There was a time you might remember, when Google found its way into our psyche to the extent that it became a verb.
‘Yeah, I’ll just Google it’ or ‘I’ll have a Google.’ Nobody made us do this, it just sort of happened. About the same time Google’s identity became recognisable enough for the company to start really messing with it.
You might be surprised to know that a dedicated Doodle 4 Google team designs the vast majority of its logos, rather than briefing illustrators through a commissioning system. There are four dedicated Doodlers.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin first experimented with an ‘out of office’ stick man design to let people know they were off to Burning Man festival in 1998.
In 2000, then-intern Dennis Hwang was asked to produce a Doodle for Bastille Day. It went down well and he was asked to head up a Doodle 4 Google department.
The designs were initially hooked on public holidays but have grown in daring, abstraction and complexity as we’ve become more familiar with them.
Now many events and anniversaries are celebrated, some globally and some locally for country specific Google sites. More then 300 Doodles have been created for Google in the US, and 700 have been designed internationally, including last week’s brilliantly noisy icon to mark Les Paul’s 96th birthday.
Focus groups of ‘Googlers’ decide the themes, events and holidays to be celebrated but anyone can make suggestions or work up finished designs by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest judges have included Jim Davis creator of Garfield, cartoonist Scott McCloud and executive producer of SpongeBob SquarePants Paul Tibbett, but also Whoopi Sister Act Goldberg, and Olympian swimming sensation Michael Phelps – no, me neither.