One of the most identifiable logos in the world, that of the Internet search engine Google, gets a makeover far more frequently than most corporate brands do. But it's not to update a company's image for a fickle audience; instead it's to tickle the audience's funnybone. Visitors to the site on certain days may have found illustrations celebrating the Large Hadron Collidor (Sept. 10, 2008), the laser (May 16, 2008), and Lego bricks (Jan. 28, 2008).
By CBSNews.com producer David Morgan.
Google first replaced its familiar logo on the home page on Aug. 30, 1998, during the Burning Man festival, as a sort of "Out of Office" message by the site's owners. Since then, the company has posted illustrations that have marked its own birthdays, as well as holidays, festivals, sports championships and other celebrations.
The Internet company's affinity for scientific breakthroughs is shown in their honoring Albert Einstein (March 14, 2003), the 50th anniversary of understanding DNA (April 25, 2003), and the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brother's first flight (Dec. 17, 2003).
Nov. 09, 2009 marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Google's festive logos for Independence Day feature eagles (2001), stars and stripes (2002) and Lady Liberty (2003).
Mother's Day is remembered (2004, 2008).
Comic-Con 2009 was celebrated with a bevy of DC Comics superheroes.
Other national holidays marked have included Bastille Day (July 14, 2004), St. Patrick's Day (March 17, 2005), and Canada Day (July 02, 2005).
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 22, 2008) and Veteran's Day (Nov. 12, 2008) were marked in the U.S., while in the U.K., Remembrance Day was marked on Nov. 11, 2004.
Among the artists honored by Google's artists are Piet Mondrian (March 07, 2002), Andy Warhol (Aug. 06, 2002), M.C. Escher (June 16, 2003), Vincent Van Gogh (March 30, 2005), Leonardo Da Vinci (April 15, 2005), and Diego Velazquez (Jun 06, 2008).
Dec. 08, 2009 was the birthday of cartoonist E.C. Segar, creator of Popeye.
This sequence of images from Halloween 2009 were revealed in a flash animation; when clicked, more and more candy would be revealed, until (as happens on that spooky night) it disappears!
The Olympic Games offer fun opportunities for Google to play. Here are examples of their logos posted during the 2004 Athens Games, the 2006 Torino Games, the 2008 Beijing Games, and the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
A series of artworks illustrating stories by Hans Christian Andersen was presented to celebrate his 205th birthday, including this one from April 2, 2010. La Feria de abril, or April Fair, is a week-long festival in Seville featuring flamenco, horse shows and bullfighting (April 19, 2010).
Lost in translation? Google marked the birthdays of Louis Braille (Jan. 4, 2006) and Samuel Morse (April 27, 2009), and the invention of the bar code (Oct. 7, 2009).
The birthday of Nikola Tesla was observed on July 10, 2009.
Among the artistic and literary figures whose birthdays have been remembered are Alfred Hitchcock (Aug. 13, 2003), Ray Charles (Sept. 23, 2004), and Miguel de Cervantes (Sept. 29, 2008).
They honored Dr. Seuss, of course,
And happily, without remorse.
They pictured Grinch and Fox and Cat,
And fishes, too, imagine that!
Making guest appearances have been such luminaries as Snoopy and Woodstock (Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, 2009); Wallace and Gromit (Nov. 4, 2009, their 20th anniversary); and the Cookie Monster (Nov. 5, 2009), part of a 40th anniversary celebration of "Sesame Street" featuring countless Muppets.
Earth Day, April 22, has been recognized repeatedly on the site. These were the two most recent depictions, in 2009 and 2010.
The "Doodles 4 Google" competition invites young people to design their own Google logos. The winners are awarded scholarships and have their work posted online for all the world to see. Among the winners were (clockwise from top left), "Day of the Child' by Lisa Wainaina, U.K. (Nov. 17, 2005); "This or This?" by Claire Rammelkamp, U.K. (Nov. 21, 2007); "My Community" by Daniel Thorne, U.K. (Oct. 1, 2008); Doodle by Zhang Bo of China (Jan. 16, 2009); and "Up in the Clouds" by Grace Moon, U.S. (May 22, 2008).
Pi Day on March 14 (or, 3.14), was remembered this year. Not to be forgotten was June 06, 2009, marking the 25th anniversary of Tetris.
The 20th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope was featured April 24, 2010.