New Firefox Icon: Iterations 8 and 9

Note: this is a draft icon rendering for Firefox 3.5, subsequent iterations will be posted every 24 hours or so.

Today we have a double header, with iterations 8 and 9 exploring various ways to paint and light the Firefox’s tail.



The icon is being rendered by Anthony Piraino at the Iconfactory. The design has been influenced by a conceptual sketch by Jon Hicks, and a conceptual render by Stephen Horlander.

Background Information on the Project

Creative Brief
Evolving a Product Brand
Thinking about Refreshing the Firefox Icon


  1. #9 is your best so far. Still prefer Horlander’s though.

  2. Number 9 is awesome imo, adds a third dimension, just some parts in the center of the tail are not much prominent.
    And i still don’t like the dark blue border on the top left part :)

  3. I prefer 9 as you could probably guess by my advocation for bolder yellows in recent posts. Note that the land geography differs between these 2 icons and I also prefer 9 in that respect. Iteration 9 could be a final icon in my eyes, best one by far.

  4. Perhaps one small adjustment actually. I’d get rid of the lake (small light blue spec in the landmass). Sort of distracting, looks like an artifact that’s not meant to be there.

  5. #9 has a nice 3D effect, but maybe it’s a bit too bright. Definitely the best I’ve seen till now (could compete with Horlander’s version).

  6. I actually prefer the softer-lit iteration 8. It seems, friendlier? But to be fair, the gold in the tail is more striking in 9. Maybe a little more contrast between the tail and body in number 8 without the harsh, golden spikes of 9?

    Sorry, I’m not a professional, it’s just the feeling I get.

  7. #8 is too blurry and orange. The whole Fox looks orange.

    #9 is too shiny, now you have to make the rest of the fox the same style.

    I want fur! Foxes usually have fur you know.

    (You still haven’t beaten Horlander’s tail design)

  8. Love #9.

  9. Skylar L. Primm

    Here’s another vote for Number 9! (“Number 9… Number 9…”)

  10. There is something about Horlander’s tail I really like. I don’t know if it is the texture or the colors but these last designs look dull compared to him’s.

    And please get rid of that border on the top left of the globe.

  11. I agree, #9 is definitely the best.

  12. Iteration 8 looks better to me. 9 seems a bit washed out. However I guess when scaling down 9 would look slightly better as the contrast between light and dark is more obvious. Also the 3D effect comes out better in 9.

  13. Interesting to see how the flatness in the tail on #8 creates a strong sense movement as the fox upper torso grows out into space.

  14. Iteration 9 FTW!
    All it still needs is some tiny hint of a shadow on the bottom.

  15. On second thought, I think the left part of the fox in iteration 9 should be a little brighter.

  16. I’m voting #9 too!

  17. #9 looks better, I’m liking the yellow in the tail. I still think that it should be curvier, like in the early iterations. At the moment, it looks like a cluster of flat glowing spikes – like a radioactive porcupine? – while the earlier iterations had forking, and were very flamelike.

  18. I personally prefer 8. 9 is a bit too drastic and brings too much attention to the tail and away from the fox.

  19. I think that a transition with something more like 8 at the beginning ending in points more like 8. So, a combination of both :-)

  20. Iteration 9 is the most “exciting” but the body can’t compete with the tail – it pulls focus very heavily. Iteration 8 feels more balanced, but perhaps a bit blander.

  21. And so it begins. Soon there will be so many more new versions out there that people won’t have any idea of what the official one is.
    Damn shame.

  22. The parts which wrap around the earth (2pm, 3pm, 4pm & 5pm), all look the same. If you look at Horlander’s tail, its less predictable has better texture and feel. The only problem with Horlander’s icon was the colours, but with a few iterations it could have gotten there. I am still a confused as to whether the whole fox is a mythical ‘firefox’ or if the tail should elude to ‘fire’ (as it currently does) making it a fire-fox? Some clarity will add strength to the final draft. So far 9 is the strongest if we go with the ‘fire-fox’ path. Maybe just rough up the tail a little and add some randomness.

  23. I was really hoping that the Firefox icon would be reinvented somewhat. Most users won’t notice any difference between the current icon and any of the iterations that have been previewed recently. And to be frank, the current icon is leagues ahead of any of these redesigns. The glossy globe is too washed out at the top, and trying to make the current design of the fox more realistic is just pointless. I think less is more in this case. Check out

  24. Both 8 and 9 are looking great and starting to look better than the original Firefox 3 icon. Its just that the tail wrapping around the globe looks too ‘staged’ and looks more like the tail is being ‘pulled’ around the globe at certain predictable points, rather than just naturally wrapping around. Horlander did the tail and the wrapping better IMHO.


  26. Number 8 is friendlier than 9. 9 looks aggressive …

  27. No 9 Globe + upper body + Stephen Horlander’s tail.

  28. I would like to see a version without the (or with reduced) two top-left-most yellow spikes. I think it would help sell the “tail is going around the globe” idea. Currently they are very much in-front so for there to be tail behind a round globe, the tail would have to have a rather wide gab.

    Also, are you trying to emphasize or deemphasize the “hand” image. I.e. the four parts of tail seems separated enough that it looks like the four fingers while the two top-left-most yellow spikes is the thumb, so the fox has got a hand for a tail and is grabbing the globe. If you want to deempasize the hand idea, you should probably make the four “fingers” less regular.

  29. 9 is very good!

    What happens if the reflection on the globe is toned down and the two lower-most “holes” in the tail are removed so that the dark blue does not show through? I think this would remove the distraction of the lower part of the icon and make a more visually cohesive arrangement.

  30. The rendering of the tail in no.9 doesn’t match up with the rest of the fox very well. No. 8 definitely looks much better, but the land geography looks too messy, i think it would look better if the lines were simplified somewhat

  31. Aaron Strontsman

    Both look really great. My tendency is towards number eight, because the flames don’t look round in this one.

  32. At a first glance, the #9 looks much better, but this is not as obvious as it seems when you look at both icons a bit longer. Number 8 is much more balanced in terms of color (and also looks better when grayscaled, which is also a good factor).

  33. This is a gread discussion. how about uploading some source vectors each time so the community can visually discuss back

  34. the ‘painting’ on number 9, essentially a brighter tail with more vibrant yellows, is good.

    Whilst I like Horlander’s icon, #9 is a better tail. Horlander’s tail now looks too wild.

  35. obviously I meant starting with 8 and ending with _9_ :-)

  36. Kurt (supernova_00)


    The tail in #8 looks washed out/blurry.

  37. I personally like 8 better, 9 is too aggressive to my taste.

  38. The tail really looks substantial in number 9.

    It would be perfect if that one little tuft on the tail wasn’t pointing away from the planet. The brighter yellows nearly render that errant tuft invisible, though.

    And that landmass at the bottom of the globe, right above the fox, looks a little out of place.

  39. These look awesome, esp. 9.

  40. Definitely #8, the other one has too much volume. Although I do like how defined the tail edges look in #9.

  41. I think what bugs me about these renderings is that you can see “behind” some of the flames, and so it becomes clear that the tail isn’t actually that thick. In other words, half of the “body” of the Firefox is weirdly thin. I realise it’s a fictional creature, but I sort of expect it to have substance. In the current rendering, you can get that illusion.

    The other thing is that I’d like to see what it looks like if we _don’t_ make the globe lighter as you go up, or at least not as much. Leave the icy “pole” there, sure, but remove some of the lightening. I think currently it looks like the sun is shining down vertically on the pole, which is odd. That’s not a way planets normally look.

    Thanks for being so interactive about this :-)

  42. Imo, if you really need the icon to be in 3D, then you should make a 3D model of the globe and the fox. Now it looks like it’s trying to be both 2D and 3D.

  43. Agree, #9 globe, head and colors + Horlander’s tail.

  44. I like Iteration 9 more than any other iteration, but I still like Horlander’s tail feathers more than the current one. Horlander is quite the designer :D

  45. Mr Faaborg, you had previously stated that, the positive feeling towards Mr Horlander’s version was largely, “because people are afraid of change, and the icon is a little less of a departure from the previous shipping version”. I would say that the tail element on Horlander’s design is quite a departure from the current FF3 icon and it is this tail that people are liking.
    I would not say that we should just ‘use Horlander’s tail’, with iteration #9 or #8. But the current iteration can adopt elements of Horlander’s tail, its texture and natural flow and perhaps even improve on it?
    I am grateful to have had the opportunity to interact in this way. Its a very positive move…thank you Mr Faaborg! :-)