The importance of building an expressive brand: Sonantic

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Try our hyper-realistic voices

Zeena Qureshi

CEO & Co-founder

June 24, 2021

Bringing our brand to life

When we started Sonantic, we had a vision to create extremely realistic, highly expressive AI voices—voices that could deliver compelling performances with the nuanced emotions, inflections, and timing of human speech. We worked on developing a text-to-speech (TTS) product that would make it easy for gaming, film, and animation studios to seamlessly integrate those AI voices into their projects.

When we started Sonantic, we had a vision to create extremely realistic, highly expressive AI voices—voices that could deliver compelling performances with the nuanced emotions, inflections, and timing of human speech. We worked on developing a text-to-speech (TTS) product that would make it easy for gaming, film, and animation studios to seamlessly integrate those AI voices into their projects. 

Product development was on the right track. But before officially introducing Sonantic to the world, we knew we needed to update our brand. 

A company’s brand is more than a name, logo, or tagline alone. It is a system of design and text elements that work together to establish an identity. Our brand has to instantly tell people who we are, what we do, and why we are so unique. 

Unfortunately, our initial brand was a bit flat. We were focused on building an exciting new platform that is imbued with human emotion, but our brand was not sufficiently engaging. The company’s original name, Speak Ai, was already used by several other companies—we couldn’t even buy the domain name. Meanwhile, our initial website was black and white with a lot of text, all in Arial typeface. Occasionally people would ask us when we planned to update it.

The original black and white website.

Nothing about our brand indicated we made captivating, lifelike AI voices. We needed to capture our audience’s attention immediately. Even before people started reading the text on our website or clicking on our videos, we wanted to communicate the expressiveness that is central to our platform.

We started by changing our name. For months, we asked the team to come up with new ideas until one day someone suggested “Sonantic.” The root word, sonant, means a voiced speech sound. That word, and the name Sonantic, held meaning for us since we were matching human quality voices and essentially synthesising the mechanics of vocal cords to create high-quality performances. 

With our name now chosen, it was time to build a new website and establish our brand identity—and for those tasks, we knew we needed help.

Sonantic’s new logo reflecting the new and improved brand identity.

Establishing our new, dynamic brand identity

To re-imagine our brand, we worked with Pentagram—an award-winning, global brand identity and design studio that does incredible brand work for companies in a wide range of fields. Pentagram created a wordmark (a new, striking visual representation of our company name), a tool for manipulating that wordmark, and a set of design gradients. The Pentagram team then worked with us to design and produce our new website. 

The new wordmark is dynamic. The “O” moves, morphs, and adapts as if it’s responding to the waveforms generated by a human voice as that voice modulates along with shifting emotional states. The “O” also suggests a mouth, moving in conversation, which fits with our dialogue-based platform. Mirroring our high-quality AI voices, which can generate multiple emotions, the wordmark progresses through distinct expressive states, including activating, deactivating, pleasant, and unpleasant states.

Pentagram created a dynamic wordmark that shifts among multiple emotional states.

The temperature-like colour gradients, meanwhile, evoke subtle shades of mood and feeling. The colour palette combines hot colours (orange, mid-blue, and deep red) to convey how we envision the future of synthetic voices: exciting, diverse, transformative, and creative.

Sonantic’s logo in colour makes for the emotive app icon.

As the Pentagram team describes these individual elements, “The dynamic wordmark echoes the nuanced, emotional delivery of Sonantic’s voices and the vivid abstract gradients emulate Sonantic’s high-quality expressive speech synthesis.”

Sonantic’s new website, envisioning the new brand identity.

Together, these elements, which are integrated throughout the newly designed website, provide a strong foundation for our new brand identity. As Pentagram pointed out, that new identity reflects our unique product, “perfectly capturing the expressiveness and emotion of Sonantic’s computer-generated voices.” We couldn’t agree more.

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  • Vents you to directly style elements of a RT when this RT is bound to the CMS. I hope this limitation will be removed soon, but in the meantime the wor