You Made My Day: Google Doodles
From color palettes and typography to clear space and file formats, the basics of brand adherence all point to using logos correctly and consistently. Google blows this conceit out of the water with its doodles — temporary features of illustrations and interactive mini-games that deliberately disrupt Google’s logo through a beautiful blend of design and technology. In successfully defying traditional design and branding tenants, Google excels at being the exception to the rule.
That’s not to say Google Doodles compose a formula that can be replicated by any brand. In fact, Yahoo!’s 2013 logo redesign contest “30 Days of Change” was met with derision everywhere from the design community to the general public. While Yahoo! tried to celebrate new logo interpretations as a means of heightening brand awareness, “30 Days of Change” ultimately lacked context and felt arbitrary, whereas the entire premise of Google Doodles is completely reliant on context — be it a national holiday, a historic occasion, or an influential figure. In the end, Yahoo’s entire approach felt gimmicky, forced, inorganic, and worst of all, formulaic.
As a major search engine, Google is often considered a gatekeeper of knowledge. By updating its logo to reflect current events, popular culture, and social dialogue, the doodles refresh and reinforce Google’s brand equity as a news resource — in stark contrast to brands that often fumble and fail at interjecting themselves across social media channels. Moreover, Google Doodles are often segmented across targeted regions, which reinforce Google’s global appeal.
While there isn’t a doodle for U.S.-based users today (May 31, 2016), Nicaragua is currently enjoying a Mothers’ Day doodle. And a trip down memory lane shows that throughout the past several years, May 31 has also been celebrated with targeted doodles for Peru, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, along with a worldwide doodle. In the world of Google Doodles, there is more than enough space for everyone, including unsung heroes and lesser-known historical figures and events.
How does Google do it? Outside of their attractive interactive and didactic elements, Google Doodles are just plain fun! For a brand that is positioned as an active participant of global and social dialogue, Google truly walks the walk by presenting knowledge with thoughtfulness and levity.