“Animation, music and a beautiful look and feel make this stand out from the herd of alphabetical apps.” — Stuart Dredge, The Guardian
Antique ABCs is a uniquely delightful tool for preschool and kindergarten learning, set in an atmosphere of nostalgic charm.
In this new application for iPad and iPhone by New York multimedia design studio FusionLab, beautiful hand-engraved alphabet prints by 19th century German lithographer Joseph Martin Kronheim come to life with engaging and entertaining 21st century interactive play. Touch-screen technology and gentle animation are seamlessly merged with the look and sound of yesteryear to help children learn while having fun. With its retro appeal and modern-day magic, Antique ABCs is an abecedary to captivate all ages.
Updating the delicate illustrations from Kronheim’s My First Alphabet with FusionLab’s amusing modern-day animations and touch-screen interactions, Antique ABCs presents the alphabet in three different functions: Song, Spinner and Shuffle. Song plays the classic alphabet song with period-evocative sound effects and enchanting animations. Spinner lets children give the rattling wheel a “spin” and test themselves on letters as they come up in randomized order. Shuffle challenges children to reorder the jumbled alphabet into order, either from a fixed grid or a floating pile of cards.
Beautiful illustrations from bygone days combine with today’s touch-screen technology
Play the ABC song and watch the pictures animate...
from a wooden xylophone playing a sweet melody...
to a swooning queen on her throne.
Play the spinner and guess what’s behind the letter “O”...
Can’t guess? Peek under the door for a hint - “hoo, hoo”.
O is for Owl.
Don’t want to guess? Switch modes and play the spinner without doors.
B is for Baby...
E is for Ear.
Play the shuffle game by arranging the mixed-up letters in their proper order...
get it right and the letter slips into place with a ding, triggering the animation.
Want more of a challenge? Switch modes and watch the cards free-fall onto the board...
sort through the fallen cards to organize the alphabet...
hit the play button for a prompt and the song is sung up to the last correct letter placed.
When your child has successfully finished their ABCs the song plays, with all the animations.
Coming as she did from a fine art painting background, FusionLab partner Melissa was delighted to discover the iPad’s potential as a showcase for the subtleties and detail of hand-executed imagery. While browsing Gutenberg Online for inspiration she and her partner Alon came upon the beautiful engravings of 19th century German lithographer Joseph Martin Kronheim—particularly the alphabetic illustrations in his children’s volume, My First Picture Book—and decided they had found the perfect project for their first game app.
But first, they had to find an original printing of the 1800s book, in order to get the high-resolution scans they needed. Through a rare books dealer a copy was finally located. The engravings were in good condition but the spine of the antique cloth-bound volume was broken and the cover frayed—time-worn imperfections that were incorporated into the app design.
Another interesting, and perhaps for them, key feature of Kronheim’s alphabet: the letters J and X were mysteriously missing. Melissa took this as a challenge to her painting skills, creating her own illustrations for these two letters that blend in with the look of their charmingly antiquated comrades. Curiously, they’ve since learned that it’s not that unusual for old abecedaries to be missing letters. It’s a wonder children of yesteryear were able to learn to read!
The 19th century “My First Picture Book” original copy.
My First Alphabet.
A, B, C, D letter illustrations.
I, K, L, M letter illustrations.
J is missing! And was not illustrated.
X is mentioned but also not illustrated.
“Animation, music and a beautiful look and feel make this stand out from the herd of alphabetical apps.”
— Stuart Dredge, The Guardian
“Antique ABCs is a beautiful education app for kids” — The Appside Bullletin
“How familiar are your children with the work of 19th Century German lithographer Joseph Martin Kronheim? Not at all? Shame on you!...new iPhone and iPad app Antique ABCs could see his work finding a new (and very young) audience.” — Apps PlaygroundBack to Top
Founded in 1999 by Alon Koppel, FusionLab, Inc. is an independent, full-service multimedia design studio based in New York City. Helmed by Koppel and Melissa Weaver, FusionLab specializes in visual communications for mobile media and the web. FusionLab loves information design and the challenge of making visual language beautiful and simple. Informed by backgrounds in both fine and commercial art, FusionLab’s partners oversee a team of sophisticated, meticulous designers of content, user experience, graphic art, communication strategy and development. FusionLab conceptualizes from the ground up or works as consultants, developing a range of projects for themselves and their clients. FusionLab clients include The Joan Mitchell Foundation, The New York Landmarks Conservancy, Conde Nast, The Municipal Art Society of New York, Kenneth Noland, Architectural Digest, The Authors Guild, Thomson Reuters, Montefiore Hospital and The Economist Intelligence Unit. FusionLab believes in clean design, hard work, and exceptional client service.