Design| By ALICE RAWSTHORN| March 16, 2010, 3:49 pm
Courtesy of Google
Drawing: Etch A Sketch for Jackson Pollock’s Birthday, A Pollock-Inspired Logo.
Imagine that you and a fellow Stanford computer science grad have just been given a $100,000 check to bankroll a new business. The Burning Man festival is coming up, and you both want to go. What do you do? If you’re Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, you make a rough sketch of the wooden effigy that’s burned at the festival, add it to your Web site as an as an “Out of Office” sign and set off for the Nevada desert.
That was 1998, when the two moguls were just starting Google. Since then, dozens of “doodles” have popped up on the home page to celebrate everything from Thanksgiving and Halloween to the birthdays of Charles Darwin and Andy Warhol, World Water Day, the launch of the Large Hadron Collider and the opening of the Olympic Games. Each doodle is an illustrated version of Google’s everyday logo. It appears on the relevant day, then disappears.
Like all corporate symbols, Google’s doodles are intended to tell us something about the company. So, what is it trying to say? That it’s into art, science, sports and the environment but isn’t too snooty for Halloween? Spot on.