Nicolas Steno's 374th Birthday

More Doodles

Jan 11, 2012

Known as the father of stratigraphy and geology, Nicholas Steno worked to understand history by what he could find in the ground. Rather than simply write books about his findings, Steno opted to do his own hands-on research. As an innovative thinker, he disagreed with his contemporaries in thinking that shark-tooth-shaped objects found imbedded in rocks "fell from the sky." Instead, Steno argued that these formations were fossils. His dedication to analysis, critical thinking, and creative thinking make him a great subject for a Google doodle!

Considering Steno's contributions to stratigraphy and geology, I wanted to honor his birthday with a unique take on his work. I knew that the colorful and geeky aesthetic of stratigraphy was the right direction for the doodle, but the team and I weren't sure how to apply it. Should we set the doodle in the middle of the country? Should we relate it to Google culture? Should I just make things up? Below are the exploration sketches.

After consulting a few geology nerds within Google, I decided to set the land in our very own Mountain View! I learned an interesting fact about our home-- there are no dinosaur fossils in the Bay Area (except for Stan of course).

Also staying a little more faithful to stratigraphy graphs, I formed the Google logo as though it was cut from a chunk of three dimensional land. Below are early drafts of the final direction.

There were so many different ways to think about Steno and his studies, it was a challenge and pleasure to honor such a fascinating person!

posted by Jennifer Hom

Location: Global

Tags: Layers, land, fossils, Geology, stratigraphy, Rocks, Sciences, Birthday