If there’s anything that gives Google more character to its no-frills layout, it’s the occasional Google Doodles that pop up on an obscure artist’s birthday or a national holiday. Now Google users have the chance to decide on future Doodles by voting in the Doodle 4 Google competition, where you get to decide from 50 student winners from each state. This year’s theme is “If I could travel in time, I’d visit…” and voting ends May 10. Vote early and vote often!
While we’re on the subject of Doodles, any time a Google Doodle is released (especially if it’s an obscure artist, scientist or what have you), it becomes a small news story. Here are 10 awesome artworks by the guys out in Mountain View:
I Love Lucy-Aug. 6, 2011
Waaaaaah! What better way to honor TV’s earliest successful comedienne Lucy Ball than making a Doodle in the form of an old 1950s television set? You get to choose from seven seemingly absurd yet hilarious “channels” featuring some of her best bits during “I Love Lucy’s” six-year run.
Charlie Chaplin’s Birthday-Apr. 16, 2011
The original slapstick movie star gets the silent treatment from Google—that is, making an homage piece on the site. While it’s not featuring actual clips from Chaplin’s famous films, it is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest film comics of the silent film era. It does come with a warning that the mustaches in the clip are not real.
50th Anniversary of JFK’s Inauguration-January 20, 2011
Ask not what JFK can do for Google, ask what Google did for JFK. This Doodle commemorated the inauguration of the president who planted the seeds of major space exploration and led the country in the initial stages of the Civil Rights movement.
PAC-MAN’s 30th Anniversary-May 22, 2010
In honor of the 30th anniversary of a great addicting game, Google—for one day only—brought Pacman to life for all to play as their searches are loading. This 8-bit adventure has to be one of the most addicting things ever assembled by Google. Now how about a Super Mario Bros Doodle?
Rene Magritte’s 110th Birthday-November 21, 2008
This is neither a pipe nor an apple with a hat, but this is certainly something visually pleasing to the eye for a Google Doodle. Magritte is one of many, many European artists represented in the Google Doodle universe and for good reason.
Robert Doisneau’s 100th Birthday-Apr. 14, 1912
As the famous French street photographer once said: “The marvels of daily life are exciting; no [Google doodler] can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.” (Google added its own phrase into the quote). To take his words into heart, the guys from Mountain View Google letters photobombed four of Doisneau’s famous photos and stitched them together to form this theme.
Mies van der Rohe’s 126th Birthday-Mar. 27, 2012
The master of modern architecture made it to the pantheon of Doodles with this feature representing one of his buildings painted with the colors of the Google alphabet. This tribute says it all: “Less is more.”
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz’s 155th Birthday-Feb. 22, 2012
What’s just as flattering as having a scientific unit named after yourself? Having a Google Doodle, of course. Unfortunately, Hertz is not alive to see this accomplishment, so the rest of us will enjoy the animated waves of the hertz frequency in all lovely Google colors.
Jim Henson’s 75th Birthday-Sept. 24, 2011
What do you get when you have Muppet-like creatures in Google colors making funny expressions? A Jim Henson Google Doodle! On the occasion of what would have been his 75th birthday, Google lets its users try a hand at digital puppetry by letting them push buttons and see these creatures move.
John Lennon’s 70th Birthday-Oct. 8, 2010
Google honored the late Beatles musician with a Doodle on his 70th birthday featuring a clickable video where you see a short animation inspired by his artwork to the tune of “Imagine.” In his explanation of the Doodle, Mike Dutton said that the artwork is like a “simple memory” and “There’s an earnest simplicity to it, yet I’m sure any one of us, regardless of whether or not we were around during his time, could describe some way he has deeply enriched our lives.”
I know, I know, we’re probably missing out some that truly deserve to be on this list. If you’re one of these people, vent away on the comments box. Or check some more Doodles here.