Recently, there has been a rise in memes that mock the Firefox logo. You may have come across some of these images that tell you “they killed the fox”, and the new “Firefox minimalist logo”.
Well, Mozilla finally had enough of this and published an article at its blog to clarify the situation.
Here’s what happened. The story goes back to 2019, when Mozilla experimented with a new logo. It almost looked like they reversed the browser’s iconic (pun intended) imagery, and just took the fox’s face away, so it was kind of like a tail surrounding the globe. That sounds odd, but the important thing here is that this logo isn’t for the Firefox browser at all, it was made as an icon for the parent Firefox brand, which includes the browser and all other services/products made by the organization.
Take a look at this blog article from 2 years ago. This particular icon in question is something that has never been used for any of the Firefox versions or other service. While we are on that topic, it might seem like the non-profit organization was kind of going the Google-way, with the colorful icons in that image. Speaking of which, Mozilla calls the parent logo, a “fiery marble”.
Right, back to the present, here is one of the images that are being circulated on social networks, reddit and meme sites. While some of the icons are older versions used for the browser, you may have noticed that the last one, i.e., the meme Firefox logo is a slightly altered version of the parent brand’s icon.
The memes didn’t stop there, and were quite hilarious. One of these had a logo with the fox’s tail being replaced by a sphere making it a crunchyroll icon. There was an animated version of this which transitioned from Firefox to Microsoft Edge’s logo. Another meme featured an Among Us styled logo, there were other pictures with funny quotes, sarcastic humor, rude posts, and even completely different icons.
The downside was that the memes were being shared by social accounts with thousands of followers, and some of these were verified accounts. And the sad thing is, people started believing these were real, and even reached out to Firefox’s social accounts protesting the change.
This is when Mozilla decided to step in, the misinformation had to stop, and they had to officially say “No! the Firefox logo isn’t being changed”. The statement also took a swipe at the people sharing the memes, and stated that these people (who were sharing the memes) aren’t Firefox users, because otherwise they’d be familiar with the real logo on their desktop (or Taskbar). The only thing missing in Mozilla’s message was a facepalm meme.
While it may seem like a trivial thing on the surface, logos and brand recognition are actually pretty important. Many people have fallen victim to malicious programs, because of a case of mistaken identity, they looked at an icon and thought it was the official program, but at the end they got a potentially-unwanted program. Here’s an example of that.
Well, it wasn’t that bad in the case of the Firefox logo. That’s a relief of course, but maybe all these parodies will turn out to be good. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right? Perhaps some of those people who saw the memes will switch to Firefox.
Update: It appears Mozilla is fighting fire with fire, the latest Firefox nightly version actually changes the browser’s icon. But, wait for it, it is not the one from the memes. It’s a totally different one, the Doge meme.
The memes were claiming that the Fox face is missing, well now it is. And the new icon (and about page) was welcomed by r/firefox in good humor, and even got its own meme, “Such speed, much privacy, wow, very browser!”.
Download Firefox Nightly to get the new logo, the cool one that is.