The Google Doodles are a great deal more prolific than they used to be. What used to be an occasional thing is now frequent. To wit, today’s Alexander Calder doodle marks the second Google logo alteration this week. Granted, the Calder doodle is a little different than Gregor Mendel’s; Calder’s is interactive, but it just goes to show the frequency Google is introducing these things.
As indicated, the Calder logo is different from the Mendel doodle due to the fact it’s an interactive doodle that has to be hovered over before you can access the related search results. Normally, you simply have to click on whatever celebratory logo Google is using, and you are directed to search results related to the subject of the doodle. With the Calder logo — which simulates a mobile — the logo must be hovered over with the mouse, bringing up the following clickable link:
Once clicked, users are taken to the requisite Google results page. The reason the current doodle appears to be a mobile sculpture is because Calder is credited with inventing them. A snippet from Wikipedia reveals more:
Alexander Calder (July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976) was an American sculptor and artist most famous for inventing mobile sculptures. In addition to mobile and stable sculpture, Alexander Calder also created paintings, lithographs, toys, tapestry, jewelry and household objects.
With that, I’ve learned something today. Concerning the inspiration for the doodle, there’s a post by Jered Wierzbicki at the Google Blog which details the reason Calder was chosen:
Last year I wandered into a white room at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago full of Alexander Calder’s delicate “objects,” all beautifully balanced and proportioned, moving gently in the air currents like a whimsical metal forest. Calder took ordinary materials at hand—wire, scraps of sheet metal—and made them into brilliant forms, letting space and motion do the rest. As an engineer, I work with abstractions, too, so this really struck me.
But you kind of want to play with the things. They do not let you do that at museums.
So I coded up a very basic demo of a mobile and showed it to a friend, who showed it to one of our doodlers—and then this amazing thing happened: talented artists and engineers who liked the idea just started to help! What we ended up with is way cooler than anything I could have built on my own.
Wierzbicki goes on to say that the latest doodle was built using an “HTML 5 canvas,” and because of that, you’ll need a modern browser to use it (updated versions of Google Chrome, Firefox and/or the latest version of Internet Explorer).
Incidentally, this isn’t the first time a Calder doodle has been attempted. According to a post by Barry Schwartz, Google tried to do one last year, but it apparently didn’t work as planned, and so they scrapped it later that day. There doesn’t seem to be any issue now, although, it’s not the most intuitive logo Google’s ever featured. Nevertheless, once you realize the process to activate, it works as advertised. Schwartz also made a YouTube video of the logo in action, just in case you can’t figure out how to activate it:
With that in mind, the Calder doodle is a good attempt at something a little different and while the interactivity isn’t on the level as the Les Paul logo, it’s still pretty neat. What do you think? Are you a fan of the latest Google Doodle? Let us know.