Mozilla has always boasted about being open-source so this move to open up their rebrand (the minefield that it has become in this day and age) makes sense from both an idealistic standpoint as well a PR one. It’s an interesting experiment and it will be cool to see what the next round of revisions leads to.
Could this be the best way to avoid major rebrand missteps like Gap, Tropicana or Uber? If the users have their say, in theory that means they’ll be (for the most part) happy with the rebrand. Now of course, any theory can be disproven, and I won’t be shocked if the final design is revealed to mob hysteria, but it’s an interesting approach.
Another benefit to this might be to make the rebranding process a bit more transparent and show people how much goes into it. Rebrands for the most part are usually dropped out of nowhere, on an unsuspecting public who is ill-prepared for the massive shock to their system. This might ease their users into the change, since change is something none of us are good with (you’ve all posted about your disgust whenever Facebook tweaks something).
Whatever the outcome, it’s doubtful that open-sourcing your company’s next rebrand will provide much more than an extra headache. This hasn’t been done a lot before and there isn’t much process and workflow developed for it yet and there probably won’t be until it’s been worked through a bit more. For now, you can rely on your trusty neighbourhood designers and creative thinkers (like us, here at 88!). Be sure to get feedback, have some brainstorms and show results to more than two people, but don’t invite the entire village into your living room to vote on the colour of your drapes. Spoiler: they’ll be beige.
Tim Singleton is an intermediate designer at 88 Creative. His Instagram isn’t open-source but it’s worth checking out. No pitchforks, please.