Black Math: “A Tale of Two Zip Codes”

Does your zip code directly affect your life expectancy? The answer might surprise you.

With the help of George Takei as narrator, Boston’s very own Black Math is back with this intriguing new animation.

Coming in at a whopping 4:33, “A Tale of Two Zip Codes” tells the story of life expectancy and the alarming fact that even adjacent communities can have a 15-year difference in how long we live.

To me, this piece does a wonderful job in representing the power of animation. Not only is “A Tale of Two Zip Codes” a great example of 2D animation and design but — more importantly — it’s a great example of animation conveying a dense topic in an engaging and informative way.

Head on over to Black Math for some more insight into how they brought this project to life.


Jeremy Sahlman – Creative Director
Evan Fellers – Executive Producer
Claire Pacacha – Producer
Dustin Sylvia – Editor
Kevin Laba – Music Supervisor
Lead Animator – Steve Madden

Kevin Laba, Vincent Pedulla, Keith Kenniff

Steve Madden, Louie Jannetty, Kory Demers, Chad Essley, Drew Newman, Kyle Predki, Matt Everton, Milton Ladd, Minna Choung, Jigyu Yoon, Camille Vincent, Samesha Singletary, Sam Aprea, Soren Selleslagh, Kenneth Dahlin

Steve Madden, Louie Jannetty, Kory Demers, Brian Gossett, Mark Kulakoff, Pete McDonald, Stephen Kelleher

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About the author

Joe Donaldson

Joe Donaldson is a director, designer, and animator who worked on Motionograpgher from 2014-2020. Previously, he was an art director at Buck. Over the past decade, he's lived and worked in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles and has directed work for clients such as Apple, Google, Instagram, The New York Times, Unicef, Etsy, and The New Yorker. In addition to his creative work, in 2018 he started Holdframe. He's now working as a professor at Ringling College of Art and Design and when not teaching he can be found spending time with his family or out running.