Photographer Robert Doisneau is known for Parisian street scenes that reflected his fascination with what he called "the marvels of daily life." Four of his images — including his famous (if posed) 1950 picture of a kissing couple — graced last weekend's
The April 14 tribute, which marked what would have been Doisneau's 100th birthday, is one of many doodles devoted to the arts, presented with a style and skill that have made doodling an art in itself. "We see the home-page as a canvas not just for visuals but any kind of Web technology," says Ryan Germick, head of Google's doodle team and creator of the photo homage.
More than a thousand doodles have appeared — usually for a day — either globally or only in certain countries. Most live on in an archive (http://www.google.com/doodles) that serves as a virtual museum. Germick says the doodle was born in 1998, when Google founders
Over the years, the once-simple logo changes have grown more sophisticated — and visible. In June, Time called the doodle Google's "most engaging innovation and its most effective advertising tool."
Among recent highlights: a playable Pac-Man game in 2010 and, last year, a
Doodles can take months to prepare and require high- (or low-) tech expertise. (One doodler painted a still life to salute Paul Cézanne in 2011.)
Most ideas come from within, says Germick, however the public can send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The word "Google" must appear in each creation, he adds, "although we take liberties." The main goals? "Have fun and connect with users. Plus, we try to one-up ourselves."