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

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

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.


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

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


2013 in Review: The Creative Team Looks Back

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!

Introducing Project Chameleon

Design at Mozilla – spread across many project and teams – is crafted every day using methods and styles that in some cases are unique to the individual teams. This can result in a diluting of our overall message through inconsistent design practises. To address these concerns, we have initiated a cross-team effort we’re calling Project Chameleon.

What is Project Chameleon?

Style elements such as palettes, fonts, interaction elements, etc need to be aligned and documented to standardize our overall designs into a “Mozilla way”. Project Chameleon was initiated to achieve this and ensure a consistent voice for us in all our visuals, as well as form a great resource for contractors and third parties we interact with.

Key Goal

  • Create a first-class, comprehensive Mozilla-recognizable visual language.

Secondary Goals

  • Expand the One Mozilla style guide to encompass all active projects/products.
  • Strengthen cross-team collaboration and communications.
  • Educate the community and design industry on the strength of Mozilla’s design teams.

What this is not

This project is not a redesign or style overhaul. The purpose of the visual language is to document the current design standards across Mozilla projects/products into one overarching style and point out inconsistencies in order to align those styles across the board. There may be tweaks here and there based on the findings, but no sweeping changes.

Expanding on design values



The Firefox design values created by the UX team are a perfect foundation to build on when it comes to visual consistency and the key factors that drive it. Expanding on these – with a particular focus on the “Finely crafted” tier – will ensure a cohesive feel that ensures our work embodies the underlying values.

Within the finely crafted tier, it states that “a beautiful product is a pleasure to use and feels easy and clear. This only comes with craft and attention to detail.” This attention to detail combined with cross-team style unity are the building blocks to achieving the goals of the project.

Stay tuned for much more information over the next few weeks, including who is involved and how we plan to involve the greater Mozilla community in our process!

Calling All Designers: Mozilla Needs You!

The creative team at Mozilla handles a wide range of visual design, writing and video projects, and there are always plenty of ways for interested community members out there to get involved. Today, we have a couple of opportunities in particular that would be perfect for any skilled visual designers looking to contribute:

Reddit Graphics
If you’re a Redditor, this is the project for you. We’re looking for someone who can liven up /r/Mozilla and /r/Firefox with the proper visual themes. Details are available in bug 937325, and once you’re signed on for the project we can discuss further.

Mozilla Web Compatibility Visuals
The Mozilla Web Compatibility team works toward the goal of making sure people can use the Web regardless of the particular device or browser they’re using. That effort is very closely connected to the Mozilla mission, of course, and they need help with a design for a t-shirt, website and Twitter account visuals. This project is bigger than the Reddit one, but there’s a tremendous opportunity to make an impact if you’re interested.

How to Get Involved
If either of these sound appealing to you, please email us at creative@mozilla.com with details about yourself and which one you’d like to help with. Be sure to include a portfolio or links to other work you’ve done. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Update November 19:
Thanks to everyone who’s contacted us or shown an interest so far. We’ll be holding this one open until Friday, November 22, but if you don’t get in touch in time don’t worry…there will be other opportunities for sure!

QA Taskboard Development: Call for Participation

(crossposted from our QA blog)

Mozilla Quality Assurance (QA) would like to build a Taskboard to enable community members to contribute in an area of their interest and feel good about their contribution. The Taskboard would also work well for Mozilla QA’s needs and dovetail nicely into its existing workflows. Over the last one year, Mozilla QA has held several brainstorming sessions with community contributors as to what such a Taskboard should look like – thanks to all those who gave voice to their needs and desires! The Taskboard is now called One and Done to emphasize that community contributors can work on tasks one at a time, one day at a time, and feel good about doing them.

Mozilla QA is now ready to move ahead with the development of the Taskboard. The first chunk of work, named Version 1 Milestone 1, has a well-defined scope of work with an accompanying technology stack and Github repository. We are now looking for community members to participate in building the Taskboard and bringing it to life. If you are a UI designer, front-end developer, database developer, or tester, then your skills are highly needed. If you don’t have these skills but would like to participate anyway, you are strongly encouraged to do so. We welcome all helping hands!

Get Involved

  1. If you don’t have a profile at mozillians.org, please create one. (If you need someone to vouch for you, please get in touch with us.)
  2. In your mozillians.org profile, fill out the Skills section.
  3. View the Mozillians Group for One and Done and join it by clicking on the ‘Join Group’ button.
  4. Let us know of your interest by sending an email to marcia@mozilla.com. You may also leave a comment on our blog post.
  5. Got questions? Feel free to ask us anything you want in the #qa IRC channel.

One and Done Version 1 Milestone 1 specifics

About One and Done

Mozilla General QA Participation Badge design unveiled

(crossposted from our QA blog)

40 community-contributed designs. 5 visual designers. 21 days of community-driven voting. 150 votes. 1 community favorite badge design.

The votes are in and Mozilla’s Quality Assurance (QA) team is happy to declare the General QA Participation Badge chosen by the community. We’re also happy to have two of the visual designers share their experience with us.

General QA Participation Badge

[Design submission from Flickr user ivana.catovic] The design chosen overwhelmingly by our community was Ivana Catovic’s. Some of our community members further endorsed their choice by leaving positive comments on SurveyMonkey like “It shows the QA clearly and very good design.” and “clear and easy to understand :-)”.

Ivana Catovic

[Ivana Catovic]

Graphic designer Ivana Catovic hails from Rijeka, Croatia, but currently lives in London where she is working on her personal project, BeLove. She loves travelling, reading, drawing, dancing, watching films, drinking tea and spending time with interesting people.

Question: How did you hear about Mozilla and its call for General QA Participation Badge Design submissions?
Ivana: I have always used Mozilla Firefox as a browser, but I found out about the submissions through a friend who is an employee of Mozilla.

Question: What was your thought process behind the design that you created?
Ivana: After analysing the brief and getting familiar with badges that were already in use, I set up my design direction. General QA Participation Badge had to differentiate from all other badge groups and allow further development of an entire set of more specific QA badges. At the same time it had to preserve the general style of already developed visual system for other Mozilla-related badges. Therefore, I have introduced a new representative colour (green) and a new typographic solution for the badge, while keeping its characteristic shape and style. I wanted the overall design to stay clean and simple as well as legible at small sizes. Green colour and its shades can be easily applied to more specific badges that are yet to come. I also think that the colour itself perfectly matches QA mission.

[Ivana Catovic Mozilla UK T-shirt design]Question: Have you contributed to any other Mozilla projects in any other way?
Ivana: Yes, I was invited to create a custom Mozilla UK T-shirt last year. Dave Hunt, an automation engineer who works for the automation and tools team, always thought it would be great to have a specific T-shirt design for the UK and after he had seen one of my designs, he proposed a collaboration. I found the project incredibly interesting and I made an illustration representing a gentleman Fox in a typical British situation – floating on a puddle in his bowler hat, enjoying a cup of tea.

Question: How did you get involved in this kind of work? What’s your background?
Ivana: Although I studied fashion, I was always attracted to graphic design. At the end of my studies I had the opportunity to spend a year in Lisbon doing a graphic design course and I jumped at the chance. I enjoyed it so much that I have decided to change the direction of my professional life. I have been working as a graphic designer ever since. My love for textiles is still present though, and I’m expressing it through my personal project BeLove. Every now and then I create a series of handmade gifts. The latest are Tea cosies and you are welcome to check them out at www.facebook.com/be.love.be. (Coffee cosies coming up soon!)

Question: What is your favorite type of design to work on?
Ivana: I mostly enjoy working on projects that include lettering or illustration. I love creating visual identities and packaging design.

Question: What serves as your design inspiration?
Ivana: Random little wonders of everyday life.

Question: What do you consider your proudest design moment?
Ivana: I don’t really think there is a specific moment that I would like to point out. I always feel fulfilled after finding the right solution for every single project I develop and I am always looking forward to new challenges.

Question: What advice would you give to someone who is new and interested in visual design?
Ivana: Work hard and pursue your dreams.

Glenn “Buzz” Parsons

Buzz is a California-based graphic designer and illustrator. He loves collecting vinyl records of movie soundtracks.

Question: How did you hear about Mozilla and its call for General QA Participation Badge Design submissions?
Buzz: I follow Mozilla’s Creative Team on Twitter and one of the tweets mentioned it.

Question: Have you contributed to any other Mozilla projects in any other way?
Buzz: I have not but being a long time user of the software, I felt it was time to contribute.

Question: What was your thought process behind the designs you created?
[Design submission from Flickr user bot_mechanic]
Buzz: Mostly I was thinking in terms of something simple, that would read at a small size, and still be bold and have impact. Also designs that suggested examination and oversight. The blue color seemed to suggest a winning ribbon or show prize, to symbolize the hard work that all the volunteers put into their work for Mozilla. The QA folks deserve a first-place ribbon.

Question: How did you get involved in this kind of work? What’s your background?
Buzz: I have been a designer for over twenty years, with logos and lettering as a side specialty. My beginnings were around the music industry, that lead to many other parts of the design and advertising business.

Question: what is your favorite type of design to work on?
Buzz: Lettering design and logos for different businesses and clients is my favorite mostly because it’s a confined component piece that fits into a larger puzzle or concept. I get to focus on my small area that can have a large impact. When you’re overseeing a general design, like a brochure or book cover, there are many elements to organize visually. Logos are just very focused and distilled; it makes them special to work on.

Question: What serves as your design inspiration?
Buzz: Everything and nothing.

Question: What do you consider your proudest design moment?
Buzz: The next job.

Question: What advice would you give to someone who is new and interested in visual design?
Buzz: Know your design history and the people who made it, like Eero Saarinen who designed the TWA Terminal at JFK. It’s important to look around all the time.

Vote for your favorite General QA Participation Badge design

Mozilla’s Quality Assurance (QA) team is happy to announce that five community contributors have submitted designs for a General QA Participation Badge. We thank the community contributors for their creativity and hard work. Now it’s time for the Mozilla community to vote for their favorite. We’ve showcased the designs here so come help us choose the design that would serve the community the best!

(Note: All designs are also available on Flickr and tagged as mozqabadges. If you have questions, please send an email to marcia@mozilla.com and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.)


[Design submission from Flickr user gilaadnir]

Dino Biscuits

[Design submission from Flickr user Dino Biscuits]


[Design submission from Flickr user bot_mechanic]


[Design submission from Flickr user cosmin.stahiescu]


[Design submission from Flickr user ivana.catovic]

Vote for your favorite

Go to Survey Monkey and vote for your favorite design! The submitted designs are numbered below. Choose your favorite design, note its number, and vote for that number at Survey Monkey. Voting closes Sunday September 15, 2013 at 5 PM PST.

More logo news (with a surprise inside)

A little while ago, we introduced a new version of the Firefox logo. It wasn’t a complete overhaul, but rather an evolution that better reflects where we are today and where we’re going.

As part of that work, Lead Designer Sean Martell also updated the logos for Aurora and Nightly. You can read his blog post about it for more details and even watch him work on the updates in real time (if you have 3 hours to kill).

Together, these logos will represent our browser for the foreseeable future. We’re pretty excited about them and we’d like to share them with you. So, for a little Tuesday treat, here’s a new desktop wallpaper featuring all 3 that you can download: