‘Helium’ – The audio logo at Messer since 2008
The ‘Helium’ audio logo at Messer has flanked the visual presentation of Messer Gases for Life since 2008. In its corporate identity, Messer combines the tradition and history of a family-owned company with strong customer loyalty and team spirit, as well as creative thinking at the highest levels, courageous, technology-minded ideas, internationality, and constant capacity for change in a highly competitive market environment.
In this, Messer bases its philosophy on the following pillars of values: Trust, internationality, responsibility, courage, excellence and history. Always with awareness to combine international customer responsibility with a passion for shaping trends and social commitment.
Messer’s world is the world of gases. This world is in a constant flux of change. International markets are growing rapidly, with new technologies calling for ever-new processes. Messer shapes the market through its willingness to constantly evolve, its visionary processes, and dependable commercial craftsmanship steeped in a spirit of tradition. Strong customer relationships are just as important to Messer in this regard as the close bonds it cultivates with its employees.
Against this backdrop, the following questions arose during development of the audio logo for Messer: What do gases sound like? How should a company be represented through a sound that is technical and visionary on the one hand and offers a traditional, historical and social character on the other? How can a relationship be created to the existing corporate design of the Messer brand (logo, colours, signature) in such a way to also permit audio visualisation in multimedia communication channels? How can an unmistakable and memorable audio logo be designed for Messer that possesses balance and timelessness that will outlast the decades to come while reinforcing the company’s gentler approach to communicating itself to the outside world?
The result revolved around three elements that merge with one another in terms of sound: the sound of a gas diffusing from a gas cylinder (soundscape), a 6+1-tone motif (melody logo) and human exhaling (soundscape).
In the intro to the audio logo, the listener hears a gently developing gas sound that first suspensefully builds and then dissipates. This soundscape symbolises the technical as well as Messer’s visionary and bold aspirations (‘Per aspera ad astra’). In addition, the gentle yet pressurised emission of gas reflects the communication approach at Messer: not loud, obliging, and yet broadly dispersed and aspiring.
Characterising the middle part of the audio logo is a 6-tone motif with a memorable melody. The 6 tones of the melody reference the 6 values of Messer while permitting an audio visualisation of the 6 letters (M-E-S-S-E-R). The climax in which the melody culminates is a bell that not only supports the Messer logo through audio visualisation but also embodies the character of a clear signal. The rhythm chosen is in the mid-tempo range, conveying sustainability and a willingness to combine tradition and history with modernity, without growing too quickly or missing out on market developments in the process.
A third element and essentially the outro for the audio logo (opposite the intro) is the digitally processed sound of a person breathing out. Of course this, too, exhibits the aspect of gases. On the other hand, this soundscape also reflects the company’s strong relationship with its employees, customers and, of course, ecologically responsible conduct.
All three elements of the audio logo are harmoniously connected by a gentle, digitally generated pad (surface). The pad symbolises the Messer family, which shapes, leads and holds the company together while embodying all three elements.
Corporate audio embodies one element of a company’s overall corporate identity. Corporate audio describes the coordinated audio presentation of the brand and company across all disciplines. The Messer audio logo constitutes, first of all, a brief and memorable listening experience. It comes across as appealing and agreeable and works well in all communication channels. The audio logo also forms the basic framework for the entire corporate audio concept for all current and future audio and audiovisual applications in marketing and communication. From the three basic elements (gases/technology, melody/brand, breathing/human) all of the ‘variations’ in musical and acoustic content can easily be developed. This might be the music played in a telephone queue, a branded ring tone for employee mobile phones or the musical backdrops in image videos.
The resulting progressive development of an overarching sound concept also offers the great advantage that international marketing activities can be coordinated not only in a visual but also in an audio field and executed in a uniform and cost-effective manner. National campaigns can feature the audio logo without always having to develop new sound content.
The creative head behind Messer’s audio logo is the composer and corporate audio specialist Jo Löw, who has been active in the music and media sector for 25 years and has developed special audio products for corporate communication in the past, in addition to sound design for international feature films, image videos, major events, advertising productions and the production of renowned music acts.