Quick Tips: Working With the Creative Team

As leader of the creative team here at Mozilla, I’m often asked about the best way to work with my group. What kind of info do we need to kick off a project? Is a creative brief really necessary? Do we have a process, and what is it, anyway?

Quite rightly, people want to know these sorts of things, and while I’m always happy to discuss in person I also thought it would be helpful to put a few basic tips into a video for the Capture Mozilla series. So, if you’ve ever wondered about the best way to engage the Mozilla creative team (or perhaps the similar team at your organization, if that’s more relevant to you), then sit back for three minutes and enjoy:

Big thanks to our awesome community member Sean Bolton for his help putting the video together. And if you liked this one we have a few others like it in the works, so stay tuned for more coming soon.

A New Firefox Logo for a New Firefox Era

The concept of what Firefox is has evolved quite a bit over the years. Not too long ago, it was a desktop browser, plain and simple. However, as the Web has grown and developed in new ways, so has Firefox – it’s now a browser for Android, Mac, Windows and Linux as well as an apps marketplace and a brand new mobile operating system. That’s a lot of change in a short period!

With all that in mind, we’ve decided that the time is right to reflect this ongoing evolution with a visual refresh of the Firefox logo and product icon. As you can see from the graphic above, the basic concept remains exactly the same, but it’s been modernized to reflect Firefox’s role in the ever-changing Web of 2013 and beyond.

Unlike previous versions, the updated logo was created specifically with mobile in mind. Although we think it looks great at any size, it’s been optimized to be crisper and cleaner on small screens and lower resolution devices. However, it also scales quite nicely for use in retina displays, and (unlike previous versions) can be accurately recreated in SVG so it’s more ‘of the Web’.

This 2013 edition of the logo was created by the always-awesome Sean Martell, who has provided plenty of juicy details about the design over at his blog. It’s making its first in-product appearance with today’s desktop release of the Firefox 23 beta, and will be rolled out across all other Firefox versions as well as websites and promotional materials in the coming weeks.

If you’re a fan of the Firefox logo in its various forms over the years, here’s some additional reading you may enjoy:
* Sean Martell’s post on the creative process behind the newest version
* Alex Faaborg’s creative brief and notes from the previous refresh (in 2009)
* Jon Hicks’ summary of the original logo creation process (in 2004)

Design a General Contributor Badge for Mozilla QA

(crossposted from our QA blog)

Attention visual designers! Are you interested in contributing to Mozilla QA, being part of an awesome worldwide community and having your work seen by a lot of people? If so, read on because we’re looking for help with a very cool new project.

Mozilla’s Quality Assurance (QA) team relies on community volunteers for help with a variety of things and would like to create a badge to recognize these contributors for their work. The following actions represent a small sample of the many different ways a community contributor could earn a General QA Participation Badge:

  • Participating in a Test Day
  • Translating documentation
  • Filing or updating bugs in Bugzilla
  • Participating in product stability testing and crash investigation
  • Running tools (like link checkers against Mozilla websites, etc.)
  • Submitting a pull request on Github for test automation
  • Assuming responsibility for one round of manual testing in a project
  • Completing a round of exploratory testing

This General QA Participation Badge will serve as a guideline for other, more specific QA badges that will follow. The badge will also be part of the Open Badges Project (http://www.openbadges.org/) – a wider network of badges that are interoperable, shareable and contain metadata so people can easily learn more about how they’re earned. The badge will go into a digital badge repository, and could be added to blogs using a WordPress plugin.

Mozilla QA needs a visual designer to create this badge. Interested? You need not be a professional designer – we’d love to have anyone try their hand at creativity and submit their design.

* To submit designs, please upload your images to Flickr and tag them with mozqabadges. (This part is very important – we won’t see your submission if it’s not tagged properly.)
* Designs are due on Friday, August 16 2013 8:00 PM PST.
* Deliverables include 90×90 PNGs for each badge, with a maximum size of 256kb.

Christopher Appleton of the Mozilla Foundation has already developed a visual system for other Mozilla-related badges, so we would need you to both follow his general style and put your own creative twist on this particular project.
• Avoid using existing branding http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/styleguide/identity/mozilla/branding/
• Badge design should be predominantly illustrative (photography should be used sparingly or not at all)
• Text should be avoided on the badge itself
• Graphics should be legible at small sizes

If you have questions, please send an email to marcia@mozilla.com and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.

A Chat With David Smiley, Mozilla Design Contributor

I posted about the results of our WebDev badges design challenge yesterday, and today wanted to share a bit more behind-the-scenes perspective via a quick Q&A with our winner, David Smiley.

Many thanks to David for sharing his talents with us…the work turned out great. Be sure to follow him on Twitter, and read on for more details about what it’s like to be part of the Mozilla design community:

What’s your design background? How did you become interested in design?
I’m a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida where I studied studied studio art. However, in terms of digital design I’m primarily self-taught. I’ve always enjoyed drawing but I think that it was Flash that really made me fall in love with design. I started creating Flash animations when I was about 14 years old and after that I just couldn’t get enough of it. A few years later, and countless hours spent toiling away in front of the computer screen, I find myself offering my services as a freelance graphic designer and still enjoy every minute of it.

How did you find out about this design challenge?
I actually found out about the challenge through the Mozilla Creative Twitter account. To be honest, I’ve been geeking out about Firefox OS lately so I’ve been following news from Mozilla pretty closely.

What was your thought process behind the work here? Any particular inspirations or influences you’d like to share?
I’ve been following the Open Badges project for a while now and have just been absolutely fascinated by it. As someone who is primarily self-taught when it comes to digital design I can definitely see the merit in a system that allows you to get recognition for skills you’ve learned outside of the traditional channels. For inspiration I looked to the existing Mozilla Webmaker badges. I felt like the contributor badges should continue the visual style that those badges started. I think the most challenging aspect of this project was the fact that I was pretty unfamiliar with contributing through Github, so it took some research before I was comfortable representing these achievements. I’m really satisfied with how they turned out though, and I hope the contributors enjoy them as much as I enjoy their work.

Any advice for other designers looking to get involved with Mozilla?
Follow @mozcreative on twitter and then head over to the design wiki at the Mozilla Developer Network to get started! It really is immensely rewarding to contribute and be involved with such an awesome organization!

Community Design Update: We Have New WebDev Badges!

A few weeks ago I posted an open call to the Mozilla community for help designing a series of online badges so our Web Development team could recognize the work done by their volunteer contributors. I’m happy to report that not only did we get a variety of great submissions, but the winning design turned out to be something I feel really great about.

Here you can see the full set of badge designs, created by David Smiley:

Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 1.03.43 PM

(You can also see David’s set of badges a little more up close and personal on his Flickr page.)

In addition to these community-created visual designs, we’re excited to share that these are open badges. They’re different from other digital (image-based) badge files in that they have metadata information baked into them. This will make it possible for Mozilla contributors’ future collaborators and employers to see the criteria and evidence behind their badges. These are the first Mozilla-issued badges for contributors that align with the technical standard that Mozilla Foundation has created.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the challenge…you can check the full set of submissions here if interested. And if you’re interested in this sort of thing, stay tuned for more community design projects and badge design competitions with other Mozilla teams!

Illustration techniques: Sketch to vector

For those of you interested in how the updated version of my “Don’t hurt the Web” poster was created, I thought I’d share the various techniques I used in the process.

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of it, some background on the visual itself. In the poster, we see a sad little fox (Kit) in tears and looking for love and kindness. In no way is he meant to represent a run-down, tired, vulnerable Firefox. The sadness we see in Kit in the poster is his reaction to people hurting the Web he loves – it’s sadness out of the Web he loves being hurt, not himself. He isn’t meant to be addressing specific events or people, just a general reminder that no matter where we find the web – desktop or mobile – be sure to build with standards, openness, and all players in mind.

To see the full technique gallery, please head on over to Reticulating Splines.

Happy art making!

Final Artwork



Community Design: Mozilla Contributor Badges

Attention visual designers! Are you interested in contributing to Mozilla, being part of an awesome worldwide community and having your work seen by a *lot* of people? If so, read on because we’re looking for help with a very cool new project.

Our Web Development team relies on community volunteers for help with a variety of things and would like to create a series of badges to recognize these contributors for their work. Specifically, they need badges that could be earned by the following actions on Github:

* fork a site repo
* submit a pull request
* one pull request merged
* 10 pull requests merged
* 25 pull requests merged
* 50 pull requests merged
* 100 pull requests merged

These will be part of the Open Badge project – a wider network of badges that are interoperable, shareable and contain metadata so people can easily learn more about how they’re earned. The only catch is that we need someone to design them. Interested? Read on after the jump for more details.

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