The ‘Doodle for Google’ Contest Is Now Open for Kids to Show Their Artwork to Billions

Doodle for Google

Stock Photos from PK Studio/Shutterstock

Most of us are familiar with the Google homepage—it might even be the first web page you see when you open your browser. And while you might usually see the corporate Google logo in primary hues of blue, red, yellow, and green, it’s often updated with a creative twist. The Google team frequently changes its logo to illustrate notable events, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists. This is called a Google Doodle: an art form that has a surprisingly long history.

Doodle for Google

The first ever Google Doodle in 1998, indicating that Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were attending Burning Man festival. (Photo: Google)

The idea for doodles originated in 1998, before the company was even incorporated. Larry Page and Sergey Brin wanted to indicate their attendance at Burning Man, as a humorous “out of office” message to Google users—just in case the servers crashed. They added the Burning Man stick figure logo behind the 2nd “o” in the word Google. Since then, the idea of adding colorful graphics to customize the iconic search engine’s logo has taken off. Google now has an entire team of illustrators (known as doodlers) that have created over 4,000 designs for Google homepages around the world. Over the years, Google Doodles have evolved from subtle tweaks to the logo, to entire illustrations, animations, and even playable games.

Doodle for Google

Celebrating the birthday of Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, this Google Doodle from 2010 incorporated his most famous painting, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.” (Photo: Google)

Doodle for Google

Google's first interactive doodle in 2010 marked the 30th anniversary of classic arcade game Pac-Man. It features graphics, and sounds, and even the original bugs from the 1980s. (Photo: Google)

Doodle for Google

In 2017, Google celebrated hip-hop's 44th anniversary with a multimedia Google Doodle that included a custom logo by graffiti artist Cey Adams, interactive turntables, and information on hip-hop history. (Photo: Google)

Doodle for Google

In 2017, Google celebrated the invention of the hole punch with this fun animation. (Photo: Google)

 

 

The Doodle for Google Competition

Google doesn’t always feature the work of their in-house doodlers—the team is occasionally on the lookout for new ideas from users. Each year, young U.S.-based artists in grades K-12 are invited to submit their Google Doodle ideas based on a theme. The 12th annual Doodle for Google contest is now open for submissions, and gives young creatives a platform to share their artwork for a day with billions around the world.

 

This Year’s Theme

Doodle for Google

The 2020 Doodle for Google theme is: “I show kindness by…” Participating kids are invited to visualize what kindness means to them. They can use any material to create their design—the only requirement is that their drawing must incorporate the letters G-o-o-g-l-e.

“As submissions open, we’re inviting young artists in grades K-12 to open up their creative hearts and show us how they find ways to be kind,” says Jessica Yu, Doodle Team Lead. “Starting a community garden? Standing up for a friend being bullied? Doing chores around the home? How you interpret the theme is up to you!”

 

How to Enter

This year’s contest is open for online and mailed entries until March 13, 2020 at 8:00pm PST. Students can work with any material, but submissions must be entered using the entry form. If you’re a U.S.-based student in grades K-12, or you’re someone who wants to help someone enter the competition, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download instructions and entry form here.
  2. Get creative by making a doodle in the medium of your choice.
  3. Write an artist statement to tell Google about your work.
  4. Fill out the rest of the required information on the entry form.

You can draw your doodle directly on the entry form, or simply paste it in place and mail it to the address listed on the form. You can also enter the competition online, by uploading your design as a high-res digital photo or scan it as a .jpg or .png.

Entries will be judged based on artistic skill, creativity, and ability to communicate the theme of kindness.

 

Competition Levels

Finalists will be judged on a state-by-state basis and grouped into 5 grade groups (Grades K-3, Grades 4-5, Grades 6-7, Grades 8-9, Grades 10-12).

The judges will select the best doodles from each of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands as the State and Territory Winners. These 54 State and Territory Winners will be displayed in an online gallery on the Doodle for Google website, where the public will be given 5 days to vote for their favorite. These votes will help determine the National Finalists for each grade group. The panel will then choose one of the five National Finalists and announce the National Winner in June 2020.

 

Prizes

 

National Winner

The National Winner’s artwork will be displayed on Google.com for one day, and he or she will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 technology package for their school, a trip to Google headquarters in California, Google hardware, and Google merchandise.

 

National Finalists

National Finalists will have their doodles featured on the Doodle for Google gallery, plus they will receive a $5,000 college scholarship, a trip to Google headquarters in California, Google hardware, and Google merchandise.

 

State and Territory Winners

State and Territory Winners will also be able to see their work featured on the Doodle for Google gallery, plus they'll receive Google hardware and merch.

 

Feeling inspired? Enter here and check out some of the previous winners on the next page.

 

Next: Previous Winners

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

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