Almost every company has a logo. A visual design that allows customers to remember their name and services, as well as a way to mark their products. It’s a universal practice that allows those of all business types to spread their name through pictures, cartoons, or whatever other image they choose. It’s also a fun way to explore color and design within various aspects of marketing. But for Google, the logo has been transformed. Not only does the Internet mogul have its own logo for everyday use, as well as product design, they regularly rework it to include holidays, birthdays, and other important dates. It’s a practice known as the Google Doodle, and to date, nothing quite like it has been recreated.
After creating their own logo in 1998, the very first Google Doodle was debuted just shortly after. It was a variation on the original primary color mockup that was created to honor the Burning Man Festival of 1998. Created by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the change in logo was also to inform users that the duo was out of the office, should a crash or other issue have taken place.
And the practice just stuck. For the next two years, outside contractors were hired to create themed, alternative logos for the ever-growing company. However, in 2000, the co-founders began looking to their intern, Dennis Hwang to design these so-called Doodles. Now an official graphic artist with the company, it’s a task he’s held to this day, designing every Doodle since 2000’s Bastille Day logo.
To date, Google Doodles have honored thousands of holidays and birthdays, as well as anniversaries of important dates. It’s also a practice that has caused them ample amounts of controversy over their choices. For instance, when multiple holidays take place on a single day, critics have questioned their choice as to which event was deemed “more important” than the other. They have also received backlash for omitting certain dates altogether, such as in 2007 when various American holidays were not included in Doodles, such as Memorial and Veterans Days.
Generally, these negative reviews are followed by a commemorative Doodle later on, or removal of the design altogether.
What’s perhaps most interesting about Google Doodles is that they’ve been used to prove an exception to the rule. In even the most basic of marketing techniques, it’s understood that a branding or logo should not be interfered with too often. Because it’s how others recognize a brand, it’s important that companies leave these images as is; changing it too frequently could lead to a decrease in sales or lack of recognition. However, with Google, the opposite is true. Doodle fans have been created, even those who look for new designs on a daily basis. Rather than alienate their customer base, it’s been used as a way to more frequently draw them in.
To date, no one else has been able to accomplish this same level of ongoing success in rotating logo designs. Which offers up Doodles as one more way Google has adjusted the market for their own and squashed the competition.
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