Mozilla yesterday unveiled a new logo for the company and foundation, one that includes typographical elements of a standard URL to "design the language of the Internet into our brand identity."
The move dismissed the old dinosaur image and "Mozilla" typeface that the organization had relied on for decades.
Mozilla's new logo -- the characters "moz://a" with the colon and two slashes nabbed from a traditional URL -- was one of several semi-finalists revealed in August. The logo submissions that didn't make the cut included a large M, another that resembled origami, and a third that evoked a hieroglyph or petrograph.
"We want to be known as the champions for a healthy Internet," wrote Mozilla's creative director, Tim Murray, on the organization's website, as he explained the need for a new branding logo. "Because we are so committed to ensuring the Internet is a healthy global public resource, open and accessible to everyone, we've designed the language of the Internet into our brand identity."
According to Murry, Mozilla expended "thousands of emails, hundreds of meetings [and] dozens of concepts" on the quest for a new look. But the nod to the URL's colon and slashes mystified some, including Ars Technica's Peter Bright, since Firefox, like other browsers, has long suppressed the "http://" portion in its address bar.
Others also noted the contradiction. "I thought web browsers didn't really expose the protocol to users any more," wrote Greg Nicholson in a comment appended to Murray's announcement.
Although the majority of those who left comments praised the logo, some were unconvinced it's an improvement. "It makes me want to say 'Moz' and then stutter," said Leif. "As someone who grew up with the web, I've apparently grown to omit the '://' sequence of characters when I see it."
The logo of the Firefox browser, Mozilla's primary product and biggest money maker, remains unchanged.
During the months between the narrowing to several semifinalists and this week, Firefox boosted its user share, an estimate of the percentage of personal computers that ran the browser, by nearly 60%, climbing to 12.2 percentage points by the end of 2016.
Even so, in December Firefox accounted for less than half of its peak share, set six and a half years ago. Currently, Firefox is the No. 3 browser globally, behind Google's Chrome (with a 56% share) and Microsoft's Internet Explorer (26%).