Google Launches New Gallery for its Doodles, Opens a Zazzle Store to Sell Them


Google puts a lot of work into the ever-changing logos it puts on its homepages around the world to commemorate historical events, holidays and the birthdays of people like Jim Henson, Cezanne or Thomas Edison. Indeed, there is a whole team at Google that focuses on nothing else but creating these so-called doodles and – at an increasing rate – interactive experiences for the Google homepage as well. For a while now, Google has offered a gallery of these logos, but today, the company is launching a revamped version of its Doodle site that makes searching for a specific logo significantly easier. The site features a total of over 1,000 static and animated doodles.

In addition – and just in time before the holidays – Google is also launching a doodle store on Zazzle, where you can get shirts, cards, posters, bumper stickers, mugs, stamps and other swag with your favorite doodles going back all the way to the year 2000. Until now, the only place to get doodle-themed swag was Google's employee store, which sadly isn't open to the public (though Google's employees are allowed to bring in a guest or two).

Doodles google site

3:23 pm

War of the Halloween Videos: Google Goes for Cute, Microsoft Bets on Horror


I guess there are three ways to approach Halloween: you can go for cute, scary or sexy. Every year, both Google and Microsoft like to produce something Halloween-themed and this year is no exception. As in so many other areas of their competing businesses, the difference between their attempts to bring some Halloween fun to the Internet couldn’t be more different: Google produced a family-friendly video-doodle of its employees carving pumpkins and Microsoft went all out to produce a short horror video featuring a deranged Killer and the popular Kinect controller.

Google’s Pumpkins

Here is Google’s pumpkin video:

(Bonus: here is the behind-the-scenes story of how the video was created)

The Kinect of Horror

When you think of Microsoft, horror and video, chances are you are thinking about the infamous Songsmith video, but its Channel 9 team actually made good use of the company’s in-house video-production facilities and put together a respectable little horror video(YouTube version via WinRumors):

Bonus: One More Microsoft Video to Give You Nightmares

If that didn’t scare you, here’s the old Microsoft Songsmith video (which is almost guaranteed to give you nightmares tonight):

6:41 pm

Google Gets a Musical Doodle in Honor of Les Paul


Google tends to feature a few different of its trademark doodles on its homepage every week, but every now and then, the company goes all out and does interactive doodles. This week, the honor to be featured in one of these goes to Les Paul, the legendary musician and inventor Les Paul who passed away in 2009. The Les Paul doodle is an interactive guitar that – if you look closely – somewhat resembles the Google logo. What makes today’s doodle special is that it’s not just interactive but that you can also record your own songs with it.


4:28 am

Google Celebrates Charlie Chaplin's 122nd Birthday With a Video Doodle


These days, barely a day passes without Google featuring a customized logo – a doodle in Google’s parlance – on its homepage. Most of the time, these celebrate national holidays and other special events. Usually, these are static drawings, but every now and then, Google goes goes the extra mile and features an interactive doodle, as it did in the case of Jules Verne’s birthday a few weeks back, or when it featured a playable version of PacMan as its logo last year. Today, to celebrate what would have been Charlie Chaplin’s 122nd birthday, the company is featuring a special video doodle on its homepage.

Here is the 2 minute long silent movie Google created for this project:

9:17 am

Google Gets a Patent for Doodles


It took more than 10 years, but after filing for a patent that covers “the use of an animated story line or a modified/customized company logo (“special event logo”) displayed on a web page” in April 2001, the U.S. Patent Office today finally granted Google’s Sergey Brin a patent for the company’s iconic Doodles.

Google Doodles are the variations on the company’s logo that it puts on its homepage to celebrate holidays and other  special events.

Google clearly thought ahead when it filed for the patent, because it doesn’t just include static images, but also animated objects, as well as video and audio information. These days Google changes its company logo almost daily and actually has a number of employees who do nothing but create these images.

Google Doodles holi 1

As far as patents go, this “invention” is pretty ridiculous. There is more to the patent than just the Doodles, though. It also covers the use of “an animated story line or a modified/customized company logo (“special event logo”) displayed on a web page. The story line may change periodically (e.g., hourly, daily, or weekly) to entice users to repeatedly access the web page to view the next episode in the changing story line.” So far, Google has not done this yet. While it has it has experimented with interactive logos in the past, the logos always remained the same throughout the day.

My favorite part of the patent’s text is this explanation of the Google Doodle as “a company logo [that] is modified with animated characters celebrating New Year’s Day. In the example 930, a company logo is modified with a turkey for Thanksgiving. In the example 940, a company logo is modified with a voter’s button for Election Day. Finally, in the example 950, a company logo is modified with an animated character for the Olympics.”

[via: Slashdot]

12:51 pm

Google's Logo Dives 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (with Accelerometer Support)


It isn’t quite the Pacman doodle, but today’s version of Google’s iconic logo introduces a whole new degree of interactivity to the animated logos the company sometimes produces for special occasions. Just in time for Jules Verne’s 183rd birthday, the company produced a whimsical logo that allows you to steer the submarine from Verne’s famous novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” with the help of your laptop’s or tablet’s built-in accelerometer. You can also play along by using the keyboard.

My Laptop has an Accelerometer?

Quite a few people will likely be surprised that their laptops have built-in accelerometers and that their browsers can access these (most modern MacBooks should work just fine, for example). As for browsers, today’s doodle works best on the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox. We also tested it on an iPad, where it worked perfectly well (though you probably want to lock the screen rotation).

The doodle really isn’t so much a game as a showcase for what developers can do with the help of modern browsers and web technologies like CSS3. The folks on Reddit will be happy to hear that Google’s ocean includes more than one narwhal.

Google 20000 leagues under the sea verne

Here are the images Google used to create the 3D effect in the doodle:

12:08 am