Shit-Stained Icons

firefox2.jpgLike a good geek, I upgraded my browser from Firebird to Firefox. (I’m presuming Mozilla renamed it because their barebones browser has become more devious. Never mind a proper explanation.) Version 0.8 hasn’t had nearly as many problems as Version 0.7. But there’s one terrible problem. Note the icon which precedes this paragraph. I’ve resized it to how it looks on my taskbar. It resembles either a gall stone being pushed through an unsightly orifice, or a penny gumball tinged with an orange-tinged fecal coating. In either case, it makes me sick to my stomach. And I’m sure I’m not alone here.

I like to support the little guy. Really, I do. And I can understand why this shit-stained orange color was decided upon (slightly more shit-stained than the hue of the AOL Instant Messenger icon, but enough of a gradient to count). There’s been a rise in vibrant blue, more dimensional icons. Ever since Windows XP came out. But has an unspoken civil war been declared on certain icon colors? I don’t think I’ve seen yellow or maroon or even trusty black in the last two years. Either there’s some post-9/11 “comfort icon” thing happening that nobody wants to acknowledge or icons have become so uninteresting that even able developers like Mozilla are resorting to shit-stained icons.

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One Comment

  1. The mozilla site actually has a little write-up about the name change:

    http://www.mozilla.org/projects/firefox/firefox-name-faq.html

    Apparently, it was a trademark issue. . The last name, Firebird, drew strong objections
    from the Firebird database community when it was announced in April. The database
    community’s supporters and commercial backers waged a high-profile campaign against
    mozilla.org and affiliated parties until mozilla.org announced that Firebird would only be
    used as a codename. The new Firefox moniker is intended to be used as a permanent
    product name and a strong brand identity will be built around it. The new name was
    chosen after extensive international trademark searches and consultations with lawyers.
    The designer posts about the logo design here:

    http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/archives/000377.php

    Personally, I like the new icon. Or at least I like the fact that it doesn’t look very similar to
    the Nero tray icon like Firebird did. I would sometimes accidentally click Nero when I
    wanted my browser, then I had to wait for it to open and close it – kind of irritating.
    Of course, if you don’t like the colours, you can always change a shortcut icon to whatever
    you like. You could even keep the icon and run it through Photoshop to change the colour.
    I’d say an icon some might find ugly is a small trade-off. considering the other browser
    alternatives.

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