It’s a tough job to summarise an organisation as diverse as Vision Australia in a few seconds of sound.
But Vision Australia has done it with a new audio logo developed with a Melbourne agency working hand-in-hand with people who are blind or have low vision.
Vision Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Megan McAlpine, says the project came as part of Vision Australia’s re-branding project in 2016, during which Vision Australia’s distinctive three-link logo was introduced.
She says the audio logo needed to convey the visual logo’s sense that the organisation’s various elements link together to benefit clients and the wider blindness and low vision community.
“The audio logo is a vital component of the brand rollout because our primary audience is blind or has low vision, therefore the ‘sound’ of the brand is as important as the visual identity,” she says.
The company behind the Vision Australia re-brand, Landor, connected Vision Australia with Echo Shop, a specialist music consultancy, to develop the audio logo.
Echo Shop co-owner Nick Roder says he and partners Finn Bennet and Felix Watson partnered with a Vision Australia working group comprising people who are blind or have low vision from its staff, Board and Client Reference Group.
“It was great to have their input on what they thought was suitable, and their reasons for that,” Nick says.
“The three of us come from a musical background, and it’s sometimes hard to think from the point of view of someone that doesn’t know that technical side of music.
“Someone from the working group might hear a sound and say, ‘I thought this was X’, and we had not considered that because, musically, we thought it should appeal to Y. That feedback is invaluable.”
The team experimented with a range of sounds and instruments including the acoustic guitar to replicate both the three links and Vision Australia’s role in caring for its community.
A tone with series of warm, blended synthesiser notes, reflecting the three-link logo’s idea of Vision Australia’s services linking together, was eventually selected by the working group.
The audio logo incorporates the visual logo’s “Vision Australia: Blindness. Low Vision. Opportunity.” tagline with a male voice reading “Vision Australia”, “blindness” and “low vision” read in turn by a woman and a child and the three voices combining for “Opportunity”.
The variety of voices aims to reflect Vision Australia’s diverse community.
“We were looking for a modern sound and a sound that reflected caring and understanding, those two worlds together. I think we struck a good balance between the two ideas,” Nick says.
“It’s something you could sing quite easily but it’s still unique. It’s strong enough to be identifiable, and it’s synonymous with Vision Australia’s brand.”
Jane Britt, a member of Vision Australia’s Client Reference Group when the audio logo working group was formed, says the group met every few weeks and considered three different options each time it met with Echo Shop.
“Every time we met, they took notes and collated them all and each subsequent variation came as a result of our feedback,” she says.
“I like the audio logo. I think it reflects where Vision Australia is headed after the brand refresh and as a client, I think it sounds inviting.
“We wanted something that was warm, particularly with the voices at the end being the mantra of the company, and we wanted it to be warm and inviting for clients. I think it reflects that quite well.”
The audio logo was launched with much fanfare on Vision Australia Radio this month and has been well received, Megan says. “I think people respond particularly well to the warm voices in the tagline and feel that it brings the brand to life in a way that is very personal to them,” she says.
The audio logo can be heard on Vision Australia Radio, at the beginning of audio books from the Vision Australia Library, on Vision Australia’s call waiting service and when opening Vision Australia apps.
Listen to the audio logo here or on the player below: