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28 February 2019

Read all about it.

by Andrew MacGregor


Aardman Animation have partnered with Huawei and agency FCB Inferno to create StorySign - an educational app which translates written text into sign language.

If this sounds familiar, that is because the brand first introduced the technology in 2018 with their affecting Christmas ad. Three months later, the Chinese tech firm are ready to demonstrate the app in action.

An accompanying film features a class of deaf children as they read with the help of Aardman-designed protagonist, Star. Aardman's Interactive Creative Director, Neil Pymer, notes that the process of creating a cartoon mentor required extra care and attention.

Seeing the reactions of children when realising that Star signs the words in the book is something very special indeed.

Neil Pymer, Aardman's Interactive Creative Director   


Pymer says: "When creating Starů we first had to immerse ourselves in the world of sign language.

"The complexity we found is overwhelming so we needed to make sure that we created a character that not only resonated with the audience but also fulfilled its main job of teaching children to read."

Positive feedback from one StorySign tester.  

Such diligence leaves Pymer confident that Star's blue-haired presence can make a difference to deaf youngsters: "Seeing the reactions of children when realising that Star signs the words in the book is something very special indeed."

FCB Inferno's Frazer Gibney shares this enthusiasm, saying: "StorySign is not just another Christmas campaign; it's an initiative we genuinely hope will help deaf children enjoy the world of books".

Given Huawei's tempestuous relationship with governments and security agencies across the globe, such work may also prove crucial in fostering some much-needed goodwill for the brand.

For more on all things Aardman, speak to Corin West at Lemonade Reps on 07792 675 779 or email him via corin@lemonadereps.com.

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