July 4, 2013
4th of July
I have spent a lot of my life riding in cars. My family moved from Ohio to Virginia when I was 6, from Virginia to Indiana when I was 8, and back to Ohio when I was 12. I went to college in Florida and made the 20-hour-drive home at least twice a year. I spent 4 days in a car when I moved out to Northern California. There is something about living in the United States that is synonymous with road trips.
Because the US is such a driveable country full of so many distinct landmarks, I thought that a road-trip-themed doodle could be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the geographic and cultural diversity within the US this Independence Day. I wanted to highlight some of the notable tourist destinations as well as some of the small (but just as important) in-between places experienced only by seasoned road-trippers (and maybe native Midwesterners.)
The road-tripping family represented in the doodle went through several iterations. For a time the station wagon was populated by the letters “G” “o” “o” and “g,” journeying to visit family members “l” and “e.” The letter scenario evolved into humans representing the Google letters with colors. Here are some early sketches:
Early character design exploration.
Eventually I chose to depict a dog family for a couple of reasons. First, the idea of dogs traveling in cars seemed to fit nicely alongside a road trip theme. Everyone has seen a happy dog with its head hanging out the window of a moving car! Second, dogs are perhaps the most physically diverse creatures on the planet and for this reason provide so much design potential. Here are the first sketches of the dog family:
First sketches of the dog family.
The format for the Doodle also changed drastically from concept to execution. For a long time it was a scrapbook theoretically put together by one of the pups many years later.
Sketches from the “scrapbook” era of the project.
However, after spending quite a bit of time with this concept, I realized that the heart of the doodle was really with the photographs. I decided to pull from classic photo-development nostalgia and give homepage visitors a glimpse back into the age of “real” photos!
Long live the the road trip, and most importantly, happy birthday to the USA!
Posted by Betsy Bauer, Doodler.