We don’t always think about it, but sound can be just as important to brand identification like any graphic logo. Netflix’s “ta-dum” instantly reminiscent of the streaming service’s logo. Apple’s startup chime feels like a warm welcome from your computer. Now, Wikipedia has its own iconic audio brand: book-page beat, keyboard clicks, and synthesizer tones it calls “The sound of all human knowledge.”
In Wikipedia fashion, the four-second audio clip was from the community. The Wikimedia Foundation held a competition to find an audio logo for “projects where visual logos are not an option”. More than 3,000 submissions later, they landed on a series of warm, happy notes preceded by book and keyboard noises, created by Thaddeus Osborne.
Osborne, a nuclear scientist by day, will receive $2,500 for creating the winning sound. Wikimedia will also send it to a professional recording studio to help produce a finalized version of the audio logo. The foundation says it hopes to have the final sound ready for use by June this year.