Google Doodles: The Lowdown
What are Google Doodles?
Google Doodles are interesting and artistic adaptations to the Google logo. Designed to be fun and engaging, to break up the monotony of daily usage of the search engine. They are conversions of the original logo in order to celebrate holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous people including artists, authors and politicians.
How did the Google Doodles Concept Start?
Interestingly, the Google Doodles concept began in 1998. This was before the search engine was officially incorporated. The co-founders of the search engine, Larry and Sergey, made an alteration to the company’s logo. In order to show the company’s attendance at the: “Burning man Festival”, in the Nevada Desert. With humour in mind the duo, placed a stick man behind the second “O” in the logo. The design was meant to signify that the founders were out of the office. Whilst the first design was modest in comparison with later generations, the concept of changing the Google logo to signify and celebrate interesting and important events was formed.
Nothing happened with the idea for two years. However in 2000, the sites co-founders approached the sites current webmaster Dennis Hwang. They asked him to produce a doodle for Bastille Day. Due to the high levels of interaction and interest the Doodle received from the sites users, Hwang was appointed as the sites “Chief Doodler”. From this point Doodles began to appear with increasing frequency on the search engines homepage. At the start Google Doodles mainly celebrated popular holidays. However over the years the scope of Google Doodles has become increasingly diverse: celebrating everything from Estonia’s Independence Day, to the Last Day of the Canadian Penny and that’s just in the opening months of this year.
As the Google Doodles have continued, popularity and demand for them has grown, both in the search engines native country and abroad.
How many Google Doodles have been produced?
To date the figure is estimated to be in the area between 1000 and 1500, with the Google Doodle about page claiming number in excess of 1000.
Some of the favourites which have been produced over the years are the pensive blue and yellow design to celebrate Martin Luther King Day 2013. The Doodle to celebrate the 150th Birthday of the London Tube featured an intricate design in the style of a tube map.
Novelty Interactive Google Doodles have been witnessed for much loved television shows such as The Muppets and also Star Trek.
Google earlier in 2013 launched an animated Doodle to celebrate the last day of the Canadian Penny. The penny featured in the first “O” of the Google logo design and rotated back and forth, showing both sides of the coin.
How are Google Doodles selected?
A selection committee of “Googlers”, meet frequently to discuss concepts and ideas for Doodle. The ideas are sourced from a variety of places, some internally within the team, whilst others are provided by Google users. Users of the site are able to submit any ideas or proposals they have for Google directly to the Googlers at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The team aims to provide interesting and progressive Doodles which simultaneously unite the search engines personally and passion for innovation with quality designs which become more complex and detailed over time.
Who Doodles the Doodles?
Google now employs a team of talented and qualified illustrators, known affectionately within the company as Doodlers. This team works in unison with a technical team. Together they deliver the exceptional designs and adaptations which enliven the search engine.
What is Doodle4Google?
Each year Google holds a Doodle4Google competition. The competition is open to students in grades K-12, aged between 4 and 16. Shortlisted Doodles are posted on the Doodle4Google competition website. Visitors to the website are then able to vote on their favourite Doodles to select a winner. The prize for the winning applicant is an all expense paid trip to the Googleplex. The winning Doodle is also displayed on the sites homepage for 24 hours. Originally the competition began in the U.K., however following its success was adopted in the United States also. 2008 saw the competitions launch in Ireland. In 2009 the competition was also extended to India, the winning entry was displayed on the homepage on 14 November 2009. The following year saw the competition launched in Singapore. This contest had the theme “Our Singapore”, receiving 30, 000 applicants. The winners design was displayed internationally on the homepage to mark Singapore national day.