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Sounddesign: Wie klingt das Wissen der Welt?
© Wikimedia

Sound logos are used in marketing to make a company acoustically unique in the media. The theme tune of the Tagesschau and the sound logo of Deutsche Telekom are two well-known examples in this country. In addition to the “Puzzleball” in the visual field, Wikipedia now includes a sound logo. What does all human knowledge sound like? – With this point in mind, the Wikimedia Foundation established a global competition in September 2022 to find a sound logo capable of identifying material from all wiki projects when visual logos are unavailable. According to the foundation, the sound should represent “what the projects stand for: trustworthy, reliable, open and accessible knowledge for all.” More than 3,000 options were submitted from 135 countries, with the top ten first chosen; more than 2,000 people then voted in the final vote. Thaddeus Osborne, a nuclear engineer and music producer from Virginia (USA), created the winning entry. Wikimedia describes his sound as “the sound of turning book pages combined with keyboard strokes and a synthesizer sound, representing the vast wealth of knowledge that people can access digitally through Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.”

The sound logo, they claim, will be heard in the future whenever knowledge is collected from Wikipedia and other wiki projects – in podcasts or through voice assistants that answer questions using information from Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects. As a result, Wikimedia material should be recognisable across a variety of auditory applications and devices. When opening Wikipedia or reading an article from the online encyclopedia, the sound logo is not used.

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