ISD Team

In 2012, Wiener Linien started a sound project to improve the quality of Vienna public transportation service. The aim was to inform the passengers in a more pleasant and clear way as well as to find a distinct audio identity. The focus was placed on the announcements and its speaker voice as well as the gong architecture. The sound concept evolves around Vienna’s defining audio motif: The Vienna waltz. The “Donauwalzer” and its 6/8 rhythm were the main musical inspiration for the 4-tone sound logo and the sound spectrum used in on-hold tunes, etc.

The new gong timbre is softer than before: pleasant, bell-like, direct and clear. The gong architecture is simple and informative: a single meditative gong for station announcements, a single meditative gong, one octave higher for station announcements in English, a subsequent rising double gong for information announcements and an ascending triple gong for service disruption announcements. Bilingual female speakers with Vienna accent were casted for the brand voice. The final choice was to be made by the Vienna public, who voted online for Angela Schneider.

What is special about the Wiener Linien Sound Branding case is the broad implementation and wide variety of sounds used. Besides the use of the sound in telephone-on-hold messages, in films, at events and as part of the gong systems, the music has been arranged for the Wiener Linien employee brass orchestra and for a children’s tune. Even functional sounds in ticket machine interfaces and ticket validators have been branded with the distinct Wiener Linien sound timbre.

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