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The Google Doodle Captures The Imagination

I’m kind of obsessed with the Google Doodle.  About 50 times/year, artist Dennis Hwang tweaks the Google logo to celebrate everything from National Library Week to St. Patty’s Day to rare astronomical phenomena like Venus passing in front of the sun, or any other random ephemera deemed worthy of mention by the company.  You just never know what’s going to pop up next on Google Doodle.

Hwang, Chief Google Doodler, can be mischievous (his nude David posted on Michelangelo’s birthday created a bit of a stir), so the Google Goodle is one reason why all of my browser homepages are set to the Google homepage.

A Stanford art-computer science double-major, Hwang mostly stays busy managing a team of 30 who maintain Google’s web pages.  In his spare time, he scribbles about "50 doodles a year on an electronic tablet," according to this profile on Busineweek.

Here’s Dennis, in time lapse, creating a doodle commemorating the Lunar New Year and promoting the Doodle 4 Google, a competition inviting students K-12 to reinvent the Google logo.

This year, U.S. contestants were asked to doodle around the theme "What if…?"

The winning doodle for 2008, selected from over 16,000 entries, was created by Grace Moon, a 6th grader at Canyon Middle School from Castro Valley, California.  A few days ago, Google featured Grace’s artwork, "Up in the Clouds," on the Google homepage.

Here’s Grace’s cool artwork.  "My doodle," wrote Grace,"…expresses a world in the sky. This new world is clean and fresh, and people are social and enlightened. Every person here is treated as family no matter who they are. The bright sun heats this ideal place with warmth, love, and brightens everyone’s day."

Google posted many more drawings created by students K-12 on the Doodle 4 Google page.  Here’s a selection of just a few pieces out of dozens of regional finalists.  The commentary that accompanies the artwork is almost as interesting as the works themselves.

Google, as seen by Jordan Perry, in a drawing titled "Friendship Rules."

Google Gothic architecture by Paul Massicott.