Sonic branding is more and more used as a way to create a stronger identity for an existing company. It's not often that our audio is at the foundation of a new brand culture. ACE wanted their branding to be completely integrated with the user experience of their new headquarters. Therefore, this was an opportunity to really tie everything together and create a powerful identity.
ACE is an ambitious new network, consisting of multiple companies that will take on the challenges of tomorrow. Their graphical concept of making waves is the starting point for ACE’s aesthetic. Across all their communications, it creates the idea of something forever in motion, always progressing, bridging one generation to the next and making waves for a brighter future.
Together with overall creative director @vincent venema, Smorgasbord (Dylan) en Marvin Koppejan from Woodwork we decided on making something energizing and welcoming, with a human touch, that amplifies excitement. We wanted to translate the graphical concept of making waves to audio, along with the 3 characters that write the name ACE. Finally, we wanted the sound design to add some contrast to the futuristic, clear visual branding that had already been developed.
Every sound is made out of sine waves, a periodic change of air pressure that sets things in motion. The higher the wave, the louder the sound. With multiple sine waves you could create more complicated sounds, like a drum. Historically, drums are used to communicate over distance, because of their transient sound that starts in one place and broadens out to reach people. That resonates with ACE, an agency with a clubhouse that functions as a huge drum. So we made a starting point in the musical tension with a rhythmic, analog synthesizer and added the occasional drum to it.
Lots of positive things can happen when talented people meet, so ACE’s concept is exciting in essence. The repetitive, impactful drum sound that we ended up with really underlines that. To enhance the human feeling in the sonic domain we incorporated longer lines with physical instruments, such as strings and a piano. Rhythmically, the music starts with a 7/8 measure beat, which creates irregularity and excitement. After several new instruments add tension, we move to a four-on-the-floor beat, powering up all previous elements.
So that’s the sound of making waves, creating inspiration. The 1, 3 and 5 second versions are all samples of the 2,5 minute version, capturing different elements for ACE’s sound logos, highlighting different segments of their company. To top it all off, the leading melody consists of three notes, using the a and c.
For our work with ACE, we were nominated in September 2023 for the Music & Sound Awards, in the category 'Best Original Composition in Branding'. As of now, we're still waiting for the jury's decision on October 12th.
The sound logo features the notes of the name of the company; A and C. Written a minor key going around the root note F#.
It creates a feeling of excitement
The minor key infuses a hint of intrigue and adds a touch of mystery. The piece begins and ends with a full chord, unifying the entire logo and leaving you with a sense of unity and cohesiveness
The Rhythmic Wave Generator
An energetic synth pattern that embodies the culture and the impact of the clubhouse in Amsterdam and surroundings.
The starting point of creativity waves.
The Three Note Mnemonic
To add a bit of mystique and to display this is an ongoing process in which continuity is key.
Created by the root notes of the company (A & C).
Each of the elements in the sound logo can be used in several ways for visual and audio branding. From internal presentation to
media outlet, the touchpoints create the same, familiar feeling to connect the brand with their audience.
Vincent Venema // Overall Creative Direction
ACE // Client
CEO - Rogier Ijzermans
Design Director - Sjors van Hoof
Program Manager - Sander van de Bunt
Smörgåsbord // Creative Direction, Brand Identity and Interior
Creative Director - Dylan Griffith
Art Director - Alex Frew
Project Manager - Celine Wagenmakers
TANK // Interior Design Agency
Creative Director - Miriam Zuurbier
Creative Director - Tommy Kleerekoper
Interior Architect - Sarah Rowling
Interior Architect - Eva Trip
Interior Architect - Vincent Heck
ACE // Building
Dames2 // Contractor
Brandwacht & Meijer // Interior Builder
Roeland di Ponti // Creative Producer
BLOK // Architectural Visualisations
Woodwork // 3D and Motion Design Studio
Creative Director - Marvin Koppejan
Producer - Gayle van Bochove
THNDR // Sonic Branding
Composer - Max Gramser
Composer - Han Kerkhof
Film Director - Arno Stols