Mozilla took the form of a green and purple cartoon lizard. Programmer Jamie Zawinski came up with the name during a meeting while working at the company. Mozilla was designed by Dave Titus in 1994.
The name "Mozilla" was already in use at Netscape as the codename for Netscape Navigator 1.0. The term came from a combination of "Mosaic killer" (as Netscape wanted to displace NCSA Mosaic as the world's number one web browser) and Godzilla. Initially the mascot took various forms, including that of a helmeted astronaut or "spaceman", but the eventual choice of a Godzilla-like lizard was no doubt thought to go well with the Godzilla-like name.
Mozilla featured prominently on Netscape's web site in the company's early years. However, the need to project a more "professional" image (especially towards corporate clients) led to his being removed. Mozilla continued to be used inside Netscape, though, often featuring on T-shirts given to staff or on artwork adorning the walls of the Netscape campus in Mountain View.
The name "Mozilla" later became more prominent when it was used for the open source browser of the same name. With the launch of the mozilla.org web site in 1998, the mascot was redesigned as a larger, fiercer red Tyrannosaurus rex. The new design was by Shepard Fairey of "Obey Giant" and Barack Obama "Hope" poster fame.
When Netscape acquired the website directory NewHoo in 1998, they rebranded it the Open Directory Project with the nickname "DMOZ" (Directory of Mozilla) due to its similarity to the Mozilla project. A green and purple image of Mozilla was placed on every page of the site, which remains the case today, despite Netscape's disbanding after its acquisition by AOL.
The mascot has since been "retired from active duty" and has been removed from official Mozilla branding.
- "Portfolio of freelance illustrator and animator Dave W. Titus". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- "Shepard Fairey: From Mozilla to Obama". Acts of Volition. March 5, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- "Mozilla branding". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- The birth of the name Mozilla
- The Mozilla Museum - lots of pictures of Mozilla
- Mozilla teeshirt art
- Dave Titus - creator of Mozilla