The story behind Doodles

The first Doodle was a simple out-of-office message, but in the past 25 years Doodles have grown into a global phenomenon celebrating heroes, events, culture, places and so much more.

We’ve created more than 5,000 Doodles over the decades. Take a trip down memory lane below!


The first Doodle

The very first Doodle was published in 1998 as a quick way for Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to let people know they would be out of office for Burning Man.


Doodles go global

In 2000, Google launched the first international Doodle to celebrate Bastille Day in France. Today, there can be many different Doodles live around the world at one time, reflecting local culture, events and histories.


Let's get moving

The Halloween Doodle in 2000 featured a special new element - animation! The O’s disguised as Jack-o-lanterns featured some haunting flashing lights as well as an 8-legged friend. From this moment on, animation would become a key element of Doodle storytelling!


Doodle for Google is born

The Doodle for Google contest invites K-12 students to try their hand at drawing a Doodle—and compete to see it live on the Google homepage. Now the longest running Google contest, Doodle for Google celebrates young artists and the power of creativity.


The first interactive game Doodle

A celebration of the beloved game Pac-Man and the first interactive Doodle game experience! Play to see if you can get a high score—no quarters needed!


Lights, camera....Doodle!

In 2011, Doodles evolved to full videos telling in depth stories about their subjects. Our first-ever live-action Doodle celebrated Charlie Chaplin's 122nd birthday and featured appearances from the entire Doodle team at the time.


Making Doodles multimedia

Life’s a garden and so are Doodles (we dig both). To celebrate Earth Day 2012, a handful of dedicated Doodlers rigged a camera to the roof of the building to grow one of our first-ever multimedia (and organic) Doodles.


The first VR/360 Doodle

In 2018, Doodles jumped off the screen with the first VR enabled/360 video Doodle. This Emmy-nominated Doodle celebrated the pioneering French illusionist and film director Georges Méliès!


The first AI-powered Doodle

The Doodle team partnered with the Google Magenta and Google PAIR teams to create the first AI-powered Doodle celebrating Johann Sebastian Bach. Players are first prompted to compose a two measure melody of their choice. With the press of a button, the Doodle then uses machine learning to harmonize their custom melody into Bach’s signature music style.


The largest multiplayer Doodle ever

Doodles Champion Island brought people across the globe together to explore a world filled with sport mini-games, legendary opponents, dozens of daring side quests and more!


What's a Google Doodle?

Google Doodles are the spontaneous and delightful changes made to the Google logo. They celebrate a range of local and international topics ranging from holidays and anniversaries, to trailblazing individuals who have impacted culture. Doodles span a range of formats including static illustrations, animations, slideshows, videos, and interactive games. Over their 25 years of existence, Doodles have become a beloved part of Google Search.

How did the idea for Doodles originate?

In 1998, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were planning to take a few days away from the office to attend the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada. However, they needed a simple and clear way to let Google users know they wouldn’t be around in case any inquiries came in while they were gone. They decided to take an untraditional approach to the "out of office" message by simply replacing the second “O” of the Google homepage logo with the Burning Man logo—and the first-ever Google Doodle was born! This first Doodle launched less than one week before Google was officially incorporated as a company. That’s why we say that Google Doodles are older than Google, Inc. itself!

How many Doodles has Google made over the years?

The team has created over 5,000 Doodles over the decades!

Who designs Doodles?

The team behind Doodles consists of in-house artists (called "Doodlers"), engineers, designers, program managers, marketers, and cultural consultants. We also partner with local guest artists and creators from around the globe to help bring Doodles to life.

How are Doodle topics chosen?

The Doodle team receives thousands of global ideas every year from both internal Googlers and the public. Guided with a set of Doodle principles and representation goals, a diverse committee of Googlers gather annually over the course of several months to determine which topics will be "Doodled" in the next calendar year. Through careful research, discussion with cultural consultants and local experts, and more, the committee crafts an annual list of hundreds of Doodles that celebrate a range of inclusive and interesting topics from around the world.

How long does it take to make a Doodle?

The time it takes from sketch to launch for a Doodle varies widely: some have taken years and others just a few hours!

How can I submit an idea for a Doodle?

The Doodle team is always excited to hear ideas! If you have one, email with the details. Please note that the team receives hundreds of requests daily, so we unfortunately cannot respond to each submission— but rest assured that we're reading them!

Have an idea?

If you have an idea for a Doodle please email!

Did you know?

The very first Doodle launched as an “out of office” message of sorts when company founders Larry and Sergey went on vacation.

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Did you know?

The first Doodle launched in 1998, before Google was officially incorporated.

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Did you know?

The first animated Doodle premiered on Halloween 2000

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Did you know?

The first same day Doodle was created in 2009 when water was discovered on the moon.

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Did you know?

Doodle for Google student contest winners have gone on to become professional artists

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Did you know?

The time it takes from sketch to launch for a Doodle varies widely: some have taken years and others just a few hours!

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Did you know?

Hundreds of Doodles launch around the world every year. Often, several different ones are live in different places at the same time!

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Did you know?

Our most frequently recurring Doodle character is Momo the Cat - named after a real-life team pet!

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Did you know?

The official term for the artists that work on Doodles is "Doodler"

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