Animated David Shrigley characters invade your surroundings in the Sketch app

Created by studio Hato, the app brings elements of Shrigley’s artworks to life, from hilarious handwritten statements to brilliantly weird characters, as digital stickers.

6 February 2020


Unlike other fancy restaurants where brandishing your phone about is seen as a cardinal sin, Mayfair’s Sketch is encouraging it, with a new app designed to add a virtual layer to its dining experience. Designed by London studio Hato, which also created the restaurant’s website in 2018, the app employs augmented reality and tracking technology to allow imagery by David Shrigley to break free from its frames on the walls and invade your surroundings.

Hato has developed digital versions of 15 elements found in D Shrig’s works around the restaurant, for example statements in his distinctive handwriting (such as “I am currently on fire”), characters, like a tearful puppy or a stomping “stink man”, and motifs, like a spray can or a deflating balloon. Made into digital stickers, these illustrations can be placed by the app user in and around their immediate environment through AR on their phone. Once they’re placed, the stickers animate and interact with surrounding objects, using Real World 3D Tracking and Plane/Surface detection technologies. The user can then take photos or films of the virtual stickers mixing with their IRL environment to save and share.

If your paycheck doesn’t stretch to lunch at Sketch, never fear, because the free app can be used anywhere for instant Shrigley-fication. Mourad Mazouz, founder of Sketch, says of the restaurant’s first venture into AR and app creation: “We want the app to be an extension of the sketch world which engages diners in a creative new way.” Download via the App Store here.

GalleryHato: Sketch app. Artwork: David Shrigley.

Hato: Sketch app. Artwork: David Shrigley.

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Hato: Sketch app. Artwork: David Shrigley.

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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