February 7, 2012
Charles Dickens' 200th Birthday
We have quite a number of characters who showed up today to help celebrate Charles Dickens' 200th birthday. Twelve recognizable ones at least. This naturally made for a pretty busy doodle, and while we managed to squeeze in a few extra pixels to make the logo slightly larger than usual, we thought it'd be kind of nice to show you a couple close-ups here.
Of course, arriving at the final image was a slight technical challenge (as crowd scenes depicted at 500 pixels wide tend to be). So I worked a bit at making the overall shapes and gestures of each character recognizable even at small sizes. For example, Scrooge's back is drawn exaggeratedly hunched over. Tiny Tim looks even smaller compared to the ghostly apparitions in the sky behind him. Pip's arm is tucked behind him, and he looks meek compared to Estella, who towers over him.
The drawings themselves were actually drawn on several sheets of vellum, then sliced up and arranged just so.
And while good looking art is always a goal, so is authenticity. So we met with other Googlers who happen to be big Dickens' fans, including the Google Books team, to gain a better understanding of Dickens' work – whether is was to learn more about his overarching themes, or which characters could sneak in an appearance. In fact, you can visit the Books blog to read a few of their thoughts as well as to get a little more of an in-depth look at the making of this doodle.
Happy 200th, Charles Dickens!
posted by Mike Dutton