Google doodles, the drawings that are designed on, around and through the Google logo on our home page, are the creation of 29-year-old Google Webmaster Dennis Hwang. Since Dennis began celebrating and marking worldwide events and holidays with his doodles in 2000, his work has been seen by millions and reached cult status, with fans waiting with bated breath to see his next creation, and even websites and blogs devoted to his work. We spoke to Dennis about his doodles and how he got his ideal job:
"I had an internship with Google in college. I was given the task of helping with maintenance of the website and I soon became an assistant webmaster. Before I joined Google, the founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were already thinking about holiday logos...and when I joined, they knew I was studying art and suggested I should give it a shot. I've been doing it since then as my 20% project."
"How far I work in advance depends. Sometimes, we react really quickly to current events. When the Mars Rover landed, I created a logo in less than 24 hours. For all of the international countries, if there's a special day and we think it's in line with the Google brand, we want to commemorate it."
"I get quite a lot of suggestions from users. We're really open to user feedback and having ideas sent to us because our users are really creative. For example, a French astronomer had emailed us about the Venus Transit, in which Venus casts a shadow on the sun every 122 years. During the transit, you'll see a black dot moves across the sun, so here is what I drew."
"First, I do a lot of brainstorming, search for images on Google, and absorb all the imagery. Then I apply a design that interacts with letters. I find that a bit more interesting."
"I have several favorites. Usually, artists' birthdays are the ones I spend the most effort on, like Monet's birthday."
"It's definitely a challenge, but it's one I look forward to. I've been doing this for quite a while and need to come up with fresh ideas every year. There's only so many ways to draw a turkey or a pumpkin!"