I love the Google Doodle, don’t you? It’s always a surprise, and a great way to learn about some famous and not-so-famous people and events. I also appreciate it when Google makes a political point, like they did with their Sochi Olympics doodle and its accompanying quote from the Olympic charter. It marks dates we might forget (but shouldn’t!), like Mother’s Day or Election Day. No matter who the celebrated person or event is, the Google Doodle is a lovely way of using visuals to attract interest and attention. Because they link to a search results page with the Doodle, it’s also a good way of inviting the general public to learn a little something new.
Sir Christopher Wren
Architect of London’s world famous St. Paul’s Cathedral, as well as Kensington Palace and the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, Sir Christopher Wren’s 382nd Birthday was celebrated by Google on October 20, 2014. The UK-only doodle shows an animation of St. Paul’s being built.
John Lennon was recognized on his 70th birthday with Google’s first ever animated video doodle, which features what is perhaps his most famous solo song, ‘Imagine’, played alongside a pen and ink illustration.
I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to video games, so it’s no wonder the doodle celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Pac-Man made it onto my list of favourites. What makes it so great (other than the subject matter, of course) is that it was an interactive version of the game. I’m not sure many of us got much work done on May 21st, 2010, when this was released worldwide. You can still play it here.
Ludwig van Beethoven
2015 marked Beethoven’s 245th year, and a doodle was released on December 17th featuring an interactive puzzle where users put symphonies back in order for poor Ludwig, who’s having a bit of a rough day. Give it a go, here.
To celebrate Frank Zamboni’s 112th birthday, Google created a mini-game where the user has to resurface a rink after skaters scuff it up.
One of my favourite holidays, Halloween was marked in 2012 by an interactive doodle that showed spooky spirits when users opened the doors.
On his 96th birthday, guitarist and luthier Les Paul was honoured with an interactive, playable guitar. Want to play?
Surrealist Rene Magritte’s 110th Birthday was marked with a nod to his famous painting The Son of Man.
French composer Claude DeBussy’s 151st Birthday was celebrated with an animated doodle incorporating the melody of his most famous composition, Clair de Lune.
And, of course, Google celebrates its own birthday in style. On it’s 15th birthday, a mini-game that let users whack a pinata for sweets appeared.