Hello from Dropbox Design

An introduction to our design team

Kurt Varner
Dropbox Design


Hey there, design friend. We’re Dropbox Design, and we’re glad you stumbled upon our publication. This is our first story — a simple handshake to introduce ourselves.

First, a little background. Over the years, Design has played a deeply influential role at Dropbox and has become a cornerstone of our company. From creating a product experience that’s described as “magic” to building a strong, thriving business, Design was there, toiling behind the scenes of it all. While we believe great products speak for themselves, we want to start telling the story of Dropbox Design. You know — the what, why, and how behind our team and the work we do. So today, we’re officially saying hello.

This publication

Ok, cool. So what can you expect from us? Well, we believe we’re all in this design thing together. This publication is one of the many ways we plan to invest in the discipline of design by sharing what we’ve learned and experienced in our own design journey. Because at the end of the day, when the design community becomes stronger, we all benefit.

Who’ll be writing

One of the very special things about the Design team at Dropbox is the diverse set of people and disciplines it’s comprised of. We’ve got a phenomenal team of product designers, design researchers, writers, brand designers, illustrators, interactive designers, strategists, and producers: 75 folks in total. You can expect to hear from all our design disciplines.

What we’ll write

We want this to be a place where you come to learn, get inspired, have some fun, and share your own stories with us. In order to bring some loose structure to what we write, we’ve established a short set of content principles — a list of strongly held opinions that will be our guiding light.

1. Share generously

It’s our goal for you to leave our publication better than you came. We want to generously share our findings, insights, process, and resources with you. Our house is your house — come on in.

2. Share openly

We’d like to achieve an open and honest dialogue with you. The pathway to great design will always have its fair share of successes and failures (plus a whole lot of iterative work that didn’t quite ship). We hope to give you a transparent view into our world.

3. Share a point of view

As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. We think this is especially true with design. While there may not always be a “right” answer or perspective, we will, indeed, have our own point of view on design. We won’t be afraid to wander away from the neutral middle ground. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use our opinions to help define your own.

The Dropbox Design brand

As we started thinking about our team’s story, we began exploring the brand of Dropbox Design. Not the brand of Dropbox, rather the brand of Design at Dropbox. We know, kind of meta. When someone thinks about Design at Dropbox, what should come to mind? We’ve just embarked on this exercise, and like most things in design, it’ll be a continuous iteration. But one thing was immediately clear to us — our design brand will be a celebration of our team’s individuality and creativity. There won’t be a single visual aesthetic that encapsulates our team. Rather, we’ll celebrate individual creativity by providing freedom and flexibility in our visual expression. We liken our team’s brand expression to modal jazz in contrast to bebop jazz (more on this in a later post).

Come along with us

So friends, let’s learn and take this design adventure together. We’ll be pulling back the curtain and painting a vivid picture of what design looks like at Dropbox. We invite you to hold our hands and follow us on Twitter, Dribbble, and this Medium publication.


The Dropbox Design team

Want to be part of our design family? We’re hiring.



Kurt Varner
Dropbox Design

Design Director at Dropbox. Advisor for startups. Rooting for the underdog.