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The Story Behind Google's Halloween Logo Design

Posted on October 31, 2014 | Posted by Kris Williamson

If you use the Internet (and you do if you are reading this), you've probably accessed Google to find information. In 1997, Larry Page and Sergy Brinn registered the Google.com domain name and began the process of creating the Google search engine. Although the homepage that they created consists of a pretty bland white background, Google has capitalized on it's iconic wordmark logo by periodically changing it's logo design. The first change, or doodle, occurred in 1998, when Page and Brinn placed a small stick figure behind the second 'o' in Google to signify that they were attending a music festival.

The first Google doodle created in 1998. 12-Point SignWorksThe very first Google doodle (or logo change) that appeared on
Google's homepage in August of 1998.

This small tweak in their logo was such a hit that they continued to make changes for various special occasions until 2000, when they appointed a chief doodler, Dennis Hwang. Since then, we've seen the Google logo design celebrate holidays, sporting events, historical anniversaries, birthdays, influential people, and many other significant occasions that have shaped our history. They aren't just created by one person anymore. A team of skilled illustrators, graphic designers, animators, artists and even engineers make up the doodle creators.

One notable collection of doodles began in October 1999 when the first Halloween doodle appeared. Since then, Google has added a little Halloween flair to its homepage every October 31st. Of course, everyone has an opinion, and some Google Halloween doodles have been more popular than others. Unfortunately, many critics feel like the white background on the doodle homepage takes away from any element of spookiness. Here are a few that have appeared throughout the years, including 2014. What do you think?

Google's first Halloween doodle from October 1999. 12-Point SignWorksGoogle's very first Halloween doodle, which appeared on October 31, 1999.

Google's Halloween 2002 logo design. 12-Point SignWorksThe Google Halloween doodle for October 31, 2002

Google's Halloween 2004 doodle. 12-Point SignWorksThe Google Halloween doodle for October 31, 2004

This Google Halloween doodle from 2008 was designed by Wes Craven. 12-Point SignWorksThe Google Halloween doodle for October 31, 2008, 
which was designed by Wes Craven.

Google first incorporated animation into their Halloween logo in 2011, when they featured their doodle team carving six enormous pumpkins. Since then, the doodle team has used some sort of animation in their annual Halloween doodles. The Halloween logo for 2012 was interactive, allowing the Googlers to actually 'trick-or-treat' and open the neighborhood doors. For 2013, the google doodle was an interactive animated video of a witch paging through a spooky book and then stirring a mysterious concoction in her witch's pot. By allowing the viewer to click on and choose the ingredients to put into the pot, Googlers were able to then play little Halloween games. 

The Google doodle for Halloween 2013. 12-Point SignWorksThe animated Google Halloween doodle for October 31, 2013

For the year 2014, the Google doodlers came up with a new approach to the Halloween logo design. We don't want to give it away so be sure to check it out when you have some time today. Here's a a little suggestion: Be sure to refresh the homepage...maybe 5 times! 

Google's latest Halloween doodle for October 31, 2014. 12-Point SignWorksAn animated Google Halloween doodle for October 31, 2014

There have been over 2000 doodles created since 1999. The doodles aren't just thrown together either. There is a process for the creation of each one, and each doodle goes through a number of revisions before being launched on homepages around the world. You can actually check out each and every one of the Google doodles at www.google.com/doodles. (SPOILER ALERT: I checked the site yesterday - the day before Halloween, and the Halloween design was already there!) For each doodle, you can see exactly where in the world the doodle appeared. (Each doodle does not appear worldwide.) Some of the doodles even include a little history or breakdown of the design process. 

Do you think you could create a Google doodle? You can actually send Google your own doodle design! If you have an idea you want to share, you can send it to proposals@google.com. The Google doodle team appreciates your help!

If you aren't feeling creative, our talented design team is available to help you create a memorable logo of your own!

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Sources: Google Doodles, Google History

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