This is a shining example of a design team that has no idea who their customers are or what's important to them.
What makes (made?) Dropbox great is it's simplicity and ease of use. Trendy fonts and Warhol colour palettes don't matter to anyone who uses Dropbox every day and don't communicate the principles of what makes its design great. I would argue that they may even get in the way of using a product like Dropbox. This feels like it was made by an agency for Kanye West rather than a serious interface design team. It doesn't even work in Safari for macOS.
I'm pretty surprised to see this as the front page manifesto for what Dropbox's team thinks great design is.
I can only hope that the presentation of the rebrand is as bad as it gets. And in real world situations it’s not going to be as bad as it looks.
They have one product and like 50 designers. You gotta keep those people busy.
Hit the nail on the head
I always wondered what could so many designers possibly do all day, especially considering Dropbox remained largely unchanged on the visual side since the early days. I suppose a good chunk of them are paid to post random shit on dribbble that will never be used.
I think Dropbox is losing ground because storage is commoditized. Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Clouddrive.
You can try to win by having a superior UX experience, or at least be something different. WeTransfer is an example of wildly successful filesharing by just adding a great (design) experience.
In this redesign, Dropbox is letting their brand to the speaking. I wish they would've worked harder on letting the content of my drive do the speaking. Google Photos is an amazingly nice product. I would like to see more products like that instead of these crazy redesigns.
Until their competitors have something similar to Smartsync, I'm staying put. Sadly.
Agree with you with the commoditization issue. When the OS you use to get your stuff done already has a cloud storage to offer, you "probably" would only use other service providers if that cloud storage gets full (if it gets)
It's interesting to note they have pivoted. Go to dropbox.com and the text is talking about how it is a tool for creatives. Not a cloud storage app, but a tool for "creative collaboration." The images and text specifically call out Photoshop and Sketch, and show art and design work.
Did they find out most of their customers are designers? Or did they do research that uncovered an untapped niche?
i think it's more likely they defaulted to what they use it for. i think it was a mistake on their part.
Yeah, my friend the Realtor doesn't care about Photoshop and Sketch. If she visited this landing page, she'd leave immediately because she wouldn't get it. I think it's a major mistake.
Wouldn't be shocked if design professionals were their "whale" customers. PSD files are THICCC.
Words fail to describe how I feel about this decision to rebrand... my goodness.
I couldn't write it so properly like this. When I saw the brand, I saw a narsicistic model of design: make this in a huge website explaining why this and that. Looks like a justification for work. To me, these websites and rebrands are the most useless thing ever. I've been participating in many many rebrands in my career and all I see is problems, new inconsistencies and too many design egos.
Kanye has far better taste than this.
Hit the nail on the head. I wish is it was an April fools joke, because it looks like one. I've switched to box for it's superior functionality and streamlined design, glad I did or else I'd have to be blinded by these colors on tasks that don't need them.
This is horrible.
How can a brand that got soooo much right get this soooo wrong?
I think we have a strong contender for worst rebrand/redesign of the year.
259 fonts! Two. Hundred. And. Fifty. Nine!
That doesn’t demonstrate diversity. It demonstrates a lack of direction.
As sad/weird/melodramatic as this may sound; I’ve never felt so angry about a rebrand before. I feel betrayed.
it's one font in 21 widths and 7 weights. https://sharptype.co/typefaces/sharp-grotesk/
It says they have 259. Like it’s a good thing.
I think this may be part of the issue.
Constraint is a good thing, having too many font weights can be a problem in itself. Add in different widths and you've multiplied the problem.
Also, I strongly dislike the trend of these wide fonts. Even the short headlines are difficult to read. It reminds me of the Audi rebrand. http://www.audi.com/ci/en/renewed-brand.html
I don't mind the wide font trend personally—but the lack of constraints in these kind of redesigns (huge variability in typographic hierarchy, enormously large, remixable color palettes) to me seem to undercut a core function of effective branding. If they're really going after only the creative segment as a way to differentiate, it could work for them—we don't know all their research on that. But in general I feel the look leads to a weaker aesthetic.
I think they are waiting for someone to say that so that they can reply – it's 1 typeface with 259 fonts (which is technically the correct way to use 'font')
I love the part when they say: "dont fill the logo, use only the authorized colors" (more than 50 colors variations provided)
They fundamentally misunderstand their users. They at once say this:
Most of these folks tell us they feel overwhelmed and distracted during the workday, and that this is one of the biggest barriers to creating work they’re proud of. They deal with cluttered inboxes, devices that ping them constantly, and processes that force them to switch between tools all day.
And then create a system that is all focused on constantly changing elements, being cluttered with color variations that scream for attention, making an overwhelming experience. Literally the opposite for what their users said.
Pretty much exactly what I thought. There's a fine line between encouraging your audience's creativity and bombarding them with heavy-handed, oft-shifting visual noise. Well-intended, but gets in the way of what should be providing a sense of calm and facilitation of my content (thankfully, sounds like the main UI will be kept pretty calm).
Constantly changing elements & color variations is COLLINS' m.o. Just look at their branding for Vitamin Water/Spotify. It's as if Dropbox pointed at those and said "we want that".
It doesn't look good on a company like Dropbox.
Buzz's Dropbox... wullllfff!
I think Dropbox forgot that they're a file sharing system, not a fancy streetwear clothing brand.
thought the same!
Facing with formidable adversary like Google Drive, MS Onedrive and iCloud. They can't be JUST a file sharing system anymore. They'll be irrelevant in no time and that's worse than death in business.
Thus, this rebrand and repositioning.
What if we, as outsiders, don’t fully understand their problems, or goals, as a business, and this is a good solution? What if Dropbox doesn’t want to just be the invisible/passive data storage service for a bunch of tech companies and startups?
This meme is perfect because you could flip it so Skinner is the Dropbox design team and it still works
Not sure I like the direction they're going. Their previous design felt light and un-opinionated — an empty canvas where my files find a home. The new direction seems very opinionated and fashionable. Curios to see if they redo their Dashboard / File Browser as well.
Also, curious on how they calculate font sizes on that landing page:
font-size: calc(40px + 31 * ((100vw - 375px) / 1065));
It's the magic responsive font formula
min font size + (max font size - min font size) * (fullscreen - min screen size)/(max screen size - min screen size)
Never heard of this before, seems correct though. Some Googling brought up this Smashing Magazine article
Times I remembered Dropbox doing things to their brand (for the same reason):
I’m dying laughing right now
Has anyone tried scrolling through this on an iPad? Holy shit.
Safari on macOS too. Total jank.
Does ... does no one test this stuff?
What's wrong with it?
Someone probably brought it up, then a smug dev would post the Chrome market share % as if it means this isn't an issue.
They killed my scrollwheel (Chrome/Windows)
Just want to give massive kudos to the Dropbox design team for taking this direction, and for being so g'damn bold about their work. Wow — nothing held back here.
I don't see this as designers wanking around trying to do cool digital art pieces, but I'm actually observing (astonishingly) a really large company that is willing to give their designers autonomy to execute on something that they probably knew was going to cause a stir. Drew & co probably knew that this was going to ruffle some designer feathers, which lets be honest, only the people on DN have.
I hope to see more brands taking bold steps with their visual identity in this way in an effort to reinvent themselves.
Being bold for the sake of it … kinda defeats the purpose.
I'm sure they had reasons than just for the sake of it, but mostly I wanted to commend them on their organizational ability to allow bold designers to take these sort of risks
Gotta agree with you here. I commend their effort to do something - different. Design trend nowadays always lean to 'user friendly usability this' or 'accessibility that' - result in the samey look design trend as we see today.
It's jarring here and there currently, yes, but you can't denied that they are stand out as a brand. The same way the ugly notch of iPhone X made you remember.
I've been looking at this this morning. It's weird, I like some of the parts... I like the new mark, I like the new type (Sharp Grotesk is a staggeringly comprehensive & immaculate family of fonts) in general... but all together it's used in an oddly zeitgeisty type of way. Stretched type is a fad, the palette is frenetic, and the general focus is drifting. I thought of Dropbox as a workhouse solution for file storage, with the premium tier focusing on enterprise. This is lifestyle branding, and I don't think it suits a company like Dropbox at all.
Edit: According to Collins' website the UI/product design looks relatively nice.
regarding your edit: i think the UI / product design looks nice mostly because it's similar to what exists today. it's free of colors - there is only one CTA color (blue) and only the illustrations get the added ones. Problem about it is that it makes the product seem off brand. From a brand that's very colorful and artistic to a product that's 95% white and some blue touches.
This is what their whole site should look like: https://www.dropbox.com/branding
I actually like this. It's an updated version of the old branding with not too start a departure. I'm not sure what that jittery shit (dropbox.design) is but I can't see them using any of it anywhere.
Did you notice the /branding link lists not using the wrong colours as a requirement and the .design site has a full page of the logo using the wrong colour. Designers man.
i think they have an official color palette; it's ok for the icon to be those colors. it should just not any other color.
They're already using strange colors and graphics on the logged-out version of dropbox.com and their social media sites.
It’s on their main website now.
I’m kind of confused with “don’t use wrong colors” for the logo. Have they not seen what’s going on with Dropbox.design?
A system that scales: Meeting people where they are
like a church? or a therapist?
Color can go from a standard Dropbox blue to “whoa.”
Yes, yes they certainly can.
Our co-creation collages are a visual metaphor for this optimistic view of creating work together
Our new system juxtaposes color pairs in bold, unexpected ways
Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.
You guys know a lot of what design is comes down to how it feels.
This feels wrong, wrong for the users, wrong for the brand and just plain wrong.
We’ve been busy making imagery with some fantastic artists
It’s like Bloomberg and Spotify got together and had a Jazzercise baby.
Poor Man’s Pentagram
This already seems two years too late.
The main thing, there seems to be zero rhyme or reason behind the redesign to support the why.
You all catch this:
Our users run the gamut from business professionals to scientists and creative types. Most of these folks tell us they feel overwhelmed and distracted during the workday, and that this is one of the biggest barriers to creating work they’re proud of. They deal with cluttered inboxes, devices that ping them constantly, and processes that force them to switch between tools all day.
Our modern way of working saps their energy and keeps them from the things that matter. We want to change this, by building products and a brand that help people focus on meaningful work..
Great, so you heard what they said, know who they are, know their challenges and completely disregarded them in order to stuff your opinion down their throats.
And, are now overwhelming users with even more cognitive demands with an opinionated brand and this cliche notion of creativity that gets in the way of understanding and using the product.
This feels childish and not like a safe and secure business tool I can forward to a colleague.
Spot on. It feels like the designers are in a bubble, not really understanding their users.
I would really like to understand why they thought this was a good direction to go. The colours are horrible and so much wasted effort on brand design, while the previous brand assets were great - why alienate your users with such a 'bold' move? Just pour that money into enhancing the product itself.
Or maybe they do understand their users pretty well and their research let them to this redesign. In that case I must be at the most outer edge of their user base.
We want to change this, by building products and a brand that help people focus on meaningful work..
Why not rebrand it to something utilitarian that gets out of the way then? Why brand it as something screaming and stamping it's feet for attention if attention is such a valuable currency to these "folks".
I know people don't usually like changes and all that *bs, but this is a bold move in the wrong direction from a company I've referenced when discussing about clean work.
The color palette is HORRIBLE and hope it doesn't affect the UI. I guess the new trend is to make things... ugly?
P.s: I don't really care about the brand because it should be invisible on a platform that stores our content.
Really curious about how will this play out for them.
I guess the new trend is to make things... ugly?
I guess the new trend is to make things... ugly?
God, I hope so. Finally a trend I am way ahead of.
Agree with your P.S.
Warns you in the guidelines about not filling the logo with anything, but they provide a gazillion of color combinations (me no understand)
I liked the crocodile attached to the balloon.
I'll give it that.
This design gives me confidence.
Great branding for a quiet boring and -dead company. The aim is not to please current users but to find new ones.
What the hell? That sh|t is fugly. Landing page colors ... :D The fonts ...
this is dreadful. What even. I first thought this was a April Fools Joke. Yet its October. What the hell is going on
Credit to Dropbox for breaking away from the light and breezy illustration style that's now ubiquitous and overdone, in such a ballsy way.
Dropbox outsourced the rebranding to Collins. The new brand makes sense in the context of that studio's body of work: https://www.wearecollins.com
Collins work is old fashioned. Reinterpreting trends from the past is fine, but to my eye it's more regurgitation than reinterpretation.
When Dropbox introduced their illustration style it was refreshing and fun to watch it evolve over time. It was so good that it was imitated to the point where they felt they needed to throw it away and start over again, looking for the 'new' thing.
I don't think Dropbox is going to be the brand that introduces that 'new' thing this time around.
I like it. I'm also excited to watch all the haters start to copy this style in the coming months/years.
Been hating on this style for months/years already.
I appreciate the designy-ness of it, but yeah it seems way overdone, and the scrolling in Safari is totally janky. I feel like they're trying to do what Intercom is doing but completely backwards and a bit too late. But I love the experimentation in illustration and type, as wild and disconnected from the previous brand as it is.
This is a real left turn. I respect the boldness, but I can't say I'm a fan. The wild color palette and squished type isn't working. Dropbox is a mainstream, B2C + B2B brand and I think this might throw a good portion of users off (in both camps). It feels more like something that a high end branding agency with niche clients should be putting out.
With that said, their practical application of it isn't quite as jarring, so it might end up working pretty well: https://www.dropbox.com/
I would love to see some conversion and usability test results with this. They have a strong growth team, so I imagine they must have done a fair amount, but this doesn't strike me as something that would outperform their previous design. But I really do respect that they were able to pull this off at a corporation of that scale; hats off to the design and leadership teams. They got out there.
The actual new logo is a measured iteration from the old logo that combines vision with continuity. Basically what all other good rebrands have in common (Instagram for example).
I see the rest of the brand, the numerous fonts and colors, as fertile soil for all types of future expressions. It’s highly flexible, yet coherent. For example, I think you’ll be able to immediately recognize the “Dropboxness” of anything that uses the new brand.
And even if you hate everything about it you have to admit those color combinations are 100 emoji
Yeah, I like the logo. The rest..... no thanks.
2 cents: This is kind of a classic example of a company with their branding in transition to the "what's next" phase of the company
When Apple first moved the design in iOS totally away from the skeuomorphic direction a lot of people complained. The change was jarring and very different from what customers were familiar with so it was expected that there would be a lot of push back.
My hunch: Dropbox is (obviously) taking their design/branding a totally different direction and rather then make it a slow transition (slowly iterating) they're "ripping the band-aid off". I would guess that the next few iterations they'll dial back some of the more extreme directions of this this shift in design to something more pragmatic.
Regardless, (even though I personally I don't like this new direction) I have to admire the bravado behind a company with such a large customer base to make such a drastic change in design.
I only admire bravado if it can demonstrate better results.
What to think of this...
It's unfortunate that they are not accompanying this with statements about the future orientations of the company or even better, a new product release or major update. It comes off as snooty when it could mean "moving toward new directions". It says "I want to be bold and cool" so loud that it's struggling at telling something else... like what Dropbox concretely does, for starters.
That being said, I think they are still great with illustrations.
Now for the self-promotion : I did an unsolicited brand refresh of Dropbox a while ago. It was the exact opposite — incremental — and looked like this :
Looking forward to their rebrand in 4 months when this one doesn't pan out, death throws of a director in burnout.
Whats with all the beef?!? Progressive, bold, clean, considered. Least its not another site with neon fades and "nice" illustrations that make every product look the same. Theres so many product home page trends, its nice to see someone has thought outside the (drop) box. Sorry
They will get a lot of international great awards with this rebrand. But they will loose companies trustness and confidence for not being corporate. They were a part corporate, but they also incorporated those amazing illustrations to give another straightforward feel.
I don't give much time to Dropbox... RIP
They will get a lot of international great awards with this rebrand.
Actually, those awards were stolen by Collins last year when this trend was already put to death.
Edit: Literally just learned that this was designed by Collins and now I'm dying.
Most of their work is just this. They seem to apply the same color pallette to every client.
I personally think this looks excellent and really well thought out. A nice evolution with some seriously retro feels.
I kinda like it. This broadens the options they have for illustration work, and marketing. They are no longer bound to a small set of colors. The font doesn't appeal to me, but that's more subjective.
And I really like the sample they did for illustration. I think once their thoughts fully form, and we see it implemented it will be an interesting and unique experience.
I love the font, but it's almost impossible on first glance to work out what they actually do now. It looks like a trendy digital agency portfolio site, not a background file-syncing utility.
You now have to read four paragraphs and do some serious scrolling on their homepage before actually being able to discover what they do.
Here's a quick version of my thought process as I read down the page:
Put creative energy to work, with Dropbox
Okay, I already know what Dropbox is. Is this a new collaboration tool for designers, like InvisionApp or Marvel?
Dropbox is a modern workspace designed to reduce busywork – so you can focus on things that matter
Huh? Are we talking about an operating system here? A replacement for Finder or Windows Explorer? What do they mean by busywork? Dropbox's clone of Sketch/ Google Docs/Sheets/Slides? Can I edit files directly in the browser or what?
... Long scroll...
Keep everything organised without breaking your flow
A new file organiser? I'm confused.
Dropbox brings your files together, in one central place. They’re easy to find and safely synced across all your devices—so you can access them anytime, anywhere. No more wasting the day tracking down work.
Oh no, it's just plain old Dropbox. But they've lost their minds.
I guess when iCloud provides double the storage for almost the same price and is built into every Mac and iPhone they felt they had to do something bold.
"Oh no, it's just plain old Dropbox."
For now. We have no idea what new products they have been working on.
People are saying things like "they do not do creative apps like adobe, they are just file storage". We can't see their product pipeline. With Paper and this marketing, it's clear that they a moving in a direction that they see their business as much more than file storage. While they made a brand out of just file storage, there are now many options that do it as well. File storage is just a feature.
I love it!
It's a bright shining signal that Dropbox is moving in a new direction, away from just being a "cloud storage company".
I give it 4 years until acquisition.
My kids love it #butnotme
Reminds me of https://aninterestingday.com/, down to the favicon
Really interesting to see the diversity here. Would love to learn more about the rationale behind their direction.
"Diversity" is a polite way of saying "inconsistency" here
Maybe more like “anti-consistency” since its purposeful.
A system that scales: Meeting people where they are
Oh, so you guys are like a church? or a therapist?
Color can go from a standard Dropbox blue to “whoa.”
Yes, yes they certainly can.
It's not completely bad, but it will look dated in a few years. This style of whacky color palettes and abstract illustrations is very 2017.
A few years is a very generous estimate.
Yeah... you're probably not wrong.
After seeing the brand update, I researched the studio who worked on it (Collins) and noticed they have an extremely talented team of designers with a portfolio of great work. I'm a designer too and consider myself very open to new and unique design experiences.
I'm an original Dropbox user and have grown to love the brand. Historically I've considered Dropbox to be a designers brand, the likes of Apple or Nike, for me personally, something I think the new design team under appreciates. The brand was simple, elegant and iconic. Dropbox was the invisible service we can depend on. The design of Dropbox is so important to me that it is one of the determining factors in choosing it over competing services like Box despite it being more expensive (at the time).
I understand the downsides to the original brand. The overuse of corporate blue, differentiation within a highly competitive/commoditised market. However, the simplicity of the old design permeates the entire product experience. Perfectly simple enough for anyone to understand and use. This is a powerful idea. A design first company.
The brand update is a radical and verbose jolt in the opposite direction. It's a loud, opinionated, contentious, clashing and in-your-face take on what, in my mind and quite possibly many users, is the backbone to our studio's workflow. Frivolous visuals, marketing speak copywriting, bold colours... will these elements permeate my perfectly integrated Dropbox app user-interface? Please god no. I'm willing to leave Dropbox over this.
From a strategic positioning point of view, my guess is that Dropbox noticed that the great majority of their users are possibly freelance creatives, creative studios and such, and so maybe Drew made the decision to push the brand into a very public, consumer-focused, "creative" direction in a move to tap into this niche market. This is in stark contrast to what seemed to be a 2 years straight marketing campaign directed at Dropbox for business. Presumably Dropbox failed to compete with the likes of Box on the corporate front, and so now the idea is to focus on creatives, collaboration tools and so on. Not a bad strategy.
So why the hate? The design update is insensitive to Dropbox's past, its users and the underlying service itself. The design is unapologetic, loud and hyper fashionable/niche. It will date quickly and Dropbox will need another radical rebrand to keep up. It's as if the designers worked in a bubble. This is compounded by the self-congratulatory tweets and personal signatures all over the work as if the design were a personal work of art. And you know I wouldn't mind the signatures if the work weren't so self-serving, if the work were more modest and client-focused like the original macintosh where the Apple team signed the motherboard inside the computer.
It feels condescending to critique the specifics of the design given Collins agency and Dropbox have such a talented team of designers, but I'm sorry, I just can't get past the colour combinations, font choice and visuals in general.
I understand the theory behind the tension of colour clashes, but it's just not working. The colours are ugly together. Here are some samples of colours from the new palette. These colours don't work together on a whole.
The new typeface is lacks personality and utility. It's unbalanced and difficult to read on screens. It's not old enough to be retro and not modern enough to fit into today's aesthetic.
The visuals are interesting works of art on their own, however we now have three visual styles clashing in the brand. We have one-off works of photography art, hand-drawn illustrations similar enough to the old brand that I long for the old illustrations but different enough to feel out of whack with the new brand; and finally we have a mix of mini artworks semi based off the illustrative sketch style. The colour combinations in the sketch illustrations themselves work individually, but not in the context of the large blocks of heavy colours used on the .design demo site and the new dropbox homepage.
I hope the design team consider user feedback and understand where possibly most of the criticism is coming from.
Design gone bad. A literal Bible on how overly cute design gets in the way of the user experience. Hate to say it but this gives all of us a black eye.
I have one question - Would this have looked weird in the 80s?
To be honest, I don't understand what the fuzz is about yet. The actual design aside: this initiative feels like they sent somebody with a knife to a gunfight. Does it make sense to anyone, like - what is the goal here? Which issue is being addressed? Stuff like that?
Collins hits again. Using the very similar visuality they used at the Spotify re-branding. I just wondering how the new brand would applied to the product.
Spotify was the first thing I thought when I saw this. And the fun stuff worked for them because it made sense for their branding. Collins really seems to love giant Andy Warhol-esque design elements. Looks cool, but I don't think it works for every brand
The dashboard looks good and is ok when used but the homepage is quite different and this .design presentation makes no sense. I can see this as an art presentation but i don't feel it makes sense here.
New Dropbox. By: Romero Britto
Seems like a lot of effort for what is essentially just file storage
Most people I have talked to say the same: Looks like a 6/10 design-university chaos from 8 years ago. Use of colors and fonts are straight from 2007. Has anyone of you a good alternative for me? I instantly want to quit my subscription.
I feel vomiting seeing the color contrasts!!! :O=
Love it. Bold update, but looks like a pretty robust brand system that will let them evolve things and come back into the middle a bit.
I feel like 90% of people in this thread are mistaking the (admittedly horrible) announcement site for the new brand? But unless I'm mistaken I don't think the showcase site's design will have any impact on the main consumer-facing brand?
Nah, it's basically the same. https://www.dropbox.com/
If you log out of Dropbox and visit the homepage, the new branding is in effect. But what is super confusing to me is whether this branding will eventually make its way into the service itself, or whether it is going to be reserved purely for their marketing materials (ads /call to action pages etc). If the former... I can imagine a whole lot of confused and unhappy users. If the latter, there's going to be a huge disconnect between how the service is marketed and how it actually looks/feels.
For me dropbox as a service is just group of folders in my hard drive. :) I hope they won't change that.
I thought so too, but it’s on their main site now. As a bonus, the site’s header is broken in iOS Safari.
Anybody know how to achieve the masking effect over the logo that happens when scrolling the next div past it? I've seen this on parakeet.co for a while now.
Not sure what portion of the landing page you're talking about, but I took a look on parakeet and they basically just have the logo duplicated for each section and filled a different color. The logo is then positioned fixed relative to the section so it appears to come out of the previous section.
Not sure if my explanation makes sense, but if you inspect the site, it should be clear.
Oh, you’re right. It’s actually pretty basic.
I think there is a wrapper with contains the logos with absolute position using z-index as well. Each logo has an own container with a defined height. On scroll at a specific position different logo containers opens and closes. Without looking the source.
Guys, what's the name of that illustration style?
College assignment style
One of the main pioneers of this style is Atelier Bingo. In fact, this is literally a straight rip of their work. They must have been involved.
Thanks for point it out! Fantastic style.
Nice find, thanks for pointing this out!
I don't know why but for some reason it reminds of watching the Knowledge Network(If you're from BC you know the channel)/PBS kids when I was a kid. Past the negativity everywhere, I'm interested in seeing how this pans out for the product.