Projects

Mimicries

Designs for kids' science TV program

Takram was in charge of the character design and art direction for Mimicries, a childrens science education program by NHK E-television.

Mimicries is designed to nurture scientific curiosities in children by finding everyday objects that mimic or resemble nature. Through this process, the program encourages children to think about the common laws of nature, and the reasons and meanings behind the similarities.

Other than visual designs for characters and title logo, Takram was also involved from the initial planning stages of the program and participated in conceptualization and segment proposals.

The project further expanded to include the development of interactive contents such as websites and smartphone applications.

Main Visual
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Images: NHK

CONCEPT: Mimicries

Mimicries is designed to nurture scientific curiosities in children by finding everyday objects that mimic or resemble nature. Through this process, the program encourages children to think about the common laws of nature, and the reasons and meanings behind the similarities. For example, by associating the coiling patterns of a snail to those in seashells and the tendrils of a morning glory, one can discover the law of the spiral. This simple finding can help children recognize other similarities within their surroundings. The repetitive shifting between concrete and abstract nurtures the scientific curiosities in children.
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Images: NHK
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Images: NHK
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Images: NHK

APPROACH: Character design and algorithmic animation

By attaching a pair of eyes as a consistent feature that unites different mimicries, the design achieves both a consistent identity and character diversity. This idea also relates to the programs concept to encourage and nurture the observing eye in children. In Voronoi: Wonders of Shape, the program features Voronois pattern as found on the wings of a dragonfly and the patterned skin of the giraffe. In this segment, animation of a complex algorithm, which wouldnt have been possible to achieve manually, is made possible by the repetitive prototyping process using programming.
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Images: NHK

OUTCOME: Award Recognition

Mimicries: the Secret of Yellow and Black that aired in 2014 received the Best Work in the Pre-school Category (The Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Prize) at the 41st Japan Prize, an award known for recognizing the worlds great TV shows and film works created with an educational theme.
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Images: NHK

Project Information

  • Client: NHK Educational Corp.
  • Expertise: Brand
  • Year: 2014

Project Team

  • Production: NHK Educational
  • Coproduction: Taros, biogon pictures
  • Art Direction: Takram
  • Graphic Design: Kotaro Yamaguchi
  • Animation: Kotaro YamaguchiShota MatsudaWOW inc.Rabiton BoxTakashi OhashiONIONSKINTANGE FILMS Inc.
  • Narration: Junichi Suwabe
  • Music: Shugo Tokumaru
  • Supervision: Dr. Shinichi Fukuoka
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Shota Matsuda
Design Engineer, Project Director
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Kotaro Yamaguchi
Designer, Project Director

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