For the upcoming new Firefox 3.5 (Shiretoko), Mozilla is planning an important final update: the venerable Firefox icon.

A few weeks ago, and despite the proximity of Firefox 3.5 final release, Mozilla announced its intention to revisit the logo for a subtle update that reflects the deep changes it has experimented in the last three major releases since its last retouch around Firefox 1.5 release.

In a post by Firefox User Experience team member, Alex Faaborg, he introduced the first of a daily series of logo proposals. Today’s (shown next to the current and original versions) presents a rendering by Anthony Piraino, based on a conceptual sketch by Jon Hicks (the original logo creator) from November 2007, that “introduced additional detail to the fur, and the flames starting to wrap around planet mozilla which significantly modernizes and streamlines the appearance of the icon.”

Firefox logos

In a previous post, Alex explains some common questions the decision may rise including the rationale and timing.

Why bother fixing something that isn’t broken?

In a marketplace that is focused on products that are newer, faster, lighter and shinier, design work is inherently perishable. Part of this is larger trends and fashion (for a period of time cars had fins), and part of this is simply ongoing visual change as an indication of overall progress.

For the creative motivations behind the overall effort, check Alex’s enlightening Creative Brief for Shiretoko Refresh.

UPDATE: A second iteration is already available as you can see below: less hairy, more saturated, more defined flames.

Shiretoko icon, iteration 2