As has been reported everywhere this morning, Mozilla has renamed Firebird. The new Firefox trademark is the result of a naming conflict with another open source project, and the process has been written up by those involved: Ben Goodger, Steven Garrity, and Jon Hicks.
As might be presumed from my earlier work with the Mozilla Foundation, I was privvy to the conversations that took place during the brainstorming. When it became apparent that Firefox was the candidate of choice, I noted my personal opinion. I didn’t like it. It just didn’t sound right. It’s not a browser, it’s a fighter jet or an 80’s hair band. It’s too easy to mistake the second syllable for a vulgarity when pronounced. It’s abrupt, and the alliteration doesn’t work. All the way up until this morning I still thought it was a poor choice.
But that was before I saw Jon Hicks’ brilliant logo, and the new pinstripe theme for OS X, and realized that as a brand, Firefox is actually going to work. This is one example where the sum is much greater than the individual parts. Though Hicks’ logo stands alone as an excellent piece of illustration, the browser context is needed to give it meaning. Though the pinstripe theme is great, it needs the logo to give it character. Though the browser is top-notch, it needs the branding to give it a public face that so far it has been lacking.
Safari now has some real competition and thanks to the new installer, using Internet Explorer on Windows is no longer a justifiable decision. Hats off, way off, to all involved in this effort. I can’t wait for the servers to unclog so I can grab my copy.