Doodles are the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, events, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.
The google doodle originated in 1998, when the Google founders Larry and Sergey played with the corporate logo to indicate their attendance at the Burning Man festival. They placed a stick figure drawing behind the “o” in Google. The revised logo was intended as a comical”out of office” message. Although simple, the idea to decorate the logo with a doodle to celebrate a notable events was a success. Since, the team has created over 2000 doodles for google homepages around the world. Doodles have evolved to include gifs, video and sound.
Googlers select and brainstorm notable people and events to celebrate with a doodle. From the concept to the crafted artwork, the final doodle is nothing short of a graphic design masterpiece. Doodles kick off with extensive research into the life of a person or event, considering context, style influence and cultural relevance. Different iterations are considered while exploring different narratives and styles. Doodles often reference design characteristic of a specific eras or cultures.
Culturally relevant brands become iconic because they are transcendent and deeply meaningful to people’s lives. To be culturally relevant, a brand must have a unique, ideologically-driven world view. A story has to be crafted with traits from a distinctive personality or archetype that will have direct appeal to a specific group of consumers. The story must be framed within cultural context and filled with relevant cues. Symbols must be employed – narratives, colour, patterns, style and specific visual expressions – that are universally understood, and enthusiastically embraced.
Google’s Mandela Day doodle not only tells a compelling story of an international figure, but also gives the viewer a glimpse into the life of Madiba; we can see the huts from Umthatha, then part of South Africa’s Cape Province, the national flower and colloquial patterns and lettering on his home-town walls. Local and international doodles capture the uniqueness and treasures from the stories they tell. The effective use of graphic design elements create insightful representations of people, nations and events we might have very little understanding of.
Google doodles shine a light on events that shape our world, they honour the lives of people who changed the course of history and educate audiences on the wonders of our planet. What started out as a decorative, quirky stick-man, evolved to be much more than a fun decorative brand element. Doodles educate, entertain, delight and commemorate. Scrolling through the doodle archive serves as a visual representation of life on earth.
As a global brand, Google has succeeded in telling compelling stories to an immensely diverse audience. Remaining true to the brand’s purpose, doodles organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful while retaining its quirky, fun personality. Doodles have become a brand asset that reinforces Google’s ‘why’, a compelling example of the value and power of good graphic design.
Therefor, today’s lit or sh!t post has no sh!t. Google Doodles are lit, all across the world.