Google Doodles are the company’s way of paying tribute to special occasions, international tragedies, and the birthdays of important historical figures.
Google has created some of its best and cleverest Doodles to honor birthdays. Here are some of our favorites.
Claude Monet’s 161st
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This Doodle, which debuted on November 14, 2001, was the first Doodle to use an artist’s signature style as part of its birthday tribute. I’d like to think the founder of Impressionism would be impressed with this soft, shaded Doodle.
Alexander Calder’s 113th
Sculptor Alexander Calder invented the mobile, or that hanging thing you put above baby cribs. The Google Doodle for his 113th birthday was, naturally, a hanging mobile that vaguely resembled (yet was still recognizable as) the Google logo. It was the first Doodle created entirely in HTML5.
John Lennon’s 70th
Google’s first video Doodle paid tribute to the gone-too-soon singer and his beautiful song, “Imagine.” I really don’t have to say anything more — just watch it.
Jim Henson’s 75th
Henson’s Muppets are probably his most well-known and beloved creation, so it makes sense that any Google Doodle made for him would feature animated Muppets taking the place of the Google name. These Muppets react when you click or hover your mouse over them, and look very much like some of The Jim Henson Company’s animatronics.
Louis Braille’s 107th
This Doodle pays tribute to the creator of raised letters in the best way possible — by translating the logo into Braille. It’s a bit ironic, since a person who depends upon Braille to read might not be able to see the Doodle, but it’s still a great way to bring awareness to it.
Sir Isaac Newton’s 367th
This animated gif was one of the first to incorporate HTML5, in order to show the apple in the “o’ falling from a tree. Based on an incident in the 1660s, the apple is said to have inspired Newton’s observations about gravity.
Alan Turing’s 100th
This open-source Doodle paid tribute to the inventor of the Turing Machine by giving us an actual Turing Machine to play around with. Googlers could solve up to twelve programming puzzles within the logo.
What were your favorite Google birthday Doodles? Let us know in the comments!