New Dropbox Logo: Thinking Outside The Same Old Box
NEW DROPBOX LOGO
PREVIOUS LOGO AND NEW LOGO COMPARISON
Started in 2007, Dropbox has become perhaps the best-known file-sharing and storage web service available. They offer some ancillary services, but the bulk of their 500 million+ registered users still think of Dropbox as the default file-sharing option for photos, audio, video, and creative content.
Recently, Dropbox made a shift in brand focus in an effort to become a “living workspace where people and ideas come together”. Of course, they needed a new visual identity... of course. Dropbox explains its rationale for the change this way:
"Our old logo was a blue box that implied, 'Dropbox is a great place to store stuff.' The new one is cleaner and simpler. And we’ve evolved it from a literal box, to a collection of surfaces to show that Dropbox is an open platform, and a place for creation."
Look at your logo and ask yourself, what is the message. Why is it memorable? Why does it stand out from the rest? Is it recognizable? Perhaps most importantly, do not change just for the sake of changing. Make sure you have a real reason and do not tamper with your logo's soul – the elements that, without them, the logo would not be representative of your brand.
Wow. Is Ms. Ries is clairvoyant? The updated Dropbox logo should serve as a textbook example of “changing for the sake of changing”. And through their statement, it almost feels as though Dropbox is trying to figure out how to justify the change after the change has already been made.
Although the shapes have become uniform in size, the previous logo was also technically a collection of surfaces. And the new one still reads as a stylized box, however non-functional that box may be. So, has Dropbox created a logo that has done anything to clarify what their updated brand is? Sure, the rebrand has some logic behind it, and is forward-thinking. But I would argue that if you need to tell a story to explain how your slightly altered logo now completely represents your brand, where the slightly different previous version didn’t, you’ve failed. And unfortunately, to the casual user of the product, the visual change may not even be immediately noticed, and therefore that user will continue to see you as merely a file storage service.
However, from an aesthetic point of view, the new logo is a hands-down winner. It’s updated clean modern look does do a better job of representing a tech company. There is no argument there. It also allows Dropbox to utilize the elements in their marketing (albeit with some questionable typography choices) to explore ways that reinforce the new brand direction. The simplicity is just visually superior. But does it objectively represent the brand more clearly?
If Dropbox wanted an icon that doesn't "put them into a box” with their offerings, I think the logo change holds up like wet cardboard. They ultimately still have an icon that looks like a box. If the logo is a window to the brand, Dropbox hasn’t done anything with this new mark that will create greater brand understanding.