Creative Strategy On View

The first semi-public viewing of the Mozilla Open Design project took place last week in London at the twice-yearly Mozilla All Hands gathering. More than 150 Mozillians visited and offered ideas at a pop-up exhibition installed in one of the meeting rooms.

The exhibition content split into two halves: a series of boards explaining why Mozilla needs to strengthen its brand, how the Mozilla brand was born, its pros and cons and how a proliferation of initiatives and sub-brands has diluted its core messages, and the work done to articulate the Mozilla mission, vision, and role in the world.

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The second half of the display took as its starting point the working brand narrative that the Mozilla team has been crafting for the last 3 months. (If you’re new to the branding process, you might be interested to know that most 21st century brands now start with these kind of verbal definitions, before they get anywhere near the visual).

As a team, we mined this working narrative to extract 7 possible thematic directions, shared with conference goers for their reactions and comments.

Now it’s your turn to brandish virtual Sharpies and Post-its. We’d like your feedback and ideas on this Creative Strategy phase of our work over the next ten days using the comments section below (to compare and contrast the directions) and/or at the end of the post describing each of the 7 directions.

So, have a look at the 7 and ask yourself:

  • Which of these best reflect what Mozilla promises to the world?
  • Which best reinforce the experiences and values Mozilla delivers?
  • Which could communicate the ‘right’ image to the world?
  • Which would excite new audiences to know and care about Mozilla’s work?

Try to think as much as you can about where you see Mozilla in the future, not where we’ve come from.

For each theme, we’ve written some trial words to explain what we mean. This takes the form of test ‘narrative’ (the kind of words you might use at the top of a web page, or the words you’d use in a speech) and then some test headlines.

Around each, we’ve also attached some visual prompts—examples of ideas that work with this theme and other organizations that behave this way, for good and bad. (These visual clusters are just references to help bring the themes to life, in case you’re worried).*

Within a few days, we’ll share how Mozillians responded to these 7 possible themes, what we think we might have left out, and what we may want to add. The latter will undoubtedly include reactions and ideas from this audience. We’re eager to hear what you think.
* No logos. Not yet. Those will come later this summer.














Click on a poster to find more content on that theme and share your ideas and feedback.

20 comments on “Creative Strategy On View”

  1. Liz wrote on

    Choosing *between* these is so tough. I think there are elements (and especially specific lines) in almost every expression of the brand personality that really speak to who/what Mozilla is. We are for all AND for good. We are change makers and fighters. Is the idea to focus in one area and to try to not be all of these at once?

    1. Tim Murray wrote on

      The most helpful feedback at this phase would be to identify which aspect(s) of these 7 themes give off the most heat and light for you. Or, if you feel there’s something important about Mozilla that’s going unsaid in these 7, please suggest an alternative idea. Following this phase, we’ll parse, distill, and recombine the most important elements into 3 to 4 concepts that we’ll put through a design pressure test. See something that speaks to you (or turns you off)? Let us know. Thanks for participating!

  2. Shawn wrote on

    The themes I’m most drawn to would be For Good, followed by a very close second of Change Makers. The downside is that ‘good’ is so general that it’s hard to really pinpoint a specific area of “goodness” to go with. I think after reading the For Good and Change Makers themes it gave a sort of.. hope, I guess? Wanting to back Mozilla in the hope that the internet will be better with Mozilla on our side. Those themes also gave a “humanity first” type vibe (sort of like with Canonical’s Ubuntu).

    The Guide and For All didn’t really do much for me either way. They were okay, but they didn’t particularly “grab” me.

    The Fight, For Freedom, and to a lesser extent The Protector actually gave off some slight dystopian vibes. It’s quite difficult to convey freedom and protection on those themes without Orwellian/prison state imagery, and I definitely don’t associate those with Mozilla. This also ties into the Change Makers/For Good themes, as they seem to push the concept of everyone working together to fight/protect/free the internet, rather than one entity who we should trust to do all the work for us.

    1. Tim Murray wrote on

      That’s really thoughtful and well considered feedback, Shawn. We feel not just hopeful but confident about the future of the Internet, and victories like Net Neutrality prove that people will rally to keep this human-made wonder free from domination by a few. Couldn’t agree more about representations of Freedom almost require a visualization of its absence. (Think of how much screen time in Apple’s 1984 ad were devoted to domination before freedom got its final few seconds.) Mozilla can’t make people more free on its, but it can help them realize their power and reach through an ever-expanding future Net. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Hope you’ll keep checking back.

  3. Patrick wrote on

    I read the article above and found there is a big emphasis for the Web, which is great :) However, I am just thinking here: What about the Rust Language? It is safe, practical and a beautiful language to work with. Also, when Apple had the conflict with the FBI for unlocking the iPhone, I don’t see this as being directly related to the Internet, so why did Mozilla speak up. Not that I believe the organization should have showed it’s point of view, I just believe it’s goals shouldn’t be related to the Internet exclusively as described above. In the section “Our Heart” above, instead of saying “Your true, personal advocate for your online life”, maybe instead “Your true, personal advocate to bring out the best in technology, most notably the Internet”. It’s nice to be able to share our points of view on this decision.

    1. Tim Murray wrote on

      Thanks Patrick, really appreciate your thoughts here. Ultimately we’re aiming to create a Mozilla identity that helps all of our audiences grok the totality of the work we do. We see our work with Rust and with encryption as making the Internet both stronger and safer, raising the confidence level of people online. Our brand needs to appeal broadly to developers as well as consumers, with MDN (Mozilla Developer Network) taking on more technical topics of greater appeal to a tech audience. Thanks for pushing on the technology point though. It’s a good reminder.

      1. André Jaenisch wrote on

        “Ultimately we’re aiming to create a Mozilla identity that helps all of our audiences grok the totality of the work we do.”

        Grok is American slang. I remember having read a blog article of a new Mozilla employee stumbling upon several Mozilla-intern terms. There was an Etherpad online somewhere explaining those.

        However, you should keep in mind that your audience don’t live exclusively in U.S.A. ;-)

        1. Tim Murray wrote on

          Thanks for the reminder, Andre!

  4. Hossein ghassempoor aghdam wrote on

    It is a idea.

    1. Tim Murray wrote on

      Thanks, Hossein. A brand communicated solely through emoticons is a fun way of looking at it (and very mobile friendly)!

      1. André Jaenisch wrote on

        No, it is not. You need to ensure that the other client has the respective Unicode support.

        1. Tim Murray wrote on

          Good point, Andre. I meant to suggest that a brand built entirely using visuals might be universal in its appeal without the need for written language. Thanks for reminding us about the issues with emojis!

  5. Na_Designer wrote on

    Hi, How much time do I have for sending submission?
    How can I send my submission for you?
    How many submissions can I send you? Should be limited the number of them?

    1. Tim Murray wrote on

      Hi Na,
      You can share as much as you wish toward this effort. Although we have moved from the Creative Strategy phase to Concepting, we welcome ideas and feedback along the way. Thanks in advance for your contributions.

  6. Edward Allanby wrote on

    The themes are all based on an ideal. Whilst admirable, what’s the plan for the users who just don’t care?

    Are we hoping to re-condition them or ignore them? What is the benefit of using Mozilla to someone who is not paranoid or socially motivated?

    1. Tim Murray wrote on

      Hi Edward,

      Great questions! Our global research confirms that a large pool of people make choices in their offline life (like voting, volunteering, recycling, caring for the environment, etc.) that promote the good of their society. Many of these people are unaware that they can activate similar values in their decisions about online life. Once this group learns that Mozilla puts people ahead of profit and puts its resources to work improving the health, accessibility, and knowledge of the Internet, they will gravitate in this direction.

      Our refreshed brand will not appeal to everyone, and that’s OK. We are not here to win the competition but to make sure it’s as fair as possible, and that the players on the field know all of the rules and feel free to make their own decisions. We want an Internet where everyone has an equal chance to succeed. That’s victory for us and for all.

      As long as Firefox continues to improve its performance, stability, and independence-minded features, people may use it strictly for its utility. That’s fine. For others, knowing that using Firefox helps fund Mozilla’s work will only increase their desire to spread the word.

      Thanks for being a part of this conversation, and please keep the questions coming.

  7. naso wrote on

    Hi,I am a designer. Can I send idea yet? Do I have time for sending my idea yet?

    1. Tim Murray wrote on

      Hi Naso, Feel free to link out to your site or blog, or let me know if you’d like an email address to which to send your design. Thanks for contributing.

      1. naso wrote on

        Yes, please send your email address, thank you

  8. mim.dal wrote on

    please send your email address. ممنان میشم