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Wikimedia Foundation/Communications/Sound Logo

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Sound Logo


What a journey


More than a year ago, we embarked on a new journey: to find a sound logo for Wikimedia. Inspired by the Wikimedia movement's experience of visual logo contests and mandated by the Foundation's Board of Trustees, the Sound Logo team, together with Wikimedians, engaged with audio professionals and sound enthusiasts around the world, created an online collection of sounds, had on-wiki conversations, hosted community calls, organized workshops in sound editing and audio production, attended virtual and in-person community events, and created listening booths.

3,235 sound logos were submitted by 2,094 participants in 135 countries during the month-long contest between September and October, 2022. Per community curiosity, the Sound Logo team shared random batches of submissions as they were coming in. The interpretations of the creative prompts were just fascinating – sounds of crowds and birds, pages turning, knocking on doors, drums, chimes, and gongs, vocals, mouse clicks, and typing on keyboards.

Luckily, there was help!!! Community members volunteered to screen submissions as they were coming in, and at the end, a selection committee of Wikimedians, in collaboration with audio professionals from the MassiveMusic network, presented the movement with 10 sound logos to vote on.

We thought to give the finalists a fair chance and prompted voters to listen to all 10 sound logos and order them according to their preferences. A strong method previously used in Wikimedia visual logo contests was selected to determine the winning sound for Wikimedia. 2065 votes were cast with 76.7% of voters registered on Wikimedia Commons for more than a year. And now, officially, we have the winning sound.

The winning sound


Thaddeus Osborne is from Norfolk, Virginia, USA; nuclear engineer by day and music producer at heart. He conceptualized our sound logo based on what knowledge consumption and seeking information mean to him: leafing through books, the crescendo of wanting more, and that unquenchable thirst for learning. Read more.

Thank you!


Preparing Wikimedia content for audio devices and doing it in a way that was true to our values and practices was not an easy endeavour. Many thanks to the screening team of volunteers, the selection committee, the dynamic team of community liaisons, and most importantly, you! We are grateful to many of you who took part in on-wiki, virtual, or in-person conversations, listened, shared, voted, or in any other way participated to help bring us to where we are today, with a sound logo for Wikimedia projects. Thank you, well played.

What is the sound of all human knowledge?


These days, people can ask computers and smart devices questions with their voices and major search engines often search Wikimedia projects to answer them. Without sound logo as a means to identify Wikimedia content, the public does not always know that this knowledge comes from Wikimedia, a trusted source for verifiable information. In tune with a legacy of visual logo contests and with exciting new parameters regarding sound logos and audio production, the Wikimedia Foundation is organizing a global contest for a sound logo for Wikimedia, and we'd love to hear from you.

We have curated themes and sounds in the sound lab for you to experiment with and get inspired. Happy listening.

Read our Diff blog series to learn more:



The tentative timeline for the contest is below. We intend to keep this updated as the logo contest moves on, but it may change as needs arise.

October 2021 to February 2022 March & April 2022 May & June 2022 July 2022 August 2022 September 2022 October 2022 December 2022 March 2023
Phase 1: Initial scope Project preparations Phase 2: Community outreach & discussions Contest design based on conversations and input Sound logo events at Wikimania Phase 3: Contest Shortlisting, due diligence Voting & results Winner announcement
Community events, early conversations Project team set up Contest design discussions with the community Contest design finalized Submission portal set up; team of liaisons; Screening Team and Selection Committee set up The global contest for The Sound of All Human Knowledge launches Contest closes, initial copyright reviews, Selection Committee shortlists Voting on Wikimedia Commons, Dec. 6-19, early results shared The Wikimedia sound logo, The Sound of All Human Knowledge is officially revealed.

Project team


We are...

Wikimedia Foundation Communications Department:

... and fantastic liaisons:

Together, we’re leading and supporting the global contest for the Wikimedia sound logo.

Music Production Drop-in Clinic


If you want to learn more about sound logos, need help with your submission, or if you have a great idea for one, but don't know how to capture it, join this conversation with our technical partner MassiveMusic on September 29, 15:00-16:00 UTC. Sign up directly on Zoom or below using your Wikimedia username and we will send you the call link using the "Email this User" feature. Please share your questions in advance so we can best adapt the workshop for you.

Masterclass led and recorded by MassiveMusic on how to create a sound logo for the Wikimedia The Sound of All Human Knowledge contest.

Community conversations


Phase 2 of the Wikimedia sound logo contest involved open community conversations on the contest proposal (you can view slides of which). Two meetings were held, on May 27 and another on June 2. You can see the May 27 video recording. A presentation involved dissecting the TED sound logo, showing a few basics of how to use Audacity audio software and some basics of audio recording, a synopsis of the contest proposal and how it has developed and question and answers.

Read more here.

Phase 2: sound logo at different community events


Phase 1 connections with communities


Below is a table of all the places - past and future - where we are joining Wikimedians to talk about the sound logo project in addition to our talk page. If you'd like to invite the team to your event or schedule a call to talk about the project, please email soundlogo(_AT_)wikimedia.org. We can make interpretation arrangements if needed to speak with groups in languages other than English.

Name of group or discussion Summary Event notes
WikiArabia - Conference Roundtable, 15 October 2021 Tas and Samir from the Brand Studio and Kelsi from Movement Communications connected with approximately 25 volunteers as part of a Sound Logo Roundtable at WikiArabia 2021. Tas presented an introduction to exploring a Sound Logo for Wikimedia content, which had no engagement in the public chat and no questions asked on the call but those in attendance were informed of the opportunity. See program link and notes.
Strategic Wikimedia Affiliates Network - Presentation and Q&A, 31 October 2021 (both meetings) Kelsi from the sound logo team connected with approximately 30 volunteers from across the movement at the first October 2021 SWAN meetings. The idea of a sound logo was received with general positivity, and including asked questions about trademarking, use by volunteers, and whether the sound logo could contain words. Volunteers also demonstrated excitement for the upcoming sound logo contest by sharing logo ideas in the side chat.

At the second SWAN meeting held on October 31 18:30 UTC the Brand Studio team (represented by Mathoto, Zack and Samir) connected with approximately 40 volunteers. The Brand Studio team thanked nominated community advisors who helped guide the next steps for brand work which includes plans to expand flexible naming options, a single community pilot, update the existing brand guidelines portal on meta and the sound logo exploration. Attendees celebrated the positive impact the color letter had on the movement and were generally pleased to see brand projects being initiated to support the movement again on a surer basis. There was also positive interest and helpful suggestions for the sound logo project particularly around it requiring clear usage guidelines.

See the event link and notes.
Communications Committee, October 26, 2021 Mathoto, Tas and Lena from the sound logo team joined the Communications Committee monthly meeting held on October 26, 2021 (9 community members in attendance). Mathoto shared an overview of brand next steps and presented the idea of the sound logo exploration. We received helpful suggestions around framing of the project idea and inspiration for the sound logo contest.
WikiIndaba - Conference Roundtable, 04 November 2021 The brand studio team hosted a WMF Communications Department Roundtable at Wiki Indaba 2021. Mathoto shared an overview of brand next steps focussing on how the Foundation will update the existing Wikimedia brand guidelines portal on meta and Tas shared information on the Sound Logo project. The Sound Logo did not elicit any notable response as many of the commenters wanted to know more about brand guidelines updates and training planned for next year. For more information, see the event link and the session notes.
Wikimedia CEE Online Meeting - Conference Roundtable, 06 November 2021 The Brand Studio team (Mathoto, Tas, Samir) connected with approximately 30 volunteers from Central and Eastern Europe as part of a WMF Communications Department Roundtable at the Wikimedia CEE Online Meeting 2021. Mathoto recapped the Board resolutions for brand work with Tas presenting an introduction to the exploration of a Sound Logo for Wikimedia content and Samir presented the project to consolidate and update Wikimedia brand guidelines. The Sound Logo was received well with lots of engagement. Creative ideas for sounds, existing use cases (such as Spoken Wikipedia and WikiQR) and new use cases (such as a moving audiovisual logo for Wikimedia content) were shared by several communities. You may find program and recording.

WikiConvention Francophone- Conference Roundtable, 20 November 2021

Tas and Kelsi from the sound logo team presented about the new sound logo project in front of about 50 attendees at WikiConvention Francophone. The audience response was overall positive, with questions about whether a sound logo would also have an accompanying moving visual logo, how well the project would support minority languages, whether the sound logo would have speech or text, and if the sound logo would be language neutral. You may find event link and session notes.

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