Simplify your brand

Posted by Morgan Knutson on September 13, 2013

If you know Dropbox, you know that we like to keep things simple and easy. This goes not only for the apps and features we build, but also the brand that ties them all together.

Drew, our co-founder and CEO, created the first Dropbox logotype in 2007 (yep, an engineer who can wield Adobe Photoshop!) And since then, our logos and brand have evolved as Dropbox has spread to more platforms.

 logotype

 

The glyph was born when Dropbox’s original designer, Jon, created a reduced version of our logo for our iPhone app in 2009. Since then, we’ve been using it more and more both inside — and outside — the office.

 

glyph

 

If you take a look at our new branding guidelines, you’ll notice that we’ve phased out the older, more illustrative logo and doubled down on the glyph. We’re also unifying all of our app icons:

 

app-icons

 

The glyph is simple, functional, and we think it feels like us. It’s recognizable at small and large sizes, works in color and black and white, and is made of solid, sturdy shapes that hold up well in physical environments. It’s built to last. Plus, you can fax the heck out of it! 20th century logo designers would be proud.

faxed (1)

And while we could bore you with explanations of why we don’t fill the center of the Dropbox glyph or why it’s not isometric, we’ll save that for those of you who join our Design team ;-). We hope you find our logo charming and our guidelines helpful. Keep an eye out — we’ll be updating everything over the next few weeks!

 

89 Comments to Simplify your brand

Hamish Macpherson
September 13, 2013

Solid logo — love the bit about faxing.

Great work guys.

Bilal Kh
September 13, 2013

Brilliant !

Claude "CodeAngry" Adrian
September 13, 2013

+1. I like all things flat, minimal and tasteful (AND BLUE).

Will Palmer
September 13, 2013

I wonder how many new users would recognise the logo as a carton.

Bryan
September 13, 2013

This trend of making everything a single colour without gradients,
shadows or highlights needs to die. New logo is horrible compared to the
old ones.

cypressious
September 13, 2013

Better than Yahoo, that’s for sure.

cuplizian
September 13, 2013

So when is the new logo being on our tray icon? Can’t wait for it!

vishwaje
September 13, 2013

You guys just following Windows metro.. This is so sad.. And hilarious..

Kevin
September 13, 2013

You sell shipping boxes?

Abdul
September 13, 2013

I wanted to say this a long time ago but couldn’t find the prober change. I did not think this is the way to go, Dropbox. Having the iOS7 flat design guidelines on all platforms is just wrong. I am all the way with simple design, I actually prefer it. But this one, I think wasn’t the best choice.

Rudy
September 13, 2013

I’d invert the colours for the iOS app icon, make it white on blue.

Because oh well white icons on iOS 7 are horrible.

ScottJL
September 13, 2013

Oh yay! Jony Ive came over and squashed your logo. I agree with Bryan, these “flat” icons are ugly. Can’t wait for the next trend to 3d everyone’s icons that will be all the rage in 5 years.

rosebuster
September 13, 2013

Simplicity is generally good, but in this case I have one concern. It now requires looking longer to realise it represents a box. It doesn’t look to clear and obvious any more.

Barry Rowlingson
September 13, 2013

That’s Maru in the last Dropbox isn’t it? :)

Victor Hnyp
September 13, 2013

Fax? Really? Does anyone fax any more?

alextheukrainian
September 13, 2013

Concerned that faxing is even a concern, but I can’t not love the cat at the end.

Utter Jibberish
September 13, 2013

Nice but I really wish you’d spend your time developing a WP8 app!

darthony
September 13, 2013

Flat! Cool!

Philip
September 13, 2013

It looks like a Microsoft Windows 8 product, not a bad thing but just looks a lot like it. I do prefer a bit more contrast in it though, maybe the 2012 charcoal font with 2013 blue box? I am glad to see it will match for all OS though, consistency is always good.

Philip
September 13, 2013

@salvadorrudy:disqus I agree that since the Windows 8 is white on blue that the iOS could be that way as well without ruining consistency.

Blake
September 13, 2013

So want the cat one.

Peter lustig
September 13, 2013

Don’t like the style. Looks to much like windows phone, does not fit other environments!

René A. Morales
September 13, 2013

WHY ISN’T IT ISOMETRIC
TELL ME FOR GOD’S SAKE
IT’S PISSING ME OFF, BAD

dzus
September 13, 2013

For actual flatness, try flat packing it.

Cheryl Rogers
September 13, 2013

I love it. I admit when I got the tweet saying you were gonna update the logo I was worried. Glad to see you’re not gonna mess with a good thing. I love the idea of keeping the inner white. An idea for that area during holidays and what not would be to have something coming out of the box. .. santa…a pumpkin. ..a president! !

redsmith
September 13, 2013

I understand the “flat icons” design trend, I even think it’s beautiful most of the time. But please, fix the Android icon! Stuffing it in a box is not visually pleasant at all =( It looks so much like an iOS icon.

arudd
September 13, 2013

Better than Y ahoo! ;)

Fran
September 13, 2013

Nice, but not necessarily better.

Steven Buehler
September 13, 2013

Isometry? My inner Sheldon Cooper just twitched.

Longhanks
September 13, 2013

I prefer the 2012 version…

Yuan He
September 13, 2013

simple is better

Sam Pearson
September 13, 2013

If it’s supposed to be a 3D graphic, make it 3D. Don’t go “flat AND 3D”. If you want to keep it 3D, fill in the center for gosh sake’s. If you want to keep it flat, the entire look will need to be changed.

Boring
September 13, 2013

I don’t get the “obsession” with flat icons. They are boring.

PotcFdk
September 13, 2013

I agree.

Tram Ng
September 13, 2013

laptop cũ thích điều này

Chris Herbert
September 13, 2013

Corporate logos are better when they are simpler, thus the new Dropbox logo. I’m very happy with seeing companies and mobile apps going this route. I just created a new logo for our corporate and I knew before I sketched any that it should be “flat”.

andy0609
September 13, 2013

I agree as well, the logo is NOT evolving

ecblanco
September 13, 2013

It’s not an obssession is a trend. That’s all. And I would say they’re simpler and more clean. Not boring.

Bear
September 13, 2013

Yup, like this a lot. Simple, striking, memorable. Nicely done.

Cheuk Kin Chi
September 13, 2013

Nice! I like flat design, That’s the Trend

Emanuel Alves
September 13, 2013

A few months ago, when Microsoft introduced the world to the flat design interface in every aspect of Windows, everyone went bananas. Now every single corporation is updating their branding to the same flat design. Srsly.

Jon Wright
September 13, 2013

Good job. Refreshed, but still holding solid brand identifiability.

EvilHom3r
September 13, 2013

Gotta hop on that Windows 8 ugly-flat-design bandwagon.

Boring
September 13, 2013

I accept that it’s a trend. But I hope, a short-lived one.

Tech-Compass
September 13, 2013

Looks great! Simple is best!!

Oo_oc_oO
September 13, 2013

Even worse is the lack of color. For example GMail, Google docs, the new Visual Studio. You have these tiny icons that all look similar, don’t actually look like the thing they’re supposed to represent.

Oo_oc_oO
September 13, 2013

Actually Windows followed Google

Nathan Nash
September 13, 2013

Guys please look up some of Paul Rand’s classic logos like the ones he did for IBM and ‘abc’ before saying something as ignorant as “windows 8 flat design trend”.

edit: I’ve really enjoyed seeing the evolution of dropbox’s brand on iOS over the years; truly great work.

Ryan Martin
September 13, 2013

Nice! Flat is in.

kharp
September 13, 2013

stick to your guns, well done! design is subjective and being clear about how the design you choose helps to lead to the higher level values of your company is always best.

Darren Jenkins
September 13, 2013

Why don’t you give us some useful information, like.. what the hell happened to Audiogalaxy ?

We are patiently waiting for it’s replacement since you bought and closed down the service.

Enzo
September 13, 2013

OK, it’s a trend. But why is it a trend? Is it actually better design? Or are people just imitating the styling of more successful companies? (It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.)

Sure, it’s “simpler and more clean”. Are these attributes to be valued above all others? Are they new values as of 2013? Why didn’t designers value (or customers demand) this in 2007, or 1984, or 1672? Did nobody imagine that “simplicity” in design was at all important, and suddenly this year they discovered this? This seems a lot less likely than the “imitation” theory.

The one thing that strikes me about this new style is that, more than any style I’ve seen in over a decade, it screams the year. It came out of nowhere, and it could just as easily go back to nowhere. In 2042, we’re going to see this and say “ah, mid-2010′s design”, just like we see cars with nothing but sharp angles today and say “ah, mid-1980′s design”. Just because it’s simple and clean doesn’t mean it’s timeless design. There’s lots of clean, simple things that are crap.

Flat design is shaping up to be the bell-bottom pants of the 2010′s.

m-p{3}
September 13, 2013

Just updated the Wikipedia entry with the new logo. Thanks!

Jamilton Macedo
September 13, 2013

Where’s the Windows Phone App???

Glorin
September 13, 2013

switch platform…

Zrne i Trajce
September 13, 2013

Or switch to Skydrive. That’s what I did, but it would still be better if I could use Dropbox too…

James
September 13, 2013

Change for change’s sake never improves things. The new ‘design’ looks meaningless. The old is far better. Hate these ‘flattened, simplified’ logos and icons. Suggest finding useful work for those behind this nonsense, and leave it alone.

LanceHaverkamp
September 13, 2013

…that’s sarcasm, right?

Joshua
September 13, 2013

I love it. Flat UI is perfect.

Chaitanya Mendu
September 13, 2013

I am not a Android user, but it looks awesome on ios. It looks really sharp on the device. As always great work!

vickytnz
September 13, 2013

I actually see this more as following the Starbucks brand refresh: less colours and a push towards a glyph. Wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Dropbox’ disappears soon ala Starbucks so that it can be easily internationalised.

Barry Mazza
September 13, 2013

Someone please verify my craziness, but as soon as I saw the new logo all I could see is Daisy Duck.

http://cl.ly/image/1Y2P2n3k2g0C

Tyler Galpin
September 13, 2013

You’re missing the point entirely. How the logo is styled is not the important thing here. The symbol itself is what matters. Highlights, shadows, and gradients are visual flourishes that are useful where they are necessary. A mark should be timeless and not bound by trends or stylistic preferences.

KB
September 13, 2013

who cares about graphics- how about some valuable new tools like Photo Albums for IOS! come on folks, put resources to the right spot.

DonEladio
September 13, 2013

He is missing the point but has the most vote up’s…

John E. Songer
September 13, 2013

Flat is only “in” because MS says it is.

Evielyn
September 13, 2013

I for one like the new logo… every brand needs to stay fresh, & I think the new look represents where digital design is headed. And for all of you who think it’s a waste of time & resources for dropbox to be doing this… it’s just as important to be working on brand and image as it is to be working on product… Both design & usability work hand in hand

Evielyn
September 13, 2013

I disagree that it’s change for change’s sake. Every business needs to stay fresh & relevant with current trends & flat is certainly in at the moment (even if you don’t like it). If everyone had your opinion that the old is far better we’d never have any progress in the world… I suggest if your not up for change go back to 1980 & stay there for the rest of the century!

Evielyn
September 13, 2013

ummm flat design has been in a bit longer than a few months

Jordan Staniscia
September 13, 2013

Always improving the brand is something more companies need to do. Twitter was one of the first companies that really understood this, and their current mark is really good. You guys have gotten to an even better place in a shorter time period. Congrats!

Evielyn
September 13, 2013

Why is it a trend??? That’s the most stupid question I’ve heard. Why is anything a trend? Trends evolve over time… we didn’t just wake up on Jan 1 & decide it’s the year of flat design… & could you tell me what kind of design was NOT a trend.. Design as with anything is constantly evolving… & yes flat will go out & evolve into something else… but that’s life!

If you think that anything is going to be new.. you’re delusional. & yes we will look back and know what era of design it was… but it’s the same that we can look back at different types of architecture and know what era they were built in… no one is saying any design is timeless… it’s just what is working right now.

Emanuel Alves
September 13, 2013

I used few months referring to the flat design shift applied across all MS products and not “how long” it has been around.

sunny boy
September 13, 2013

Remember to update in Amazon Android AppStore. It’s already a few versions behind Google Play Store.

Zook024
September 13, 2013

This seems like a widespread trend that is spreading across a variety of industries and I’m not sure I am on board with it, only time will tell.

philippeowagner
September 13, 2013

I am using the service – not the “logo”.

Partha Biswal
September 13, 2013

and because iOS now corroborates it, designers swear by it and some of the best design awards (online and real-world) have gone to flat designs. hoopla, i tell you.

Bryan
September 13, 2013

As are you.

Logos should be aesthetically pleasing though that shouldn’t be their primary aim, having a distinct and easily identifiable look should be top priority. The new look is just as timeless as the old, but unfortunately totally flat designs are almost all ugly and boring and this logo is no exception.

pharan
September 13, 2013

I’m a bit worried about the flat logo not being as discernible from other flat logos in the taskbar/notification things on the lower right part of Windows.

In other news:
Maru!

Felix Widjaja
September 13, 2013

I like the new logo better. It’s bold, more serious and profesional. The pencil colored style in previous logos didn’t cut it as a pro grade, in my opinion.

ML
September 14, 2013

you obviously have no clue about branding, nor do you realise you tap that icon a few times a year, at least.

picard102
September 14, 2013

That’s an opinion, not a fact. Learn the difference.

dorel
September 14, 2013

i cant seem to understand this flat stuff :( first icon that annoyed me was Chrome flat, now Dropbox.

we have so powerfull computers now, make them as 3D as possible, sue the power of the computers, dont go to dark age and 286 logos :(

Siluntz
September 14, 2013

You have no idea about logos or branding then

Jonasz Olszewski
September 14, 2013

Beautufiul

Krzysiek Humeniuk
September 14, 2013

Love it! :)

Cyron43 .
September 14, 2013

You mean like jumping on the fashion bandwagon? Am I an outsider just because I don’t like something that’s currently fashionable? Are we human individuals or are we stupid sheep or mental zombies who do whatever those marketing dudes tell them? Well I know I’m an individual with a free spirit!

sayler666
September 14, 2013

totally agree with you…

me
September 15, 2013

why everything needs to be winows-8-ish….

Christopher Miller
September 15, 2013

There is a reason things are considered fashionable without a bandwagon being involved. 16:9 TVs were “fashionable” at first and are now standard size. The reason why companies are reverting to a more simplified logo is to increase product recognition. This is not really a fashion bandwagon but a step forward in marketing techniques and product branding. Please perform your homework before you turn all “Anarchy in the UK”, go look up the list of common monitor resolutions and various devices used to access Dropbox services in our day to day lives. Standardizing a logo across all platforms is a key concept as the average user still does not have as powerful of a PC as us nerds may like to believe. Facebook is accessed mostly via a mobile device as of 2012 I think, so please tell me how low end mobile devices can provide a 3D based image for Dropbox or any other Icon as well as a HD monitor or HD tablet could. A Standard logo will save the company money and help customers better recognize the brand allowing them to utilize the services more frequently than being confused as to which icon is for Dropbox. When a customer is confused with a product or service credibility is lost almost instantly and the service are no longer sought after due to them not being readily available. Would you trust a company without a website now a day because I know I wouldn’t, and we considered websites a fashionable statement at first. Bandwagons involve any item that is not able to assist us daily. How is doing something better than before fashionable, well its not, its what we would call evolving or advancing. KISS <- Look it up if you need to.