The history of the Google Doodle

Celebrating John Lennon’s 70th Birthday

Each morning as I sip my first cup of tea, my hand strays over to my laptop to see if there’s a Google Doodle there. I love these little snippets of information, alerting me to many events and people in history that I know about, but more interestingly, about those that had previously passed me by.

Celebrating Marie Harel & Camembert Cheese

Take today’s for example. Who knew about Marie Harel and that she had created Camembert, my favourite cheese!  I know I am not alone in enjoying these entertaining nuggets of information so now they are such an integral part of our day, I thought I might delve a little into their origins.

Celebrating Jim Henson’s 75th Birthday with The Muppets

What are Google Doodles?  In essence, they are the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.

How did they start?  In 1998, before the company was even incorporated, Google founders Larry and Sergey played with the corporate logo to indicate their attendance at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert – like a fun “out of the office” message.

Who creates them?  In 2,000, Dennis Hwang, an intern at the time, produced a doodle for Bastille Day. It was so well received that Dennis was appointed Google’s chief doodler and doodles started showing up more and more regularly on the Google homepage. As the demand for doodles increased, the responsibility has passed onto the shoulders of a team of illustrators or “doodlers” and engineers.  The team’s created over 2,000 doodles over time.

Who decides what/who to feature? A group of Googlers get together regularly to brainstorm and decide which events will be celebrated with a doodle. The ideas for the doodles come from numerous sources including Googlers and Google users. The doodle selection process aims to celebrate interesting events and anniversaries that reflect Google’s personality and love for innovation. We can all suggest ideas however – just email them at with a plan for the next Google doodle.

HM The Queen’s Jubilee

So there you have it. I knew you’d want to know.

175th Anniversary of the Penny Black

Contributor: Sue Lowry / Illustrations: Google




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