Log on to Google on any given day and you’re likely to be treated to more than their standard primary-colour logo. Since its inception, Google has been working and reworking its homepage logo with what have been dubbed “Google Doodles”. From their earliest days featuring stickmen to enhanced, playable “doodles” – such as the strummable Les Paul guitar (below), Google has produced over 1500 “doodles” to date to celebrate anniversaries, national holidays, and the lives of those who have made a difference in the world.
Google doodles are technically older than the branded “Google” name. In 1998, founders Larry and Sergey decided to place a stickman behind the second “o” in the word “Google” to convey the message that they’re “out of office”. Two years later, they took it one step further by asking webmaster Dennis Hwang to create a new “doodle” to commemorate Bastille Day. The public loved it, and Dennis was given the title of “chief doodler” at Google.
Doodles were at first just that – doodles. But as time and technology has progressed, so have the doodles. Google has gone from celebrating familiar holidays and events to commemorating a number of different events from a variety of interests, such as the Buckyball and the 122nd birthday of Charlie Chaplin – and one of my favorites, the 30th Anniversary of Pacman (below).
But beyond tapping into special interests, Google Doodles have evolved from being just a one dimensional doodle into becoming playable and interactive. One of the most popular was the Pac-Man doodle that went viral on May 22nd 2010 to celebrate the 30th birthday of this beloved game. Anyone who logged onto Google on that day was able to play Pac-Man over and over again, much to the chagrin of many managers and business owners worldwide. The doodle became so popular that it became a permanent fixture on Google.
The most recent nod to Claude Debussy (above) to celebrate his 151st birthday was both haunting and beautiful. This animated doodle softly plays Debussy’s most famous composition, ‘Clair de lune’, as viewers are taken for a boat ride down a dark and subdued street-side river. As streetlights flicker and clouds play across a full moon, we’re treated to a tender moment between two sailors as, just as the rain begins to fall, their two row boats connect and they share shelter under a bright, red umbrella (which also happens to be the only splash of colour featured in this otherwise navy and grey animation).
The Future Of Doodles
Doodles have become something that all Google users have come to look forward to. Though it’s hard to say where doodles will go next, the next doodle idea can come straight from you. If you have a future fantastic idea for a Google Doodle, you can submit it at [email protected] Who knows – you may be the mastermind behind the next Google Doodle!
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