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Knight rides Chicken into battle, weilding his sword

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.

“So…What’s the story with your mascot?”


A screenshot from a file of images; a simple drawing of a chicken has a chat bubble next to it that reads "Someday I'm gonna make it out of this folder and onto a hoodie...". The other drawings are things like cats, cockroaches, dogs, and a fish tank.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, we’re not psychic and many of these images never made it into a project. But the chicken and knight (and hundreds of other awesome drawings) were 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). 

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.

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

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…