor. This is what came out of it. A non threatening yet highly skilled ninja :)

Those are a few thoughts behind the process. Perhaps this time next year I may have a few more. I am looking forward to seeing where we can take these and how they will evolve. Hope you enjoy.

(Again, all of the above is from Matt Ternoway. Thanks Matt!)

2013 in Review: A Visual Roundup

Lee Tom

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Mozillians are a hard-working lot, and we should be proud of the many things we accomplished together this year.  2013 was one of the most intense years I’ve spent working on the project, and now that we’re saying farewell to 2013, it’s rewarding to look back and tally up our successes.

It’s become tradition for the Creative team to design Mozilla’s year-end infographic – a visual roundup of our achievements, presented to you in a single, pretty picture.  Having had the pleasure of designing Mozilla’s 2011 year-end graphic, I was happy to summate 2013 with some visual flair.

Fistbumps all-around, Mozilla!

Fistbumps all-around, Mozilla!

To be clear, this image is an infographic – not a data visualization.  Data visualizations usually contain one narrative which displays information relative to itself within a single through line. Because our narrative spans multiple initiatives over a year’s time, the design goal was about finding a fresh way to display statistics and accomplishments that work well independently of each other, but still tie into a greater whole.

In most cases, the year-end graphic will be posted to blogs, so a static image seemed to be the most efficient form to design around.  In the future, I can see the potential for a more robust experience – something interactive could be really fun.

Leaning on amorphous circular forms gave me the flexibility to expand the content areas where needed. Because we’re so wonderfully geo-dispersed,  it gets tricky designing these graphics so each section can comfortably accommodate numerous languages and character-counts.  By using our primary palette, I kept the graphic looking classically “Mozillian” in color, while keeping it fresh in form. By employing project/product motifs and icons, I gave context to the information which helps make the piece easier to read by theme.

Thank you, Mozilla PR. The remaining weeks of the year can be quite hectic trying to wrap up work before the Holiday break, but your tidy and timely content made this year’s year-end graphic a pleasure to close out the year to.  Happy holidays.

2013 in Review: The Journey of Firefox OS

shui

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Hello there fellow Mozillians, I’m Spencer Hui. I work alongside Rainer making your vision become a reality through video. Looking back at all the videos I’ve worked on in 2013, the one that stood out the most and had the most fun working on would be The Journey of Firefox OS shown at the 2013 Summit.

I was fortunate to being around documenting the birth of Firefox OS and seeing all the hard work and long hours people put into the project was astonishing. I got to interview many people throughout the Mozilla community, all who contributed to Firefox OS on their own. This was the first video of its kind for me, so the biggest challenge was gathering all the footage and interviews within a span of four months and comprising it into a ten-minute video that tells a story. It was a great feeling seeing peoples faces light up at the Summit and taking a step back to see how far we have come in the past year. This was very much a team effort with Mozillians and partners for things to come to fruition.

 

2013 in Review: Launching Firefox OS

John Slater

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Looking back over 2013, the project that really defined the year for me was launching Firefox OS on three devices in 14 different countries (to be accurate, it was a series of many projects rather than a single one, but bear with me). It was very satisfying on both a personal and professional level to help advance a new era for Mozilla, expand the Firefox brand in an exciting direction and work with a great team of people to make it all happen.

I particularly enjoyed that the launches required so many different kinds of work. Please allow me to go to bullet points for an incomplete list of some of the highlights:

* creating two new websites to introduce the product to both business and consumer audiences (as detailed by Ty here)
* overseeing the look and feel of our very successful presence at Mobile World Congress 2013
* launching out-of-home campaigns in several markets (the giant, building-sized billboard in Warsaw being a particular favorite)
* developing a visual identity (fox illustrations, color palette, font system, etc) to be used across all these materials
* incorporating the visual identity details into our style guide for easier use by partners and community members
* creating several different videos to communicate the product benefits and details
* working with the always-amazing Mozilla community in multiple continents
* helping partners incorporate our style and messaging into their own materials
* generally building out an entire system that effectively tells the story of Firefox OS and is flexible to be used pretty much anywhere and everywhere

Overall, it was a challenging, inspiring, mind-expanding set of projects, and I couldn’t be happier about the results. And, it goes without saying that I certainly didn’t do all this by myself…working with our world-class creative team plus all the other Mozillians involved was probably my favorite part of all.

On a closing note, here’s a nice video detailing our Poland launch last summer that nicely captures the spirit of what we were doing:

2013 in Review: A Welcome Kit for All Mozillians

Jennifer Balaco

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Earlier this year, over 2000 Mozillians gathered in three locations to participate in the Summit. And because Mozilla loves its gear, many attendees were looking forward to seeing what might be given out. It wasn’t the reason for the Summit, but it was going to be one of the first welcomes that Mozillians from around the world received. So when Mardi Douglass asked if I’d like to help out, I was excited, a bit nervous, and slightly overwhelmed. What would need to be done to create a pack that would build excitement for the whole weekend?

Starting with the visual identity created by Sean Martell, I had a strong idea of what might be needed. I worked with a team of new people from across Mozilla to carefully select each piece of the kit. Then I worked with Sean and Lee Tom to make sure each item showcased the Summit branding. And Matej Novak helped me craft a message that not only described the kit, but also set the tone for the weekend to come. All together I think that we found the right formula.

A letter for the Welcome KitBut what made this project so special for me was not the end result, it was the people that I got to work with to make it happen. My work already falls in a unique position that I have the privilege of working with two different teams. This project gave me an opportunity to work more closely with my colleagues from the Creative Team plus many new people. I was amazed by their dedication and by how much each of them cared about making the Summit an experience to remember for every single attendee. It solidified why I love working at Mozilla and helped me to more clearly see how I fit into the larger organization.

Oh, plus there was the reward of observing the excitement of people getting their kits and seeing the Mozilla mark all around Brussels. I was so proud to be a part of such an awesome team (and the final product wasn’t bad either).

Contects of the Welcome Kit

2013 in Review: Sometimes You Get a Glimpse into the Future

Rainer Cvillink

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My name is Rainer Cvillink and I’m one of the video guys at Mozilla. My job is to give Mozilla and its technology a human face. Mozilla is all about people, and I am privileged to be able to showcase this unique community to the world.

I do everything from highly-polished ads to short documentaries to sizzle reels and pretty much anything else, but there’s one thing that gets me excited every time I make a video about it: new technology. There’s nothing more thrilling than to get a glimpse into the future. Having that kind of brain stimulation of what technology will become and how it can change of what we’re doing today is just beyond words…and this last year there was one video that stood out for me showcasing Firefox OS, Mozilla’s new initiative to mobile technology: The Mobile World Congress 2013 recap.

This video had several aspects for me. It showed that something new and big has arrived. It let you feel the commitment of a community trying something unbelievable and seeing it executed on a level that rivals all the other players in that field. And, on a personal human level. it made me extremely proud to be part of something so massive and meaningful.

(imagine the above with an Austrian accent)

2013 in Review: Aspiring Towards and Accomplishing Wonders

Ty Flanagan

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Look to the Stars

As a designer working for Mozilla, you can always be assured that there’s never a shortage of visual challenges that cater towards elevating our Mission and Brand. Since early 2011, I have been involved with designs for our Firefox release channels, community events, newsletters, infographics, Firefox Affiliates, setting up our Assets Repository, and many other initiatives.
This past year has been no different as I spent majority of my creative energies working towards introducing Firefox OS to our community, industry leaders and consumers around the world. Having been tasked to create two new websites to support Firefox OS this past year was what made it both very exciting and very memorable.

Ignition

Let’s briefly go back to mid-December 2012. A time when I forgot what sleep was since the excitement around sharing Firefox OS was too difficult to contain. Mobile World Conference 2013 (MWC) was almost upon us and it was crucial that we hosted an online presence which effectively communicated the importance of Firefox OS to the mobile industry, including simultaneously strengthening the presence of Firefox for Android and the Firefox Marketplace.

Me: Challenge accepted! So how long do we have?”
Project lead:  “6 weeks to create, build, be mobile-friendly, test and translate it.”
Me:  “Say what now?”

Shock aside, we assembled a very talented team and within a week had discovered our eureka moment. (Much of this could not have happened without our UX lead, Holly Habstritt Gaal). Once we had an idea of how it was going to function, it made it easier to form the site. Now I said easier for a reason since the design would need to evolve with continued feedback along with the eventual addition of new assets. Starting with our brand guidelines, I then shifted focus to introducing Firefox OS and other needed on-page elements.

Creating the foundation

Creating the foundation

It wasn’t much yet, but it laid down a workable foundation. From there I created the rest of the site using content and imagery which related to the products we were showcasing and also ensured that it would be expandable too. Continue reading …

2013 in Review: Not Averse to Verse

Matej Novak

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Projects big and projects small
In twenty-thirteen we did them all
We showed the Mobile World our prowess
And rolled out waves of Firefox OS
The Summit signaled a dawning era
In Toronto, Brussels and Santa Clara
Made pictures move for Firefox Flicks
And threw some websites into the mix

The Creative team, we provided support
To projects small and of great import
But none so unique and hardly lighter
In tone — the pick of this copywriter —
A sonnet written in rhyming verse
That showed our range has grown diverse
And how we’ve come to play a role
Much greater to the project as a whole

Now you might say that’s no big deal
A trifle so small it’s barely real
But apart from being enormous fun
It’s a sign of just how far we’ve come
In living up to our potential
And growing increasingly essential
To teams beyond our own, Engagement,
It’s become a fine arrangement

Whether working on social media or product
I’ve been impressed by our approach and conduct
I hope this doesn’t meet your scorn
Or sound too much like a self-tooting horn
But I’m ridiculously proud of our little team
(Though little in size, I hope not in esteem)
We look forward to what the future brings
Opportunity, success and many other things

April_403x403_FB_post_sonnet_806x806

2013 in Review: The Creative Team Looks Back

John Slater

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2013 was a very big year for Mozilla. And, as people across the organization focused on blowing minds at Mobile World Congress, launching Firefox OS in countries around the world, inspiring Mozillians at three simultaneous Summits and many other projects big and small, the Creative team was there the whole way to help bring our stories to life and make sure everything looked great.

With that in mind, we here at Team Fistbump have decided to do a retrospective highlighting some of our favorite work over the last 12 months. Rather than a comprehensive overview, each of us will be sharing some thoughts on a single project we particularly enjoyed. My hope is that you’ll come away with a sense of what motivates and inspires the group, along with a big picture look at how we fit into the wild, wacky world of Mozilla.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be publishing one post per day. I’ll be updating the list below with active links as they happen, so be sure to check back regularly and see how it’s taking shape. Here’s the schedule, so be sure to plan your blog-reading accordingly:

* Dec. 10: Matej Novak — Not Averse to Verse
* Dec. 11: Ty Flanagan — Aspiring Towards and Accomplishing Wonders
* Dec. 12: Rainer Cvillink — Sometimes You Get a Glimpse into the Future
* Dec. 13: Jennifer Balaco — A Welcome Kit for All Mozillians
* Dec. 16: Sean Martell — Such Logo
* Dec. 17: John Slater — Launching Firefox OS
* Dec. 18: Spencer Hui — The Journey of Firefox OS
* Dec. 19: Lee Tom — A Visual Roundup
* Dec. 20: Matt Ternoway — Going Social

Hope 2013 was a great year for you. See you in 2014!