Google's doodler team: How artists, engineers remake Internet giant's logo

Betsy Bauer
Betsy Bauer, one of the people behind the Google doodle for International Women's Day.

(CBS News) They are young and smart, and they have an awful lot of fun doing their jobs. They are the group of 13 -- mostly twenty-something -- artists and engineers are known as Google doodlers.

So what does it mean to be a doodler at Google?

Artist Jennifer Hom said, "It means that I have the unique opportunity to change the logo on the homepage, with an illustration."

For the last four years, Hom has been a member of the team that makes those quirky, fun, artistic renditions on the Google homepage.

She said, "We don't want to hinder our audience from actually searching, because they came to our homepage to search. But we also want to do something fun."

Recently, the doodlers have ratcheted up the fun, making their doodles interactive, such as the throwback Pac-man game you could really play, an Olympics animation, and a Moog keyboard in which users were allowed to record their own songs for the day.

Kris Hom, lead engineer on the doodler team, said, "In total, around the world, there was about 57 years of music recorded on the Moog doodle."

Kris Hom says the collaboration of artists and technology is worth it, despite spending several months to create a doodle that is only on the homepage for 24 hours.

Kris Hom said, "Even though it's there for a day, I think that brings enough joy. Sometimes I describe my job as "my job is to make everyone happy for 10 seconds, everyone on Earth."

The Mountain View, Calif.-based doodler team produces over 300 doodles a year for dozens of countries across the globe, working with fellow Google employees both far and near. In the case of Friday's International Women's Day doodle, the idea originated from the newest member of the doodler team.

Betsy Bauer, a 24-year-old who has been with Google for just six weeks, said the Women's Day doodle is "very exciting."

Her opportunity to create today's doodle is typical of Google's culture, where ideas -- not hierarchy -- rule.

Bauer said, "I mean, Google does have a history of celebrating women and it's a lot of fun as a woman to work on something that is as important as that.'

The team helped Bauer tweak and hone her doodle through seven versions. It's a multicultural combination of women's faces that spells Google in the artwork's negative space -- all in day's work for the little doodler-team-that-could.

Asked if most people have any sense of how much goes into a doodle, Jennifer Hom said, "No, but I think that's OK."

For Rebecca Jarvis' full report, watch the video in the player above.