January 29, 2008

Melinda Beck Did The Awesome Animations For Noggin

My old company used to create TV identity spots and animations, so I may be a little more attuned to them than the average guy, but DAY-UM, Nickelodeon's Noggin channel has some of the greatest animations and interstitial programming of any channel I can think of. The only thing that comes close in my mind is the Golden Era ESPN SportsCenter campaign by Weiden+Kennedy. But those were live, and anyway, they were really commercials.

melinda_beck_noggin.jpg

Noggin's no-commercials policy usually leaves it with up to 8 minutes to fill every half hour, which, for a 3-year-old, is practically a whole show. [That's how we counted it, anyway; and until we switched over to Nick for Yo Gabba Gabba a while back, and the kid saw her first commercial, she totally fell for it.]

And that's just how Noggin programs the time. They have recurring characters, Moose and Zee, who do little puzzles, learn a word or two of Spanish, sing little songs, do some math. There are seasonal changes, for snow, fall, Christmas, etc.

Anyway, it's meaty, fun content; it looks fantastic and very modern; it's an actual pleasure to watch; the kid and I have had a year's entertainment making up our own variations of the "[blanks] are the [something]est" song--and I had all but given up on figuring out who was responsible for creating the spots. [I first started looking when I realized that Richard McGuire did the animations for PBS Kids, so before Nov. 2006.]

Now Tina at Swiss Miss has busted this caper wide open. The answer, at least for some of the interstitial animations and identity spots, is: Brooklyn-based RISD graduate, graphic designer Melinda Beck. Awesome.

Uh, ok. Now that that's cleared up, so um...I think I need to take some time to re-evaluate my life and my priorities.

Melinda Beck portfolio [melindabeck.com via swiss miss]
UPDATE! There's something to buy! existential crisis averted! art for sale, little drawings, collages and silkscreens, $25-160 [melindabeck.com]
Previously: Don't let PBS Kids blow your mind away, baby

3 Comments

I'm glad you posted this. We love Noggin's animations at our house, and damn but that "something is the something-est" song gets stuck in one's head! Cheers to Melinda.

And yeah, we never realized just how much we loved these animations as opposed to commercials until we started switching to Nick periodically for Blue's Clues and YGG.

My 3 year old son and i are noggin nuts - when he was younger, he wasn't at all interested in the shows, but he LOVED watching the little between-show animations. that's all we watched! it's great stuff.

I love Noggin in general. Their ratio of make your eyes bleed annoying shows to actually cute and fun shows is much better than Nick or Disney, and I'm glad they don't have commercials-disguised-as-public-service-announcements like the other channels.

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