Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Evolving the Dropbox Brand

Dropbox (tweet, Hacker News):

Today we’re announcing the biggest change to Dropbox’s look in our 10-year history.

As our mission has evolved from keeping files in sync to helping keep teams in sync, we realized our brand needs to change, too. Our new brand system shows that Dropbox isn’t just a place to store your files—it’s a living workspace that brings teams and ideas together. The look is expressive, with vibrant colors, rich imagery, a versatile typeface, and playful illustrations.

Putting aside how it looks, that Web site is incredibly hard to scroll and read. It’s like it broke my browser.

Paul Ford:

Dropbox has deemphasized the thing it does beautifully to emphasize the things everyone does poorly.

I just want to search through a folder and have files I actually personally created in this life show up.

Peter Maurer:

Side note: A service that’s meant to be invisible + shrill rebranding = heck of a juxtaposition. I bet those meetings were interesting.

Casey Newton (tweet):

In an interview with AdWeek, Dropbox says it’s hoping the new color combinations help it stand out more among the crowd, and aims to give a “nod to the creativity of our users.” The look and feel is now closer to Adobe than, say, Microsoft OneDrive. Dropbox says the logo colors “can change based on the situation,” though I am unclear on exactly what situation I would need my file sharing service to be a little more mint green than crimson red.

Armin Vit, we can’t wait until you get back.

Update (2017-10-04): Eli Schiff:


Bob Burrough:

How real humans see the Dropbox redesign.

Buzz Andersen:

I also like the site, but I feel like tech company redesigns are increasingly all manifesto and no follow through.

Riccardo Mori:

I have to be honest: the Dropbox redesign is appalling, but navigating the Web interface appears to be faster & more responsive than before.

The impact of the new design is also extremely mitigated once you log in.

Armin Vit:

Unfortunately, when the name contains box and the icon looks like a box, I, and perhaps others, expect a more box-like, box. Trying to shift its meaning to “a collection of surfaces” is conceptually valiant and may look interesting in animation but it’s still a box at the end of the day and the hard, isometric angles of the new icon make it look stiff and slightly disproportionate.

The wordmark is an improvement simply because Sharp Grotesk is an infinitely superior typeface than whatever the old one was and shifting the color to black is the equivalent of changing clothes from wearing jeans paired with a denim shirt to pairing jeans with a black t-shirt, which is much more flattering and helps define that there are two parts to the whole.


But, just as always, the illustrations feel oddly disconnected from the user interface. I always felt like the Dropbox illustrations were in conflict with the rest of the interface and were just dropped in into an assigned space, which is still the case and feels less than integrated.

See also: How Dropbox Onboards New Users, MacRumors.

Update (2017-10-16): See also: In Depth.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

I guess the 90s are the new 80s.

Daniel Compton

The Dropbox Mac client has started rolling out the change, and now includes their new bold blue icon on every right click. I seem to remember something being there in the past, but much less prominent. Example image here: https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Sharing-and-collaboration/Disabling-new-icon-in-context-menu-on-macOS/td-p/245103.

So, not content with making an utterly useless mobile app, dropbox wants to make its desktop apps equally problematic.

Looks like I will switch to using dropbox portable (windows only, sadly) via a VM. Or moving to a 3rd party solution like I already have with IOS.

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