The Gruffalo unveils new website with Aardman

Macmillan Children’s Books has unveiled a new website for The Gruffalo, ahead of the book’s 15 year anniversary in 2014.

Created by Aardman, working alongside digital agency Distinction, the website looks to provide a digital representation of The Gruffalo’s world.

The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, tells the story of a little mouse who persuades the scary Gruffalo that he, the mouse, is the scariest thing in the woods.

James Luscombe, head of web development at Pan Macmillan, said: “It was very important for us to work with the right partner for this project. The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are all simultaneously one brand and three distinct brands, and we needed to represent this clearly for the best user experience. Aardman’s knowledge of working with heritage brands both offline and online, made them the perfect partner to create this new and exciting experience for the extensive and important fanbase.”

As part of the development, the team created the Deep Dark Wood, an interactive experience targeted at the younger audience which adds a fun and engaging activity element to the site.

Aardman producer George Rowe added “It was really exciting for us to be able to work with such a well-loved character and Axel’s beautiful illustrations. We really tried to give the interactive area the feeling of one of the books, letting kids find the animals and acorns hidden in this rich digital environment.”

Once entered, the Deep Dark Wood experience fills the screen, emulating a native app and contains entertaining and age appropriate activities such as Make a Monster, Plant a Nut Grow a Tree, Gruffiti, Footprint Match and Gruffalo Jigsaw.

Ishbel Macleod

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