Sound logo

The Sound of All Human Knowledge

Have you heard? Wikimedia, the global movement behind Wikipedia, has a sound logo now! This logo will help identify Wikimedia content wherever you listen to it—when you ask your mobile phone or home speaker a question, or happen to learn something from Wikipedia on a podcast. But to make that vision a reality, we knew we had to do things differently. In true Wiki fashion, we counted on the wisdom of the crowd to identify The Sound of All Human Knowledge.

Listen to the winning sound!

CC by SA 4.0 by Thaddeus Osborne, also available on Wikimedia Commons

Why a sound logo?

The search for The Sound of All Human Knowledge started with a mandate from the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees to improve the identification of our content on audio devices. That is because people are consuming Wikimedia content differently these days. Research shows that 1 in 4 people search for information using their voices, so there is a need and opportunity to identify Wikimedia projects accordingly.

Collaborating with the community

Our next step was to consult with our movement and get them on board. We hosted multiple discussions and listened to their suggestions as we built our most ambitious contest to date. We are no strangers to building creative assets together—in fact, even our iconic puzzle globe logo was designed by and chosen by the Wikimedia volunteers. That is “the Wiki Way”. So in September 2022, we officially launched the search for our sound logo that was global, smart, and familiar, and that would capture the essence of everything Wikimedia stands for (more details in the contest rules.) 

Global contest

Within a month, we received a total of 3,235 submissions, from 2,094 participants in 135 countries. We counted on the help of volunteers, a selection committee of Wikimedians, and the expertise of audio professionals from MassiveMusic, to screen and we narrowed those down. The Wikimedia community was then invited to vote on the 10 finalists that best suited the criteria: Conceptual match, originality/uniqueness, and potential for strong brand recall. An astonishing number of them listened to our call—we received a total of 2,065 votes!

Contest winner

The winning entry was created by Thaddeus Osborne from Virginia, USA. It combined the sounds of turning the pages of a book with keyboard clicks and a synthesizer chime, representing the huge body of knowledge that people can access digitally through Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. 

Sound logo application

Our ultimate goal is for you to hear our sound logo on audio-only/audio visual content platforms, social media, smart speakers and other voice assistant devices, though this implementation will likely happen gradually. Would you like to use the sound logo in your platform? Check out the sound logo guidelines before you do.

Contact us

For questions related to using the sound logo:

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Photo credits