Did You Know Google Tried The Alexander Calder Logo Last Year?

Jul 22, 2011 • 8:11 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Logos

Today, on most of Google's home pages you will find a logo for Alexander Calder's birthday. But did you know Google tried posting the logo last year and failed? In fact, they also posted the logo yesterday (which was today) in Australia and pulled it down for a couple hours and replaced it.

Here is a picture of the Google logo:

Alexander Calder Google Logo

But the logo is actually animated and works like a typical mobile. You can twirl it, spin it and so on with your mouse and the logo will smoothly move like a mobile above a baby's crib.

Jered Wierzbicki, Google Software Engineer said this "is Google’s first doodle made entirely using HTML5 canvas, so you need to use a modern browser to interact with it. It runs a physics simulation on the mobile’s geometry, and then does realtime 3D rendering with vector graphics. Only recently have browsers advanced to the point where this is possible." In addition, it has accelerometer features, if your computer and browser supports it.

That being said, it was too ahead of it's time. Last year they tried it and pulled it.

Websonic.nl posted last year at the Google Blogoscoped Forums pictures of the logo and then noticed it went missing. He said, "I just emailed with Google. They say the logo was removed early due to technical challenges. They also said that maybe the logo will be placed again next year."

Second try and Google made it live, but they almost failed again. The logo went offline for a few hours on Google Australia and locations around there while Google put it back up.

Alexander Calder was born 113 years ago today and died on November 11, 1976 in New York at the age of 78. He was an American sculptor and artist most famous for inventing mobile sculptures.

Here is a video of the logo in action, note if you mouse over it for a while, it will let you click on it.

Forum discussion at Google Blogoscoped Forums, Google Web Search Help.

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07/22/2011 12:55 pm

DAYM it must be a slow day where you are.  This is what drove you to write an article?  A doodle?  Really dude?

Irv Lustig

07/22/2011 01:00 pm

If you look really carefully, you'll see a shadow of the mobile that updates as the mobile moves.  It is below the Google Search/I'm Feeling Lucky buttons.

Barry Schwartz

07/22/2011 01:10 pm

I know you won't see this comment.  But we cover Google.  People go to Google, they see a weird logo, they want to know what it is about.  

Juanne Coetzee

07/22/2011 01:58 pm

I for one would love to cover these findings. I'm on Google 10 hours a day. I usually spot them early and quite often as well, but with me being a SEO strategist, time does not allow it :/

Hannah Miller

07/22/2011 03:38 pm

I love that you wrote this - I hadn't realised it moved! Although that is officially 5 minutes of my life I won't get back.


07/23/2011 04:02 pm

Any way to access it again?  


07/25/2011 05:53 pm

This is such a thoughtful choice of Google.  In inventing the mobile, Calder brought movement to sculpture, changing it forever.  It is so apropos and a fitting tribute that a mobile of his be the first Google logo to move.

video production

08/19/2011 09:10 pm

When I was a teenager, Calder painted a Braniff airplane that became the first flying masterpiece. Anyone else remember it?

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