Visual Imagery



The role of photography

Dropbox is part of so many inspiring stories. The most authentic and powerful way we can show our value as a product is to celebrate the real people and businesses behind these stories. 

We use photos of our customers in their environment, juxtaposed by customer files to create a photographic hook. 

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Photo Intro Customer Creativity Explored

Stylistic principles

1. Documentary

Photos are grounded in reality with an implicit narrative, captured in a candid way. Nothing surreal. We strive to tell real stories about real people, showing how they use Dropbox to enhance or enrich their lives. 

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Photo Intro Work Life 1
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2. Color harmony 

Color palette should be constrained and intentional without seeming forced or contrived. We generally lean toward a richer color grade, with a bold accent color or overarching color story. Photography is used with one of eight color pairings. Each customer has a color story:

Photo Intro Color Harmony 1
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3. Focus

Crop a photo so that it has a clear point of interest that forms the heart of a story. Elements around this point of interest should provide context and richness for the story. 

Photo Intro Central Focus

Content principles

1. Diverse

The world is diverse, and we strive to represent it honestly. Diversity in age, race, shape, ability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender is a core pillar of our visual imagery. 

Photo Intro Diverse

2. Story driven 

Photography is customer focused and should always tell a story related to Dropbox and its products or services. 

Photo Intro Story-Driven

3. Work/life in progress

A photo should show activity that is either personal or work-related. The image should feel like a real moment in a real life. A focal range between close-up and long shot provides dynamism for the implicit narrative. 

Photo Intro Work Life 2
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4. They win, we win

The customer comes first, so we work to deeply understand them. We ask, “Who’s the customer?” and “What do they really need?” When the customer succeeds, our business (and everything else) falls into place.

Photo Intro They Win We Win

Universal rules 

There is a lot of overlap in the use of photography across See and Buy, so this section focuses on the universal rules, and the See and Buy sections focus only on the differences.

Always use full bleed within a plane

See Color for guidance on how to select an accent color for photography.

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Aspect ratios

To scale across surfaces, platforms, or devices, photography can be cropped using one of three aspect ratios.

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