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Every month in 2018, Dropbox sponsored Nicer Tuesdays events that showcased the work of 26 artists, including illustrators, graphic designers, typographers, 3D image makers, photographers, and printmakers. Pairing up creatives based in 16 cities around the world, the project was an experiment in intercontinental collaboration—and we were dazzled by the results.
The assignment? Develop a poster entirely in Dropbox Paper from first brainstorm to final delivery. The project gave us a chance to watch how Paper can help teams transcend time zones, merge divergent styles, and bring ideas together in a shared online workspace.
September poster by Adrian Kay Wong and Printed Goods
In articles and Instagram posts, the artists shared their experiences about using Paper to keep creativity flowing—even when they encountered obstacles. Because there are always obstacles. Some might say it’s the artist’s job to make the end result look effortless. But we wanted to show that the path to perfecting ideas is never as smooth as it seems.
Even the pros have to improvise to find a new way forward sometimes. Those unexpected detours can mean the difference between something that’s simply beautiful and something extraordinary. And Paper was designed to help them communicate every change at every stage.
“Having one big document with everything from initial idea stages to tweaking stage was super. It gave a nice opportunity to contribute when you had time, only leaving quick notes now and then, or a big update symbolising a new turn of the project.” —Anny Wang
Photo by Graham Turner
Homa Delvaray, who designed the August poster with Masoud Morgan, said, “It was my first time collaborating over Dropbox Paper… We were able to exchange our ideas easily and quickly by chatting and sharing the sketches. Beyond all these advantages, saving and documenting the entire information in one place was the best part because we didn’t miss anything, and it really helped us to review the process throughout the project.”
March poster by Marion Deuchars and Anna Kövecses
“I loved this back and forth patterned conversation, it was such a refreshing creative experience compared to my usual routine of solitary work.” —Anna Kövecses, March poster
Several of the artists remarked about how the iterations felt more like natural conversations in the context of Paper. Reflecting on his experience of collaborating with New York-based graphic designer Zuzanna Rogatty, Amsterdam-based artist and illustrator Karan Singh said, “I especially liked the ability to make comments directly onto specific parts of images. This made receiving and sharing feedback more intuitive and allowed the creative process to flow pretty smoothly!”
Photo by Graham Turner
December poster by Adam Higton and Atelier Bingo
Stay tuned for more Nicer Tuesdays events and collaborations in the new year. And if you’d like to learn how Dropbox Paper can help you and your team bring creation and coordination together in one space, check out dropbox.com/paper.
Nick Street, Head of Global Marketing Strategy at Vans
Earlier this year, we traveled to The Gathering in Banff, Canada to meet with marketing leaders from the world’s most-coveted brands and learn how they guided their companies to cult status. While we were there, we had a chance to chat with Nick Street, Head of Global Marketing Strategy at Vans. Here’s how he helps support ideas from his internal team, rather than outsourcing to creative agencies.
Vans has been around for over 50 years. Could you tell us some of the high points in the timeline of your brand?
The brand started in 1966 when Paul Van Doren moved his family from the East Coast to Southern California to start the Van Doren Rubber Company. It was a physical store with a factory in the back where he made custom shoes for consumers. It was then that Paul decided that a direct model was the way to go and it positioned the company as one of the first direct-to-consumer stores back then.
From there on, Vans basically continued to evolve. As the surfers and the skateboarders adopted the brand, we adopted them. 52 years later, we’re still in the business of supporting action sports, but have also branched out to some of the other cultures like street culture, art and music.
“We no longer sponsor events in a traditional sense. We tend to go out and create our own experiences or support creative communities in a partnership.”—Nick Street, Vice President, Global Integrated Marketing at Vans
How did Vans decide to get into storydoing, and what do some of those programs look like?
What’s known as experiential marketing today has always been a core part of what Vans has been doing. When you’re supporting skateboarding and surfing, those sports live in experiences. We were always a cultural advocate for those sports and providing platforms for the athletes to be able to do what they needed to do and express themselves. It has never been about a marketing strategy but rather a grassroots approach to do hand-to-hand marketing from the beginning.
As Vans grew up with grassroots, it’s one of our core competencies. While we ‘sponsor’ less events today than before, we are now more focused on going out and creating those events ourselves. One example is the Vans Park Series we launched two years ago and was created by us as a brand, not an agency. It was the people within Vans who came up with the idea. Today, the Park platform has grown to such a level that it is one of the two disciplines of skateboarding that will be at the Olympics.
Your roots were in the skateboard culture, then you branched out into snowboarding. Now you’re the number one snowboarding brand. How did that transition happen?
It really is a natural evolution and can be tied to the history of Vans. We went from surf, to skateboarding, and then snowboarding was a sport that came next. Not to mention, BMX is another example of a sport we’ve been involved with pretty much from the beginning.
How can you tell when your grassroots efforts are working?
For us, it’s really about the engagement and how deeply are we connected with our consumers. For example, we’re liked on social media, which is great for brand awareness, but what we care about is the engagement that we’re driving with events offline, in the real world, and the experience that the consumer is having with the content that’s coming out of all those platforms.
“We’re not a brand that uses many external agencies. The ideas that you’re seeing in our brand platforms were all created in-house.”
What are some of the things you’re doing to foster collaboration on your team?
For us, it starts with talent first and foremost. The ideas that you’re seeing in our brand platforms were all created in-house. They’re not a pitched idea that we bought into. They were ideas that were born out of the people that work at the brand, and the athletes, the ambassadors that work with us and engage in the brand. Listening to what those people have to say and allowing those ideas to happen in a small way—because you don’t know how big an idea can be—is what we found really works for us. If the idea is good, you have the ability to start somewhere with that, then we will support it.
For us, having the right talent that is culturally connected has been a big success factor for us as a brand over the years—we’ve always had the right people that have been stewards of the brand and the cultures we are supporting.
“When we have global events, you’ll see the entire team having a role… It’s really about fostering collaboration beyond just the job title that you have.”
Speaking of the global aspect of your role and having teams in different markets, what are some of the things you do to promote teamwork across offices, across time zones?
We meet a lot, we talk a lot but we also have a lot of fun together, especially when we are hosting an event. For example, when Vans is activating a global event, you’ll see the entire team there having a role.
If we’re running a big event, you might be in digital marketing, but you’re looking after an area as a steward, and being a part of running that event. It’s trying to be as inclusive as we can with the platforms and about fostering collaboration beyond just the job title that you have.
I love that idea of having fun together being the key to what makes collaboration work well. What’s your favorite example of a collaboration when your team was really in flow?
There is never a day when that doesn’t happen. We are so hands-on as a brand. The word DIY really is true for Vans. We will jump from having to figure out how to run an event and order enough toilets for an event or get a permit, to having to produce strategic presentations. People are really working very much multi-dimensionally and they’re very multi-faceted in what they do.
Last February, Australian musician G Flip uploaded her track “About You” to the Triple J Unearthed website, where fans can discover new music from emerging artists. Within hours, the track became a viral hit, quickly earning rave reviews from tastemakers like Pitchfork. Within weeks, G Flip was performing her first solo show in front of an audience at SXSW. That was just the beginning of her rocket ride. Since then, she’s signed with Future Classic and toured internationally. So how is Georgia Flipo navigating the journey from rock drummer to pop star to sought-after collaborator? Here’s what we learned during a recent interview.
As someone who’s famous for her skills as a DIY solo artist, could you talk about the transition to becoming an in-demand songwriter? What do you gain when you’re teaming up with other artists and producers? I think when I’m working by myself, I’m a lot more critical of myself, and the process seems to go a lot slower. When there’s someone else in the room and I have a melody idea or a hook idea, they’ll normally say, “Go with that! Go with that!” When it’s just me in the room, I’m way more critical. I think, “Oh, that’s rubbish.” I find when I work with other artists and producers, the working process is very efficient. We get to a goal quicker.
Can you describe your experience of collaborating other artists and producers?
I like to sing as many melodies as I can off the top of my head and just leave my phone open on voice memos, recording. Then I’ll go back through and pick out all of the melodies I thought were strong. Then the collaborator will help me decide which melodies are strong. Then we’ll piece them together: “Oh that sounds like a pre-chorus. That sounds like a bridge. That sounds like a verse A.”
So it’s just a decision-making process after you’ve given them a lot of options?
Yeah. Decision making and choosing which melodies work with the song. That’s one way that I write things. The other way is, if I’m feeling extremely emotional or I have such peak emotions about something that’s happening in my life, I feel like that draws a lot of inspiration. Then I can just sit down at a piano and just go for it and sing and cry. A lot of songs come out of that. But it’s always a different songwriting process with me. I’ve also got songs from back when I was 15 or 16 that I feel like I need to go back and patch.
Photo by Cody Rappaport
When the songs start with a personal story or a strong emotion, do you feel more reluctant to share them with collaborators? Are there some that feel like “I’ve got to guard these because they’re too personal”?
Not really. I think pretty much my life is an open book. Part of the reason I like collaborating and working with other producers and artists is because I’m a pretty outgoing person. I like meeting new people. I’m not very shy. I probably give them too much information, if anything, about my feelings and emotions. So that doesn’t really cross my mind. Last week, I met up with a producer that I’d never met in Melbourne and I wrote a very deep, personal song. I’m not one to shy away from that. If the music speaks to you and the emotion comes out that way, that’s how you convey your emotions.
“I’ve done collaboration through Dropbox, adding production ideas. The producer will send me the stems or files, and I’ll add my thoughts and ideas and send it back.”
G Flip, Touch Sensitive and Fortunes on collaborating in the Future Classic x Dropbox studio - YouTube
Do you ever have any tensions or disagreements you have to talk through? Did you ever have to make compromises that either hurt or strengthened the song?
I’ve never really had a disagreement. I’m very hands-on with everything. I’m a producer as well, so when I work with producers, they get a bit of a shock cause I’ll just jump on their computer and start adding new keys, you know? I’m pretty direct and straightforward and I voice my opinion. No one’s seemed to clash heads with me yet, which is good. To be honest, they’re probably scared of me because I’m so bold! I’m just like, “That’s not how it should sound. You need to put distortion on that or we need compression on that.” The knowledge I have of production helps as well, because I can make the producer understand what I want. But so far, that’s never come to a disagreement. I might say, “I want that track to sound dirtier,” and we might compromise and make it 60% dirtier instead of a full 100%.
Do you ever collaborate remotely and pass ideas to each other over email or Dropbox?
I’ve done collaboration through Dropbox, adding production ideas. The producer will send me the stems or files, and I’ll add my thoughts and ideas and send it back, and see what they think. It’ll get sent back to me and I might record it a bit better.
In terms of lyrics, I normally write all my lyrics, actually. I think there’s one other artist, a pop writer. She’s a really good friend of mine. She tends to be the only one I like writing lyrics with me because I feel like we’re kind of the same person. We grew up in the same area in Australia. We’re the same age. We seem to like the same things. Other than that, most of the songs I write, I tend to write by myself in my bedroom. Or I’ll put pen to page in the studio when we’re writing. I might go to a producer and be like, “Do you reckon I should end it on this line or this line?” They definitely help me there.
“I like to sing as many melodies as I can off the top of my head and just leave my phone open on voice memos, recording.”
Where do you take it from there? Do you use those to create demos? Do portions of those early ideas ever get incorporated in final mixes?
It kind of depends on where I am. If I’m at home, I’ll take the melody that I might’ve sung in the car, then I’ll go down to my studio, sing the melody, and put piano chords to that. Then I might record into Logic, the piano chords and melody hook. Then I’ll work out production from there. Normally, I’ll take a piano part and find a synth part that flows with those chords. I normally start with a simple vocal and key, then it grows from there, the rest of the instrumentation fills out.
What inspired your evolution from a rock drummer to pop songwriter? Was there a moment in your former band when you thought, “I want to do more than keep the beat”?
I was always working on songs, but it was always behind closed doors. I’d never show anyone. And then as a drummer with EMPRA and other bands, I started singing in front of other people. After EMPRA, I was kind of lost about what I should do next. Frequently, I’d had this dream of doing a solo project. I just felt like the time is now. I went back through all of the songs I’d written over the years. And I just taught myself how to produce my own music.
How does your expertise as a drummer shape the way you write songs? Do most songs begin with a beat? Or does it influence your vocal phrasing and the way you build arrangements?
Yeah, I think being a drummer definitely influences all of that. Especially the vocal phrasing. My vocals are very rhythmic. I normally don’t start with a beat. I normally start with a key vibe. I just find that to be a way more expressive instrument, easier to convey emotion. It’s hard to draw raw emotion when I start off with drums. But I don’t know. I’m going to the studio today, and I might try starting with a drum beat.
After starting out as drummer and finding success behind the kit, did it surprise that you had such strong songwriting skills right out of the gate?
It definitely did surprise me. I wrote those songs in my room. I wasn’t sure what everyone was going to think. All my friends and my parents would tell me my songs were good, but getting a public reaction, I wasn’t too sure. I do remember making up songs in the schoolyard. Even when I had schoolie, which is like spring break, I remember writing with my friends, songs all about partying. I think I’ve always been able to put together feelings together with annoying, catchy melodies. But doing that in a serious setting… it was like, “Now I’m going to get a public opinion about these songs.” I just really like melodies. I think it’s my favorite thing about songwriting and collaborating. Just trying to get the most hooky melody possible, and trying to get hooks into every single percentage of the song.
I hear your first show was at SXSW. How did that go? Were you playing with a full band?
I’d called my mate, Toothpick, who I met on the road years before. He lives in Colorado. I said, “What are you doing, mate?” He said, “The band I was playing in just fell out. So that’s not going on anymore.” I said, “Some crazy events have happened and I’m playing my first show at SXSW. Would you like to play with me, man?” He actually quit his job, moved to Melbourne, and slept on my couch for a couple weeks, and me and him put the show together. We basically just brought all the equipment we had in our bedrooms. Now we look back and laugh at it, how the show at South by ran so smoothly with all this equipment up there. It was pretty dodgy. We needed a third member in the band. My management helped me find a third guy. We just gelled so well. Now [we] are this great trio. Those boys are my best friends. We travel well together. They really are like my brothers.
How did it feel to go so quickly from releasing “About You” to gaining attention from Pitchfork and others?
I spent a whole year putting the project together, and teaching myself how to produce before I even had management. I actually felt like my whole life has been working toward this G Flip project. It’s funny. When I look back, all my stage experience made sure I was confident at my first show, singing backup vocals, singing at my cousin’s wedding last year, which made me even more confident singing solo. These are all little elements in my life that helped me pick up skills along the way. It felt like it was a meant-to-be situation.
Did it take you by surprise? Did you feel ready for that rocket ride?
Before I released “About You,” I was already getting the live show together, and getting a band together. I wasn’t too sure how that was going to go. Then, definitely, when it blew up, it was a surprise. The shows I’ve played and my experience made me feel like I was ready. So I wasn’t scared at SXSW, which was my very first show ever. There was a power-taking moment where I was like, I’m going to take the mic and step off the drums, and that was the first time I’d ever done that. It’s been an absolutely memorable and crazy ride.
Important information can live in any number of tools, and we’ve been working to bring all of that data together in one place. Today, we’re taking a big step towards making that a reality for more of the tools you rely on every day. We’re launching Dropbox Extensions, a new way to work seamlessly in web-based apps while keeping everything organized in Dropbox—without additional integration work or coding.
Working in a web browser—and all of the uploading and downloading that goes along with it—makes it difficult to find the right file. And the bigger problem is that it keeps you from what you’re really trying to do: get work done. That’s exactly the kind of “work about work” we’re taking on with Extensions.
Extensions let you use the tools you already love while keeping everything organized, in sync, and in one place—Dropbox. Just like the right-click menu in Windows Explorer or macOS Finder, Extensions let you open files from dropbox.com in the web-based app of your choice. Starting today, you’ll see an “Open with” menu next to popular file types like PDFs, DWGs, Word docs, videos, and images.
From there, you’ll see a list of relevant web-based apps that you can open the file in and take action:
Request signatures. Send legal documents out through eSignature apps like Adobe Sign (coming soon), DocuSign, and HelloSign.
Send faxes. Use HelloFax to shoot out documents without a desk-cluttering fax machine.
Edit documents. Organize, fill out, convert, and compress PDFs with tools like Nitro, airSlate PDFfiller, and Smallpdf.
Edit CAD drawings. View and edit DWG files directly in the AutoCAD web app—no software installation needed.
Capture video feedback. Get comments from team members and clients with a Vimeo video review page.
Adjust images. Fine-tune color, add text, and make other quick fixes to photos with Pixlr X.
And once you’re done working, your files will be saved back to Dropbox. Everything stays organized, without the hassle of downloading from one place and uploading to another.
Our first batch of Extensions are available today for English language users, with support for more partner apps on the way soon. You can learn more—and get free exclusive offers from our partners—by visiting our Extensions page. Or get started today by looking for the “Open with” menu on dropbox.com when you hover over PDFs, videos, image files, Microsoft Office documents, and DWGs.
We’re always looking for ways to streamline workflows for individuals and teams using Dropbox. Often that means deeply integrating Dropbox with the tools people use every day. Architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) companies in particular are seeing the value of Dropbox as a connective tissue for solutions specific to their industry. Today, we’re expanding our support for AEC tools, with a new integration for construction project management solution Procore.
Procore is a leading provider of cloud-based applications for the construction industry, used to manage billions in annual construction volume. And with our new integration, project managers, contractors, engineers, and more can streamline collaboration on job sites and in the office. By connecting Dropbox and Procore, teams can:
Improve organization by attaching project files stored in Dropbox to specific in Procore projects. And by maintaining a consistent file structure in Dropbox, team members can make sure everyone has access to the right info.
Save time and minimize human error with two-way file sync between Dropbox and Procore. Dropbox files can be instantly accessed in Procore, and files in Procore can be automatically synced to Dropbox. It’s perfect for keeping RFIs, submittals, daily logs, inspections, photos, and other documents available to everyone that needs them.
Maintain and collaborate on project documents both during the project, and long after the project has ended, in Dropbox. With construction team members often working on a per-project basis, using Dropbox as a central repository for files helps ensure firms have reference info if and when they need it.
These benefits are already apparent for companies that we’ve given early access of the integration to, like Greystar, a leading construction and development management firm. “We needed quick access to files on all our devices without having to log into Procore,” said Nicholas Nagler, a project engineer at Greystar. “The BuildrSync integration of Procore and Dropbox solved that for us. The setup process was one of the simplest integrations setups I have ever done. It made life easier because many of our documents are constantly changing, and it would be a full time job to save the files back to Dropbox after every change. The integration bridges this gap and allows me to focus on moving projects forward.”
Working with Procore is great opportunity to help AEC teams streamline operations and better organize their project work. As Kris Lengezia, Director of Business Development at Procore said, “We are excited to extend the benefits of Dropbox to all Procore users. Using Dropbox and Procore together offers enhanced workflows, increased efficiency and improved visibility of document management. We look forward to further developing this relationship to best serve our mutual customers.”
Data privacy and security have always been critical to doing business online, but these days the challenges are increasingly complex—and there’s more at stake than ever.
Recent policies like Europe’s GDPR reflect a growing concern over users’ control of their data. The amount of sensitive information going into the cloud is constantly growing against a backdrop of companies’ increasing awareness of the risks involved.
At the same time, the overwhelming advantages of the cloud are clear. It helps us work wherever we want with more people in more places than ever. And we’ve all benefited from the convenience and quality of services the cloud enables for businesses of every kind. There’s no going back. We now live in a world of ever-growing diversity in the digital surfaces across which we collaborate and across which our data travels. But managing these proliferating cloud services presents security challenges for companies.
Collaboration on potentially sensitive information now happens across teams and contractors in different regions and industries, on work computers and personal devices. A single team may need to govern data differently for various workflows according to different industry and government security regulations.
But with the amount of cloud data growing and collaborative workflow needs getting more varied, businesses need new, innovative ways to keep information safe.
Open ecosystems work better than walled gardens
As the amount of sensitive information in the cloud is growing, so is the number of specialized software tools companies are using to handle different work streams. A recent report found that companies across a range of industries increased the number of cloud apps they use by an average of 24% between 2016 and 2018. According to a report from McAfee, 83% of organizations across industries store sensitive data in the public cloud, and 61% of that sensitive data is personal customer information.
There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to data security. Every business has different needs. That’s why we believe in a policy of open integrations. Making sure businesses are able to apply consistent standards of data security across all the tools their employees use is paramount.
We believe this trend will continue, and that the future of business software belongs to open ecosystems, not walled gardens. This is the spirit in which we recently announced Dropbox Extensions—a suite of partner integrations that make collaboration between Dropbox and popular software applications frictionless.
Our answer to a better way to work
At Dropbox, we’re dedicated to designing better ways of working. That means providing solutions that help teams balance the tensions inherent in the complexities of modern work. Enabling employees to work fluidly while ensuring that they’re working securely is one of the most important challenges in the way we work today. Security is foundational—if your business doesn’t get this right, nothing else matters.
With our newest integrations, Dropbox admins will be better able to govern data without creating friction or slowing down workflows. Whether complying with education (FERPA), financial (PCI), or regional regulation (GDPR), businesses working in Dropbox can tailor specific security policies to suit their own needs. Teams can keep in sync and work fluidly with external collaborators, while keeping their information safe.
Security and data privacy have always been our top priority. Throughout the next year, we’ll be building on the integrations we announced this week to keep evolving a flexible open ecosystem without sacrificing security.
Our automatic camera uploads feature has been hugely popular for users on our Dropbox Basic, Plus, and Professional plans for individuals. And one of the most popular requests we’ve received has been to bring this feature over to Dropbox Business. We have great news: today, we’re making automatic camera uploads available to teams on Dropbox Business.
Automatic camera uploads make getting photos and videos off your camera or mobile device and on to Dropbox simple. Just turn the feature on in our mobile app, and your phone or tablet will automatically add photos and videos from your camera roll to your Dropbox. Camera uploads are also available in our desktop app. Attach your camera, its memory card, or a mobile device to your computer, and photos and videos will be copied automatically.
Files will be renamed with the date and time they were taken if available—no clunky names like IMG_1433.JPG—and added to a Camera Uploads folder. You can even set camera uploads to work in the background so you don’t need to open the app. It’s a great way to keep everything organized—and shareable—in Dropbox.
For businesses, the feature also helps streamline on-the-go workflows. Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS), a manufacturer of water management products and Dropbox Business customer, got to try out the feature with their sales team. Their salespeople often take pictures from the field for internal and external customers. With automatic camera uploads, they were able to get the photos in Dropbox from their phones, then organize them into shareable project folders on their office computers.
For Justin Gibson, a territory manager at ADS, it’s all about simplicity. “I like automatic camera uploads, because they make my life easier,” he said. “Before, I had to email every individual picture as an attachment to get them from my phone to my computer. It was inconvenient. Camera uploads do what they do in the background—I don’t have to deal with anything. It’s great.”
When I started my career at Microsoft, Office was in its heyday and would continue to dominate the productivity space for decades. But the world has changed—the cloud has ushered in a new generation of productivity tools, and employees have more and better applications to choose from than ever before. According to one survey, medium to large organizations now use an average of eight different cloud providers for various enterprise apps and services.
We know that our users love having the freedom to choose the tools best-suited for their work—but not the friction of having to toggle between them to get work done. Think of how many steps it takes just to get a contract signed: you have to send someone the contract, they download it, sign it virtually, probably save it somewhere, then send it back to you before you finally save the signed version back to Dropbox.
Increasingly, users are turning to Dropbox to pull together all their content and work tools into one seamless experience. That’s why today we’re introducing Dropbox Extensions, a series of new integrations that let users start workflows—from signing contracts to annotating videos from within our platform.
With Dropbox Extensions, you’ll be able to:
Take a contract from first draft to final PDF to signature with no uploading, downloading, or scanning
Digitally fax that signed contract to its final destination directly
from the Dropbox file
Annotate videos or edit images in Dropbox for real-time feedback
on the fly
Automatically save these updates back to your shared folders,
so your whole team is in sync
Put the flow back in workflow with Dropbox Extensions - YouTube
These no-fuss workflows are only possible because we’ve built deep product partnerships with leading productivity companies that include Adobe, Autodesk, DocuSign, Vimeo, airSlate, HelloSign, Nitro, Smallpdf, and Pixlr. We want users to have the ability to move fluidly from one task to the next without breaking their flow. It should be just as easy to use a combination of tools and apps as it is to use the same suite of tools from a legacy provider.
Dropbox is home to hundreds of billions of PDF, DWG, and multimedia files, so we’re in a perfect position to connect partners to our users based on the content they’re engaging with. By making it easy for users to find the right tools for the task at hand, everyone wins.
These integrations are a major expansion of Dropbox capabilities, and we’re excited to make Dropbox Extensions generally available to users on November 27. Customers can now use Dropbox as a starting point for actions like PDF editing, eSignatures, video annotation, and more.
Dropbox Extensions is the latest example of how we’re partnering with other best-of-breed tools to make collaboration more seamless. Just last month we announced a partnership with Zoom that will make it easy for users to start a video conference call from within Dropbox or access Dropbox content during a Zoom meeting.
Over time, we’ll add more partners and deeper integrations to our ecosystem. A world with more freedom to choose the right tools and less friction between them is one where we can all do our best work.
The artists’ final pieces on the show floor at Adobe MAX
How do you feel when you’re in flow, that blissful state of losing yourself in your work? We asked three Los Angeles-area artists to capture this feeling in an illustration or photo. Each used Adobe software to create their ideas, then turned to Dropbox Paper—a real-time workspace for bringing creation and coordination together—to collaborate on their concepts using the Dropbox-Adobe integration. The finished pieces were displayed at Adobe MAX. Here’s how each artist’s concept evolved, including the final products.
Justin Fantl—An aerial concept of flow
Sometimes the world appears the most fluid from high up in the sky. Justin began with a series of aerial images, each capturing the flowing nature of the world below, whether in the form of people, buildings, sports, or agricultural topography. He started with a mood board of nine different ideas.
Justin’s early concepts in Paper
Justin went on to explore a few more concepts, including more urban settings, people on a beach, and a few shots more explicitly focused on planes and pilots. In conversation with the Dropbox design team, he found himself drawn to the more nature-based expressions of flow.
“Dropbox Paper was the perfect vehicle for pulling this project together. I was able to present imagery in a cohesive way. I could make my own notes and get great feedback from the team on specific images as well as the entire grouping of images. This enabled me to bring images back in Adobe Photoshop to and make the right edits. I will definitely be using Dropbox Paper on future projects!” – Justin Fantl
For his final piece, Justin returned to one of his original ideas: an overhead view of Owens Lake, accented by a splash of burnt orange (a muddy brine within the dry lake). The photo has a mesmerizing quality, where viewers can lose themselves in the wavy layers of troughs cut into the earth far below.
What better way to capture flow than in the classic act of composition—letters, fonts, and writing, all with a pen in your hand? Claire began by simply writing down her intentions on a colorful notepad. Her initial idea? To create a brand new font “inspired by the early pen-to-paper stages of my design work.”
Claire collaborating in Dropbox Paper
“I spend about 6 hours of my day in the Adobe suite. Any program or product that helps to increase communication with a client really improves my design process. Dropbox Paper really helped to crack open the brainstorming and sketching process, ensuring that we were all on the same page. It was like an insurance policy against going down the wrong road.” -Claire Hungerford
After creating her new font, she was mostly satisfied with her progress, but she found she wanted her final piece to be “more colorful and psychedelic.”
Claire’s notes in Paper, midway through her creative process
In order to truly capture a sense of flow, she illustrated her pen-to-paper concept in the form of a hand holding a pen, “with the ink flowing into a garden.” The final piece shows a rich bouquet flowing from a single pen—an image that captures the intricacies of creative design with the seeming effortlessness of being in flow.
For Daniel, flow often comes in the chaotic sea of a large social event, where hundreds of people move around, interact, and make connections in the midst of a busy conference like Adobe MAX. He started by illustrating a series of geometric figures, with an emphasis on the diversity of the people involved.
Daniel’s early questions and commentary in Paper
He went on to add color and a bit more symmetry, an update that began to draw out that sense of social fluidity and connection.
Daniel working in Dropbox Paper
Throughout the process, he found Paper’s real-time collaboration essential for getting the feedback and reactions he needed.
“It was a nice way to collaborate with a remote team in real time. Keeps everything from the brief to the feedback in one organized place.” -Daniel Savage
His final design adds more individuality to the faces, while maintaining a strong splash of reds and pinks for added emphasis.
For Justin, Claire, and Daniel, flow came in different forms, from the aerial farmland to the act of composition to the organized chaos of a conference. How would you describe your sense of flow? Which concept resonates most for you?
The tools you use to get work done every day can make or break your team. It’s especially the case for educational institutions, where interconnected webs of faculty, students, and staff work across disciplines, levels, and campuses. Today at Educause, we announced a partnership with Instructure, makers of the Canvas learning managment system (LMS), that will help educational institutions of all sizes streamline collaboration.
Already in over 3,000 universities, school districts, and institutions around the world, Canvas is rapidly becoming the LMS of choice. And like Dropbox, its ease of use gives users a tool they prefer—and educational institutions the kind of adoption that maximizes their investments.
Instructure has also been a trailblazer in fostering interoperability between LMS tools and third-party systems through the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard. LTI is helping to standardize content and access security, making it easier for schools to integrate different LMS tools and apps. For the faculty and students, it’s bringing about more streamlined and seamless experiences in the tools they use every day.
And with this integration, faculty and students will be able to easily link to Dropbox content in Canvas courses. Instructors can embed Dropbox files into pages—through the Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE)—and modules.
This integration will help instructors centralize content like course materials, study resources, and syllabi in Dropbox. They’ll be able to edit documents and adjust permissions in Dropbox, while keeping up-to-date files available through Canvas and other tools. The integration also helps students, letting them collaborate on docs in Dropbox before submitting assignments directly in Canvas.
Our partnership with Instructure delivers on our shared goal of making schoolwork easier for users. “The integration between Dropbox and Canvas will improve the learning experience for teachers and students by making coursework accessible in one place,” said Melissa Loble, SVP Customer Success & Partnerships at Instructure. “With more seamless collaboration across both our platforms, Dropbox and Canvas are helping users to reduce their ‘work about work’ and focus on what’s most important.”
This partnership promises to be invaluable for Dropbox customers like The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Innovative partners are critical when it comes to our mission of exploring the future of teaching and learning,” said Dan Alig, CIO of The Wharton School. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with Dropbox and Instructure as they work to integrate powerful file collaboration into the already dynamic Canvas learning experience. These efforts allow schools like Wharton to continue delivering more value and enhanced learning outcomes by leveraging tools our students are already using.”
To learn more, visit us this week at Educause or register for our Canvas Partner Day live webinar on trends in education, happening on Wednesday, December 12.