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Doodle for Google

Google Doodle

If you think Google only hires scientists, engineers and geniuses of the highest order, fear not, they also hire cartoonists. We don’t typically post job listings (maybe we should), but this one is too good to pass up. Google’s Doodle team informs us that they’re currently looking for more in-house Doodlers, particularly those with strong animation experience. The job entails working on the charming and quirky doodles that appear on Google’s front page everyday. The biggest perk, besides working at Google, is that it’s easily the most high-profile animation gig in the world, with a guaranteed audience of hundreds of millions for anything you create.

The Bay Area gig requires a BFA or 4 years of relevant experience. Here’s the link to the job listing, the requirements of which are posted below:

The area: User Experience
One of the many reasons Google consistently brings innovative, world-changing products to market is because of the collaborative work we do in Product Management. With eyes focused squarely on the future, our team works closely with creative and prolific engineers to help design and develop technologies that improve access to the world’s information. We’re responsible for guiding products throughout the execution cycle, focusing specifically on analyzing, positioning, packaging, promoting and tailoring our solutions to all the markets where Google does business.

The role: Doodler
First impressions matter. Every day, hundreds of millions of online users visit the Google homepage. Yes, to search. But also, to be delighted, informed, and surprised (And maybe even to laugh a little). The Google Doodle makes this possible — it’s the change that is constant on As a Product Graphic Designer/Illustrator, more commonly known as a “Doodler,” you have the world’s best platform to showcase your stylistic skills — as well as your sense of humor, love of all things historical and imaginative artistry. From Jules Verne to Pac-Man, you have the reins to our brand and iconic logo and can run free with your innovative ideas. Go forth and doodle!

* Draw, design, and/or animate the highly visible Google homepage doodles.
* Come up with consistently excellent creative ideas within the constraints of the our logo.
* Manage complex collaborative projects from idea, to executive pitches, to final execution in a fast-paced environment.
* Design illustrations both digitally and traditionally and in a wide range of artistic styles with great attention to detail.

Minimum Qualifications:
* BFA. In lieu of degree, 4 years of relevant experience.

Preferred Qualifications:
* Freehand illustration skills and a wide range of artistic styles.
* Ability to translate conceptual direction into amazing works of art.
* Ability to work collaboratively and apply creative feedback in a team environment.
* Comfort with digital and traditional media.
* Knowledge of animation fundamentals.
* Online portfolio/reel.

  • Budding applicants may also want to read Dan Santat’s post on how he was offered a similar gig at Google and ended up turning them down:

  • optimist

    So this is a fulltime job? Nice opportunity. I’d thought the “doodles” were all outsourced. One idle thought: when Google had their header celebrating Charles Dickens last month, they had an illustration featuring various characters from the books. Click though I might I couldn’t discover who drew that doodle-no credit anywhere(I just did, again, and found a post by someone who knows the artist, Mike Dutton). Would an in-house artist whose work is seen by millions be basically anonymous?

    Not carping on the deal, just wondering.

    Re the blog post by Dan Santat: It sounded like his reason for turning down the Google job offer was that he just didn’t want any fulltime job, not because of anything peculiar to Google’s offer (in fact, he makes an aside about being able to “afford a BMW” if he’d taken it-wtf are they paying??). I’d have to think that the hours of a Google header designer wouldn’t be the same as a programmer/IT person…but who knows.

    • If you go to the Doodles page I linked to above, you’d see that there’s as whole post on Google’s site by Mike Dutton about designing the Dickens piece, along with concept art:

      The header format makes it difficult to give credit to the creator on the piece itself, much like it’s hard to do on a TV commercial, but Google doesn’t try to hide the artists who create the work.

      • optimist

        I didn’t think they tried to hide it, and just before writing my comment I found that excellent behind the scenes post from the artist. I don’t know what I did wrong back on the day in Feb. that it posted, but try as I migh-then-all the clicking I did took me only to links on the subject of the illo–Dickens–and not to an arist bio. But again, I must have missed it.
        Thanks for linking to Dutton’s piece-well worth looking at.

    • Ron

      Can’t an IT guy afford a bmw?

    • The Gee

      ” Would an in-house artist whose work is seen by millions be basically anonymous? Not carping on the deal, just wondering.”

      Do you think that would be bad? There are a lot of artists who have to settle for there names being no where near the art they created, like, just getting listed in a masthead for a magazine or newspaper. Sometimes it works like that. But, you probably already know that.

      It can still go into your portfolio and I doubt anyone would dispute it is yours.

      • optimist

        I didn’t mean to suggest it would be “bad”; I was only (genuinely) curious. No malicious slant intended. : )

      • The Gee

        Okay. Your reply to Amid happened before I got a chance to post that.

        I didn’t think that you thought it would be bad. I was just curious enough to ask so that I made sure.

  • Hum… wonder what the pay is like (Google pays pretty low in the industry)

    • Tak

      @Rob K:
      Seems like the majority of options out there are either low-pay or no-pay. “You can draw? So what, no one cares.” Your art has to make them care. It has to have it’s purpose. And a Google Doodle is as good as any.

  • Sarah J

    Nice! If I were an artist I’d totally go for this job.

  • Tak

    This Dream Job, if boiled down to it’s essence is basically…a Perpetual Corporate Logo Re-designer

    Still hella cool though. Graphic Type & Illustration Jobs WOOH YEAH! They should totally give my buddy @monavx a call
    #AwesomeAustralianExports #LivingInNY

    My dream job of Dream jobs would be to work will Bill Watterson on an animated Calvin & Hobbes short.

  • Hey Amid, thanks for posting this. I actually make it a point not to comment on work-related posts, but since you’re making an exception I thought I might as well. On the topic of artist’s credit in the discussion here, I just wanted to note one thing, and apologize if it’s a little long-winded. Really, this is just my attempt at selling the job for those who are on the fence about applying, in which case, Amid, if I’m overstepping on the “selling”, feel free to edit!

    Regarding artist’s credit, at the end of the day, it’s the occasion we want to highlight, and not the artist who created the tribute. As doodlers, we are genuinely excited about the subject matter we celebrate. We get to pitch ideas and see them from start to finish, which means many of the doodles you see on the homepage are honest-to-god, bonafide labors of love! Will Eisner, Richard Scarry, and Mary Blair are a few examples of doodles I have pitched then had the wonderful opportunity to illustrate. I can’t think of another job that would let me do this, sharing my heroes with hundreds of millions of people. :)

    Of course, we don’t always know about our subject from the start, but if we’re not passionate or knowledgable from the beginning, we do the research and immerse ourselves in the subject until we are. Art directing the Martha Graham doodle for example, I got to learn a lot about contemporary dance. We have plenty of opportunities like this where we get to learn something new and surprise ourselves along the way, and we do this with one goal in mind – to delight our users and hope they have a similar experience – that is, to either be excited to see something they love celebrated on the homepage, or to learn about something they otherwise might have missed out on. Our team lead, Ryan Germick, is a huuuuge Charlie Chaplin fan, and after we ran the doodle for Chaplin last year that he pitched and directed (it was a short film), the highlight for him was seeing a tweet by a youngster who had never heard of Chaplin, saw the doodle, then spent the whole day watching old clips on YouTube.

    And as Amid mentioned, we do get credit but it’s kinda like a car commercial – you have to do a little digging to find out who did that song. :) I am really flattered and honored that a few of you have dug up my name in the same manner. To save you any more digging, the rest of the team is made up of: Willie Real, Jennifer Hom, Sophia Foster-Dimino, and Ryan Germick. Illustrative rockstars that I am glad to have as co-workers and teammates, along with our amazing doodle engineer (Doodlineer?), Kris Hom.

    We are all looking forward to welcoming the next member of the doodle family soon!

  • AAAAAAAAND applied!

  • A great shame they don’t extend services for freelance / outsourced artists. Really the sort of thing I’ve been longing to break into myself…

  • Very cool! I applied as well, hey you never know :)

  • Yoonus

    I love Google forever… I’d like to post my suggestion if anything wrong please forgive me. In this 2014 Doodle. “2”0″1″3″ are dancing and “4” keeps silent. Instead of this let “4” to dance and “3” should be silent. Because 2013 going to end so “3” feels some what miss we all and being sad. 2014 is eager to meet us so “4” should be happy. Thanks