The Sound of Skype

Oct 15, 20150 comments

The Sound of Skype

The contemporary and natural sound of communication


In 2003 Skype revolutionized our art of communicating by completely separating voice calls from the telephone. Already in 2005 a next generation including a fresh design and the option for video calls was launched. And Sound always essentially accompanied this application. The Bleeps, Bounces and Pops were central to the customer experience and rapidly became synonymous for voice over IP telephony. Thus Skype has become one of the most established provider for video and voice telephony.

The functional sounds like notification and response sounds have been part of the sound identity from Skype ever since. A consistent, audible mirroring of the brand, whenever starting the application, when calls come in or simply shutting the whole thing down.

The Elements of Skype’s acoustic identity were carefully designed to reflect a mix of pleasant, familiar noises: Coming in calls were marked by the traditional, pulsing ring of a telephone, while other actions triggered a combination of quirky and unconventional bounces, pops, whispers, and zooms. Apart from their function, each sound was supposed to tell us something about Skype. The emerging sound while starting up the application has become the most renowned one.[iframe 8% 85px]

Consistency in communication and the ability to adapt and react to changing technologies, habits, end-products, and environments is crucial for successful, sustainable and holistic acoustic brand communication. Congruously the ten-year-old audible flagship now has been revised.

Skype’s sound had to be rethought and had to be given a contemporary feel. It equally needs to run on all conceivable operating systems and devices and as a sideline it needs to do so while preserving the identity of one of the most recognizable online communication provider in the world – without sounding like a computer to human application.

Hear the adaptions in the following – We think they did pretty well. Further to that sneak peak you can slide under the surface of this process in the link to the original article down below.

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                                            Good Read.

Sound Decision – Adi Robertson


The Verge: Sound Decision – Adi Robertson
Listen: Skype Identity System