Scroll Top

Creating the Duden brand sound design

A publisher between tradition and digital transformation

Reeperbahn Festival

Copyright photos: WESOUND


Duden is the brand of the German language. More than 95% of Germans know Duden and the name is synonymous with dictionaries and reference works. The company can look back on a 140-year history which began with the publication of the very first Duden in 1880. Now the publisher is preparing for a digital future. We developed a system of sound elements for the brand which is lean and agile and gets the brand message to the heart of all applications.


In order to give the brands a meaningful acoustic form, we defined contents and descriptors. Contents are simply individual sound elements, like for example musical motifs or the sound logo.
The Duden sound logo is based on the idea of “seeking and finding”. First, we hear the dignified Duden sound. Then, the moment of seeking, of leafing through reference books – made audible in the form of an arpeggio. In conclusion, the musically logical final note: the successful end of the search.

In contrast, the descriptors define on a purely descriptive level how music and language will sound in future. This is useful for sharpening the brand profile. It also means cost savings, as these descriptions can be used directly as briefings – eg for composers or when searching in a music data base. Voice tonality is also clearly defined, facilitating not only the work of the director, but also giving the Duden message character.


With this set, we have laid the foundations for the Duden audio brand. And we look forward to all the new digital applications that will now become possible.

The Duden brand currently finds itself between tradition and digital transformation. WESOUND have succeeded in capturing all the facets of the Duden brand and realizing them in acoustically significant fashion – with what we find are very appealing sound solutions. The result is a system of concretely usable sound solutions and guidelines with regard to content for music and language productions. This brand sound will accompany Duden on its journey to digital transformation and pave the way for numerous audio applications. We look forward to future audible collaborations with WESOUND.

Katja Oechel, Head of Strategic Brand Management, Bibliographisches Institut / Duden Publishing


  • Client: Bibliographisches Institut GmbH / Dudenverlag
  • Sound concept and implementation: WESOUND
  • Film production: WESOUND