Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Google Doodles

It wasn't that surprising to see Google doodles for Darwin (Feb 12 2009, on his 200th birthday) and for Mendel (July 20 2011 on his 189th birthday) but I was very surprised to see Nicolas Steno show up on his 374th birthday in January this year.
I must confess when I first saw this I wasn't sure whether it was for Steno or William 'Strata' Smith but I like the design. I also like to look at the design notes

Known as the father of stratigraphy and geology, Nicholas Steno worked to understand history by what he could find in the ground. Rather than simply write books about his findings, Steno opted to do his own hands-on research. As an innovative thinker, he disagreed with his contemporaries in thinking that shark-tooth-shaped objects found imbedded in rocks "fell from the sky." Instead, Steno argued that these formations were fossils. His dedication to analysis, critical thinking, and creative thinking make him a great subject for a Google doodle!

Considering Steno's contributions to stratigraphy and geology, I wanted to honor his birthday with a unique take on his work. I knew that the colorful and geeky aesthetic of stratigraphy was the right direction for the doodle, but the team and I weren't sure how to apply it. Should we set the doodle in the middle of the country? Should we relate it to Google culture? Should I just make things up? Below are the exploration sketches.

After consulting a few geology nerds within Google, I decided to set the land in our very own Mountain View! I learned an interesting fact about our home-- there are no dinosaur fossils in the Bay Area (except for Stan of course).

Also staying a little more faithful to stratigraphy graphs, I formed the Google logo as though it was cut from a chunk of three dimensional land. Below are early drafts of the final direction.

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