Miami-based Lava Studio designed not one, not two, but seven unique new opens for MLB Network’s three-hour morning show MLB Central.

Each open offers its own style, drawn from such looks as comic books and slick CGI, all relying on MLB Central’s three-color stoplight palette of red, yellow and green.

“We focused on the three colorful dots of the MLB Central logo,” said Lava Creative Director David Woodward in a statement, “and we had way too much fun running with that idea.”

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MLB Network intentionally didn’t give the studio many rules to work around, so the Lava design team felt free to pitch an eclectic batch of seven different animated opens, each with its own unique twist on the MLB Central logo. Ideas ranged from flat 2D graphics to comic illustrations and glossy CGI. Rather than choosing just one design to represent the show, it was the variety of the different approaches that the network loved.

“Why couldn’t we produce them all?” said Chris Mallory, MLB Network SVP, creative services.

The result is an on-air package that embraces a diverse mix of elements and styles that work together to keep up the fun throughout the three-hour morning broadcast. Once the opens were determined, bumps, transitions and additional show elements were pulled out and turned into a unified motion-graphics package for the daily program.

“Chris Mallory and Premier Maldonado at MLB Network like to push the creative boundaries and package their shows in unexpected ways,” said Lava owner Robert Kirkpatrick, also in a statement. “That’s been good news for Lava, which thrives on variety, and has been MLBN’s like-minded partner for ten years of creative collaboration.”


Design and Animation: Lava Studio

Creative Director: David Woodward

Producers: Robert Kirkpatrick, Erin Paulin, Maria Hill

Art Director/Animator: Kyle Reynolds

Sr. Designer/Animator: Carlos Velasquez

Animator: Alberto Garcia

Network: MLB Network

SVP, Creative Services: Christopher Mallory

Creative Dir., Creative Services: Premier Maldonado

Designer, Creative Services: Kellie Sing

Sound: Rick Van Benschoten

Tags: lava studio mlb central mlb network

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