Here’s a holiday you may not have heard of: Google Commemoration Day. September 7th, 1996 saw the birth of perhaps the most popular website and search engine that will ever exist. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went a day without using some form of Google application. And because we know designers everywhere use it too (hello, Google Fonts), we decided to celebrate 21 years instantaneous search results with 21 of our favorite Google Doodles from 2017. To read more about each doodle, just click the image.
Do you have a favorite Google Doodle? Share it with us @HOWbrand.
“Cheers to a new year! As 2017 makes its debut, we celebrate new beginnings and set our resolutions. Here’s to another year of exploring, learning, and growing!”
2. 100th Anniversary of The Russian Nature Reserves; January 11, 2017
“A century ago, Russia established its first Zapovednik (nature reserve), Barguzinsky Nature Reserve, located in Buryatia, on the northeast shores of Lake Baikal. On January 11, the country marks the 100th anniversary of its pioneering system of protecting natural areas with Nature Reserves and National Parks Day. …
“Our Doodle is rendered in a woodblock style reminiscent of Russian postage stamps issued for Barguzin’s half-centennial, and inspired by six specially protected natural areas: Barguzin Nature Reserve, Ergaki National Park (aka Yergaki), Russian Arctic National Park, Lake Baikal (frozen), Kronotsky Nature Reserve, and Dalnevostochny Morskoy Nature Reserve (Far East Marine Nature Reserve).”
3. Flora Nwapa’s 86th Birthday; January 13, 2017
“Flora Nwapa, Nigeria’s first published female novelist and Africa’s first internationally-acclaimed English-language female writer, held the spotlight for nearly her entire adult life. She was not only an accomplished author, but a publisher, public servant, and activist.”
4. Martin Luther King Jr. Day; January 16, 2017
“Today’s Doodle, by guest artist Keith Mallett, captures one of the major themes of King’s speeches and writing: unity. ‘All life is interrelated,’ he said. ‘We are all made to live together.’ King urged Americans of all races to keep ‘working toward a world of brotherhood, cooperation, and peace.'”
5. Bessie Coleman’s 125th Birthday; January 26, 2017
“Bessie Coleman didn’t just chase her dreams – she soared after them.
“Born in Texas to a family of 13 children, Coleman walked four miles each day to her segregated, one-room school. She was a proficient reader and excelled in math, and managed to balance her studies while helping her parents harvest cotton. Even from an early age, she had her sights set on something big.
“At age 23, Coleman moved to Chicago where she worked two jobs in an effort to save enough money to enroll in aviation school. After working for five years, she moved to Paris to study, as no school in America would admit her due to her race and gender. Just a year later, Coleman became the first female pilot of African-American and Native American descent, and the first to earn an international aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.”
6. Valentine’s Day; February 14, 2017
“Pangolins are the world’s only scaly mammal. The eight species of pangolin that roam the wilds of Asia and Africa are strong swimmers who rely on their long tongues and heightened sense of smell to find nourishment.
Sadly however, pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world, and all 8 species face a significant threat from poachers and smugglers. Check out the World Wildlife Fund to learn more about the the pangolin’s plight and to support WWF’s efforts to save the pangolin and other endangered species.”
Team: Jordan Thompson, Brian Murray, Ben McMahan, Kris Hom, Jacob Lettie (engineering); Helene Leroux, Nate Swinehart, Pedro Vergani (art); Chelsea Saunders (game design); Kevin Burke (UX Design); Gregory Capuano, Perla Campos, Brian Kaas, Ryan Germick (production); Silas Hite (music & sound effects)
7. Seven Earth-sized Exoplanets Discovered!
“This just in! Turns out it wasn’t just dust on the telescope lens: NASA just announced the discovery of seven earth-size planets orbiting the same star only 235 trillion miles away. In space terms, that practically makes us next-door neighbors!”
8. Carnaval Brazil; Febraury 28, 2017
“Brazil Carnaval is a week-long affair of parades, samba music, themed costumes, and dancing that celebrates a time of fun and indulgence before Lent begins. Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval is considered to be the largest, with up to 2 million people taking part!
“Today’s animated Doodle – by Doodler and Brazil native Pedro Vergani – gives us a glimpse of Carnaval through the ages, depicting the traditional and colorful attire spanning from the 1910s to the 2000s.”
9. International Women’s Day; March 8, 2017
“This International Women’s Day, we’ve chosen to look to the past to celebrate some of the female pioneers who paved the way to where we are today.
“Our slideshow Doodle features a little girl whose grandmother tells her the best bedtime story ever: the tale of her favorite historical heroine. The little girl then visits 13 remarkable women in her imagination, taking us along on a journey that spans centuries and circles the globe.”
10. Holi Festival; March 13, 2017
“Today, the Google letters are taking on a fresh set of colors in honor of the Holi festival. Coinciding with the arrival of spring, the vibrant celebration looks a lot like the Doodle: people run around happily covering each other in a rainbow of powdery hues.
“Amid the cloud of red, blue, yellow, green, and everything in between, festival-goers can often be found laughing, singing, and dancing in the streets. The joyous event, which takes place in India, Nepal, and other countries around the world, traditionally marks the triumph of good over evil. It also gives family and friends a chance to simply come together, enjoying a spirited ‘Festival of Colors’ that undoubtedly lives up to its name.”
11. First Day of Spring; March 20, 2017
“The word equinox comes from the Latin for equal and night. Almost everywhere in the world today, nighttime and daytime are each 12 hours.
We use the equinox to mark the change of seasons, as the balance of light shifts to make for longer days or nights. It usually means that it’s time to hunker down for colder seasons, or time to rise and shine for warmer ones, as in the case of our furry friend the mouse! You may also notice that on the equinox, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west, whereas at other times in the year, it appears off-center if you’re facing those directions. Today, we mark the equinox with a Doodle to celebrate the changing seasons.”
12. Doodle 4 Google 2017 Winner; March 31, 2017
“Nine years in, the U.S. Doodle 4 Google Contest draws thousands of creative submissions from talented young artists across the country. Roughly 140,000 participants answered this year’s prompt, “What I see for the future.” Some imagined a future with modernized homes, others dreamed of a planet without endangered animals, while some saw a compassionate world built around communal harmony.
“Five incredibly talented national finalists spent the day at Google HQ in Mountain View, California. Of those five masterpieces, Connecticut 10th grader Sarah Harrison’s Doodle, ‘A Peaceful Future’ was chosen as the national winner! Today, millions in the U.S. can enjoy her masterpeice on the Google homepage.
“Sarah says, ‘My future is a world where we can all learn to love each other despite our religion, gender, race, ethnicity, or sexuality. I dream of a future where everyone is safe and accepted wherever they go, whoever they are.'”
13. Earth Day; April 22, 2017
” At an estimated 4.543 billion years of age, the Earth is still the only known object in the Universe known to harbor life. It’s also the densest planet in the Solar System and the largest of the four terrestrial planets. That’s quite an awe-inspiring roster of qualities, if you ask us.
Today’s Doodle follows the story of a fox who dreams about an Earth that’s been polluted and adversely affected by climate change. The fox wakes with a startle, and urgently starts making small lifestyle changes to care for the Earth. Along the way, the fox enlists friends – including Momo the cat, and Google Weather’s favorite frog – to join its quest to protect and nurture the environment.”
14. Cassini Spacecraft Dives Between Saturn and its Rings!; April 26, 2017
“Today the Cassini spacecraft starts a series of swoops between Saturn and its rings. These cosmic acrobatics are part of Cassini’s dramatic “Grand Finale,” a set of orbits offering Earthlings an unprecedented look at the second largest planet in our solar system.”
Doodle by Nate Swinehart
15. Teachers’ Day (United States); May 9, 2017
Happy Teachers Day! On this day we take a moment to appreciate those who dedicate their lives to encouraging our intellectual development, be it through mathematics, ecology, astronomy, chemistry, biology, or any other subject we may explore. Teachers nurture our intelligence, creativity, and critical thinking skills. They help shape us and guide our development.
16. Gilbert Baker’s 66th Birthday; June 2, 2017
“Today’s doodle is a little more colorful thanks to Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag, a symbol of pride and freedom for the LGBTQA+ community.
“Teaching himself to sew, Baker put his skills to work for the San Francisco gay community, making banners for marches and protests. In 1978 Baker used those skills to create a new symbol for the LGBT Community to replace the pink triangle, a symbol of oppression and devastation from the Nazi’s classification of LGBT people in World War II. Baker’s Rainbow was a more positive and celebratory symbol.”
Early Draft Concept
Doodler: Nate Swinhart
17. 140th Anniversary of Wimbledon; July 3, 2017
“Today’s Doodle marks the 140th year of the Wimbledon championships, the world’s oldest tennis tournament. Each year, hundreds of players take a shot at winning this Grand Slam event. Wimbledon has drawn crowds since the dawn of professional tennis, way back when players were using handmade wooden rackets. The tournament is known for its grass courts, perfectly maintained to a neat 8mm — a sturdy height for fast-moving feet.”
18. Fourth of July; July 4, 2017
“Whether you know it as the Fourth of July, Independence Day, or simply America’s birthday, today’s Doodle commemorates an important day in U.S. history. 241 years ago, on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence, a document proclaiming freedom from Great Britain. And thus the United States of America was born. Each year on this day, Americans from coast to coast unite to celebrate the birth of their country with traditions such as parades, firework displays, and barbecuing with family and friends.
Today’s Doodle is inspired by Stephen Mather (also born July 4), a noted conservationist and the first director of the National Parks Service. Often hailed as “America’s Best Idea,” the NPS was created by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Over a century old, America’s national parks span 84 million acres and host more than 275 million visitors every year.”
19. Celebrating Dolores del Río; August 3, 2017
“When Dolores Del Río met American filmmaker Edwin Carewe, her talent was so captivating that he convinced her to move to California. Once there, Del Ríos acting career would establish her as an iconic figure during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. Considered the first major Latin American crossover Hollywood star, she would pave the way for generations of actors to follow.”
Doodle by Sophie Diao
20. 44th Anniversary of the Birth of Hip Hop
“On August 11, 1973, an 18-year-old, Jamaican-American DJ who went by the name of Kool Herc threw a back-to-school jam at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, New York. During his set, he decided to do something different. Instead of playing the songs in full, he played only their instrumental sections, or ‘breaks’ – sections where he noticed the crowd went wild. During these ‘breaks’ his friend Coke La Rock hyped up the crowd with a microphone. And with that, Hip Hop was born.”
Credits: Kevin Burke (creative/UX lead, animator, musician); Pedro Vergani (art/animation lead); Hélène Leroux (designer. animator); Ryan Germick (team lead); David Lu, John Thompson, Mark Ivey, Kris Hom, Chris Wilson, Ben McMahan (engineering); Perla Campos, Gregory Capuano (production)
21. Great American Eclipse; August 21, 2017
“An eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, blocking the light of the sun from reaching us.
“While eclipses aren’t rare, a total eclipse, when viewers from Earth are at the very center of the moon’s shadow, only happens once every 18 months. To see one requires you to be in just the right place on earth, and a total eclipse in the same location only happens every 375 years on average.”
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