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The Firefox logo is not a fox

by daisy
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It is easy to know when you are using the Firefox internet browser because the logo is a fox on fire. Simple. Internet Explorer has an E, Google Chrome has that logo that looks like the memory game Simon and Mozilla Firefox has a fox on fire. Except it turns out that the Firefox logo is not a fox on fire at all! You can start to question everything you know in life at this point because I always thought that was one of life’s last certainties. 

The firefox logo is definitely an animal with its tail on fire but it is not strictly a fox. Actually the animal is more closely linked to the red panda but is somewhere between the two. 

The red panda is an animal that looks a little bit like a sonic the hedgehog character and a little bit like a raccoon. While in English we call it a red panda, in Chinese it is called hǔo hú (火狐), the direct translation of this is firefox. When the company created its new name and brand, Jon Hicks was tasked with coming up with a new logo. He created the logo we know today so that it was an image of the red panda overseeing the world (wide web) but not too different from a fox.

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The logo was basically designed to please everyone and did a fantastic job. To those in China who looked at it they likely saw the red panda they expected and to those who looked at in the Western world they definitely saw a fox with a fiery tail. 

Firefox is a leading internet browser today because of its free open-source nature. The name Firefox came from it originally being called Phoenix as a reference to the mythical beast that rose from its ashes. This was a nod to how this internet browser rose from the ashes of Netscape Navigator. The name Phoenix faced copyright issues so switched to Mozilla Firebird. Firebird also faced some copyright issues so the company eventually settled on Firefox based on the aforementioned red panda.

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