Google has today developed a doodle for South Africa as they hold their fifth general elections since their independence in 1994.
A ballot box in the colors of the SA flag forms the centre of the doodle with the individual letters of the internet search engine’s name picking up colours of the flag.
Clicking on the doodle leads to links for election day news, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), and to a Wikipedia collaboration explaining the elections and the composition of South Africa’s Parliament.
So how did the idea of Google doodle come along? In 1998, before the company was even incorporated, the concept of the doodle was born when Google founders Larry and Sergey played with the corporate logo to indicate their attendance at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. They placed a stick figure drawing behind the 2nd “o” in the word, Google, and the revised logo was intended as a comical message to Google users that the founders were “out of office”. While the first doodle was relatively simple, the idea of decorating the company logo to celebrate notable events was born.
Two years later in 2000, Larry and Sergey asked current webmaster Dennis Hwang, an intern at the time, to produce a doodle for Bastille Day. It was so well received by our users that Dennis was appointed Google’s chief doodler and doodles started showing up more and more regularly on the Google homepage. In the beginning, the doodles mostly celebrated familiar holidays; nowadays, they highlight a wide array of events and anniversaries from the Birthday of John James Audubon to the Ice Cream Sundae.
Over time, the demand for doodles has risen in the US and internationally. Creating doodles is now the responsibility of a team of talented illlustrators (we call them doodlers) and engineers. For them, creating doodles has become a group effort to enliven the Google homepage and bring smiles to the faces of Google users around the world.
The team has created over 2000 doodles for our homepages around the world.
We wish South Africans peaceful elections.