You must have noticed this if you’ve used a computer since… ever. Google changes the logo on its homepage to coincide with an event pretty regularly, known by them as ‘Google Doodles’. Most of these are static pieces of art but since about 2011 Google has been including animated doodles in its roster, something we’re all rather fond of when they pop up on our searches, as you might have guessed. Here are some of what we think are the most inspiring and memorable ones from the last few years!
Doodle Fruit Games series
Everyone should have this one fresh in their minds, the Doodle Fruit Games was a series spanning the length of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, featuring a fruit (or fruits) taking part in their version of some of the events. The cartoony look and colourful, chalky style lends itself perfectly to the excitement and variety of the games. With a different one on the homepage every single day, it’s hard to pick a favourite, but we think it’s the little swimming lemon in their goggles, adorable.
Teacher’s Day 2016
Here is a basic yet endearing loop with anthropomorphised pencils, each a different and corresponding colour to the Google logo which has been shown all around the world to celebrate teachers and what they do. The little stubby guy near the back is our fave, maybe that’s just because we’ve sketched most of our pencils down to nubs in the office so we have a fair few like them knocking about…
Bastille Day 2016
This year’s Bastille Day saw this doodle by Helene Leroux shown in France (obviously). We love this one for a few reasons, the first of which being that it evokes the simple graphical flair of French newspaper illustration in the style of Jean-Jacques Sempé. The animation consisting of multiple versions of slightly different sketches really captures the essence of pride in a crowd, with movement and energy but also solidarity.
Juno Reaches Jupiter
On July 5th 2016, NASA’s satellite, Juno, finally succeeded in achieving orbit around Jupiter. This is a mammoth undertaking and will provide us with a wagon load of new information about the chunkiest planet in our solar system. What sets this doodle apart is its pixel art form, a throwback to early computing. This is accented perfectly with the emoji’s being exchanged between Juno and mission control, bringing it bang up to date through the lens of digital communication.
First Day of Fall 2015
Always great to see some stop-motion animation, especially claymation; we’re big fans of this style and it’s something we’re always keen to do more of at Fudge so we love this little doodle from Kirsten Lepore. Showing off some of the best crops of the autumn plus a mischievous squirrel, this makes us yearn for hearty root vegetable stews and roasts as the weather gets cooler.
Frankie Manning’s 102nd Birthday
It must have been hard to represent Frankie Manning’s exuberant flair in doodle form but Nate Swinehart has done a cracking job. Known as the ambassador of the Lindy Hop, Manning revolutionised swing dance in the 40’s and this tight little looped animation really captures the dynamism and acrobatics of his performances.
Total Solar Eclipse 2016
I didn’t know it was possible for celestial bodies of planetary and stellar mass to be so darned adorable, yet here we are with Olivia Huynh’s doodle from the total solar eclipse of March 9th 2016. This time, the solar eclipse fell on the south Pacific Ocean and parts of Indonesia, Sumatra and Borneo. We can’t wait for it to be our turn for a total solar eclipse again in… September 2090?!
8 October 2010 - John Lennon's 70th Birthday
This is a landmark doodle right here, the very first to make use of animation! It uses some of John Lennon’s own sketches and sets them against his iconic Imagine as a fitting tribute to one of the most influential men of the 20th century on what would have been his 70th birthday.
800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta
Matt Cruickshank is to thank for this next one. To celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta and all the political and legal developments for which it paved the way, this doodle uses a cartoony style with a simple short narrative acted out by a small group of characters. We think the subtle way the Google logo is symbolised by the characters is genius and the story told here represents the impact of the event succinctly and perfectly, great stuff.
First Day of Summer 2013
Trust us, animating liquid can be a very difficult task. There are super high quality 3D fluid simulations out there dedicated to this task, and they’re a heavy duty undertaking. That’s why this doodle is so impressive in its simplicity, perfectly capturing a wave in a heavy-lined 2D style with the colours of the swimmer’s accessories giving it a pleasing, high-impact accent. No idea what’s with all the frowns though - cheer up guys summer’s here!
Eadweard J. Muybridge's 182nd Birthday
A true pioneer of photography and the study of motion, this doodle shows off Muybridge’s most famous work, his series of photographs of horses demonstrating minute changes in motion. His efforts paved the way for developments towards all manner of motion-picture progress so we have him to thank for most of our modern entertainment – cheers Ed!
Langston Hughes’ 113th Birthday
Katy Wu devised this next one in celebration of what would have been writer and musician Lanston Hughes’ 113th birthday. This doodle is a bit special because of the mixed media at play here. There is some photographic stop-motion, traditional 2D animation inspired from 30’s-40’s era jazz record covers and then sections which blend the two in a style that evokes themes exploring difference, society, civil rights and cultural revolution.
Freddie Mercury's 65th Birthday
As you might expect from a doodle honouring Queen’s Freddy Mercury on what would have been his 65th birthday, this doodle is a high energy, high impact affair. Like the previous one, here’s some great usage of mixed styles – plenty of traditional 2D interspersed with pixel art taking inspiration from both 8-bit and 16-bit graphics which celebrate the diversity of Freddy’s performances. I defy anyone to watch this without tapping their feet.
Well there you have it, some of our favourite Google Doodles, here’s hoping they recognise how much people like us love seeing them and they become a more and more regular occurrence. Just to note, there are a few interactive doodles out there which are also seriously impressive, we left these out of our list this time, focussing on just the purely animated ones and loops that can be found on the Google homepage. Maybe we will cover these interactive ones on a future post, but until then, keep an eye out during your internet searches, you never know what you might see tomorrow!