Summer Solstice Google Doodle 2013
Google celebrated the beginning of summer with an animated doodle. The summer themed animated Summer Solstice Google Doodle appeared on the search engine’s homepage on June 21st 2013. The summer solstice is a seasonal date which marks the longest day of the year. In order to celebrate the day, the Google team called on the German born animator Christoph Niemann. The animator gained fame for his many cover designs for The New Yorker. However, Google’s choice of date for the doodle may have caused some confusion. This is because the actual date of the Summer Solstice varies depending on your geographic location.
The National Geographic explained the date discrepancy in an article:
“For Americans, summer will begin either on Thursday or Friday—depending on which time zone you live in. That’s because the timing of the summer solstice depends on when the sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator, and that varies from year to year.
This year’s summer solstice falls on Friday, June 21, at 1:04 a.m. ET but it will start on Thursday night for places in North America west of the Central Time Zone.”
The Summer Solstice Google Doodle featured five swimmers, all of whom were wearing swimming caps which matched the colouring of the Google logo. The “L” in the logo was represented by a snorkel and the second “G” was created by a beach ball held above the swimmers head. When users pressed play, the animation depicted the swimmers bobbing up and down as waves passed through them.
The Summer Solstice Google Doodle could be seen by countries across the entirety of the Northern hemisphere.
However, Niemann was also asked to design the doodle for the first day of winter for the Southern Hemisphere. The winter themed doodle depicted a combined scarf and glove being knitted to form the shape of the Google logo.
In addition to creating a number of illustrations, Niemann has also experimented with forms of digital technology. In 2013, he launched an app called Petting Zoo. On the interactive app, a number of illustrated animals react to users’ prods and pokes. Surprisingly, these two doodles are the first which Niemann has done for the search engine.
However this is not the first time he has worked with the search engine. In 2009, he designed the animated video to celebrate the launch of Google Chrome. The promotional video is entitled “You and Your Browsers”. On the strength of these two doodles, it is likely we will see more of Niemann’s artwork gracing the Google homepage.