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A GIF drawn in the whiteboard style, featuring NDA mascot Chicken Knight. A chicken runs with a knight hoisted on his back weilding a sword. title graphic reads 'The Tale of Chicken Knight' in white letters on a turquoise and red background.

Today’s post features the Next Day Animations mascot, Chicken Knight.

(Yes, we are gifted in mascot-naming. Yes, those services can be added to your project at no additional cost.)

The tale of our beloved mascot is both serendipitioius and ridiculous. It is also a story about our company’s core values: authenticity, clarity, inventiveness, and partnership.

Read on to learn the Tale of Chicken Knight…

Back in 2014, we experimented with creating illustrations we might need in the future.

Maybe some farm animals? How about some robots and… school supplies… and a ladybug?

Unfortunately, since we’re not psychic, many of these images never made it into a project.

But the chicken and knight (and hundreds of other awesome drawings) were forever more born into the Next Day Animations universe, living in our file folders, created by our incredible Lead Illustrator Dayna.

For a long time, they sat there, just sitting around waiting to be needed… (the drawings, not Dayna). 

Fast forward one year:

We were prepping our own exhibit booth and needed some signage! And that’s how Chicken Knight accidentally started – as the chicken and the knight on separate banners. Check it out:

3 poster boards, one featuring a chicken and one featuring a knight both featuring NDA logos. a third reads "Simplicity Metrics." A red scooter sits next to the posters.

Also pictured is our sister brand Simplicity Metrics’ banner. And our CEO Jesse’s amazing scooter that lived in the Baltimore office at that time.


The chicken + knight combo were a hit. They made it onto the same surface for the first time with that year’s staff sweatshirt: 

A person photographed from behind, with thumbs pointing at the back of their sweatshirt; the Chicken and the Knight stand together on the back of her hoodie.

Dayna, her sweatshirt, and her backyard Canadian Narnia-like woods

And then, rather than facing off, they made their peace and Knight first rode Chicken for a Next Day Animations marketing video that year…

“Together at last!”

And an icon was born.

Now Chicken Knight is on our current staff sweatshirts:

Jacquie poses in front of a glass storefront window that reads, Amazing Explainer Animations Fast; she is holding the Chicken Knight sweatshirt

Jacquie and 2018 staff sweatshirt outside our Minneapolis Animation Discotheque.

And baseball tees:

And all over our laptops:

Corwin sits in the Next Day Animations office, looking at a macbook that is covered in stickers, One of them is Chicken Knight,

Corwin biked to work once and won that green sticker!

And the best part?

Chicken Knight actually accidentally super-intentionally embodies our core values of Partnership, Inventiveness, Clarity (cutting to the heart of the matter with a sword!) and Authenticity (because as our Productions Manager, Sage, points out, “Chicken Knight doesn’t cave to pressures to be a more conventional chicken or knight, it is living it’s Chicken Knight truth boldly.”)

Where will you see Chicken Knight next? Custom chess sets? Mandatory staff tattoos? Crossing the street? Only time will tell…