Google doodle goes international as World Cup inspires

Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:33pm EDT
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By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The Google doodles adorning the company’s famous homepage are being made outside the United States for the first time as illustrators from California sit in on Brazil’s World Cup to provide a fresh take on football, fans and favelas.

Google produces between 300 and 400 doodles each year, up to 50 of them moving or interactive.

Usually the company plans the doodles at least three months in advance and it can take weeks for illustrators to perfect the designs.

This time a handful of the team's 17 members are reacting almost in real time to games, results and events happening in the 12 World Cup venues.

"Interactive can take months but this time we're creating images and animating them in two to six hours," said Ryan Germick, the doodle team leader.

"This has never been done in real time response, there is not really an event so singular where the whole world is watching," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"The fact is that this is a singular sport, one game is on at a time and the whole world is fixated on one match and so it is a chance to be part of the dialogue. The part we are celebrating is that the whole world comes together."

Germick is leading a team ensconced in a specially created "Inspiration Room" in Google’s Sao Paulo office. Some of the walls are covered with Brazilian memorabilia, there is an old-fashioned juke box playing Brazilian records and TVs are showing the games.   Continued...