When Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, wanted to do something creative with their logo back in 1999 to signify their attendance at the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada Desert, things were simple for the Google logo; just a stick figure stuck in the middle of the second ‘o’. Since that seemingly spontaneous burst of creativity, changes in the look of the logo have become as regular as Pink’s hair color changes.
While the story of the “Google Guys” and their nerdy acknowledgment of their Burning Man attendance may be what originally sowed the seeds to the doodle concept, it is only a prelude to the yarn; the real story starts with Dennis Hwang.
The founders approached Dennis Hwang, now the current Webmaster for Google, while he was only an intern to design the Google logo in a way that celebrated Bastille Day. The Larry and Sergey were so impressed with Hwang’s doodle that they appointed him Google’s Chief Doodler. Once popularity and demand grew for these doodles, the responsibility of merging corporate logos and national holidays has been expanded to a team of designers with Hwang still at the helm.
These doodles have now become regular occurrence on the search engines’ page, celebrating events all over the world. So let’s pay tribute to the clever and creative work done by Hwang and his team by giving a Techi-style shout out to all the tech themed doodles that have graced Google’s homepage over the past 10 years; a history lesson through Google logos, if you will.
1. Pac-Man – May 21st, 2010
In honor of the 30 year anniversary of the game release, Google’s logo was converted into a fully playable version of the game. Just for the record, it was as addicting as ever.
2. Pi Day – March 14th, 2010
A day to celebrate the mathematical term and give everyone an excuse to eat monstrous amounts of pie.
3. Invention of the Bar Code – October 7th, 2009
This one is pretty self-explanatory; Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland invented the bar code on this day.
4. 25th Anniversary of Tetris – June 6th, 2009
Arguably one of the most recognized and widespread games out there, this doodle was made to offer respect to the game that changed gaming almost 26 years ago.
5. Alexander Popov’s Invention of the Radio – May 7th, 2009
The radio, a precursor to the Internet in a way, was invented this day allowing broadcasts to reach a distance of six miles (a distance our parents/grandparents walked uphill both ways daily to get to school).
6. Samuel Morse’s Birthday – April 27th, 2009
After being late for his wife’s funeral, Morse made it his mission to find a way to make long-range communication possible. And in May 1837 the telegraph was born alongside, three years later, Morse code.
7. Large Hadron Collider – September 10th, 2008
Particle accelerators are cool. Spinning atoms around the room with the intent of making molecules synthetically, and allowing Tony Stark (Iron Man) to make a new metal for his… Chest-thingy. To explain what this is and does will take 1000 more words, so here is a link. Educate yourself on the awesomeness.
8. 50th Anniversary of NASA – July 29th, 2008
50 years of NASA and their space exploration campaigns were celebrated on this day.
9. Invention of the First Laser – May 16th, 2008
On this day in 1960, Theodore Maiman demonstrated the first functional laser at Hughes Research Laboratories, capable of producing short pulses.
10. Parametron Computer 1 – March 26th, 2008 (Japan)
These computers were made in Japan from 1950 through the early 1960s, using a Parametron (a logic circuit) rather than a transistor.
11. Sputnik Anniversary – October 4th, 2007
The robotic spacecraft missions began on this day in 1957 with Sputnik 1. Russia – 1, America – 0.
12. Anniversary of Lunar Landing – July 20th, 2005
The manned lunar mission landed (or didn’t land according to conspiracy theorists) this day in 1969.
13. SpaceShipOne Wins the X Prize – October 4th, 2004
14. Spirit on Mars – January 15th, 2004
Spirit, the Mars Explorations Rover, lands on Mars this day after its five day travel time to the red planet.
15. 100th Anniversary of Flight – December 17th, 2003
The Wright Brothers took off this day in 1903, paving the way for jumbo jets and, a daredevil favorite, wingsuits.
16. 50th Anniversary of Understanding DNA – April 25th, 2003
Whether we really understand DNA is debatable, but Francis Crick and James D. Watson published the first of many papers describing the double helix structure on this day in 1953.