A Bristol-based publisher has secured £10,000 to add to its catalogue of tech-driven books, designed to inspire the use of British sign language in deaf and hearing families.
VIKA Books, founded by award-winning designer Victoria Forrest, creates augmented reality books that work in tandem with a smartphone app.
The books’ pages contain illustrations that trigger animations, together with a video of deaf presenters, demonstrating the sign language for that word.
The business has been awarded the grant from the Design and Art Direction (D&AD) Impact Fund for its first publication Where Is The Bird?.
D&AD, formerly known as British Design and Art Direction, is an educational organisation that seeks to promote excellence in art and design within the creative industries.
VIKA Books said it would use the money to develop, illustrate and print a new 24-page “zine-style” activity book called Where are the Fish? The title will aim to educate school children about marine ecosystems and water safety, with a release pencilled for Mother's Day 2023.
Amy Dick, D&AD impact council member and judge, said: “VIKA exemplifies the power of creativity to innovate business, improve human lives and unite communities. By leveraging technology, Victoria is raising the bar for what is possible in print publishing and education – whilst driving inclusivity and equality for deaf people. This is exactly the type of work that deserves support to succeed.”
VIKA’s latest success comes after it secured £50,000 earlier this year, when Ms Forrest was named by government innovation agency Innovate UK as one of the three South West winners of its Women in Innovation Awards.
With this VIKA also gained an intellectual property (IP) audit and access grant from the Intellectual Property Office.
Ms Forrest said: “Innovate UK EDGE has played a vital role in helping me to make these steps which have been game changing for VIKA Books.
“The IP grants have been critical in understanding, strategising and protecting my IP, whilst the Women in Innovation Award gave me the confidence to act as an ambassador for the use of creative technologies in publishing. I can now focus on using the funds to develop my next product.”
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