The Best Google Logos Of 2011

After a year of remarkable special Google logos, the company is ending 2011 and welcoming 2012 with a simple logo for New Year’s Eve. Here’s a look at it, as well as a look back as some notable Google “doodles” this year, including the popular Les Paul guitar interactive logo and the singing/dancing Freddie Mercury tribute.

New Year 2012

There’s no animation as with the Google Happy Holidays logo from last week, just the Google letters themselves celebrating the start of New Year 2012.

Below, some of the notable special logos — or “doodles” as Google calls them — that appeared in 2011.

Jules Verne

In February, the Jules Verne interactive Google logo ran, which you can still play with here.

Robert Bunsen

At the end of March, to celebrate the 200th birthday of Robert Bunsen, there was the interactive Google Bunsen Burner logo, which continues to bubble away here.

Yuri Gagarin

In April, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight, Google’s Yuri Gagarin logo featured his rocket taking off when you hovered over the gantry, as can still be seen here.

Charlie Chaplin

Also in April, Google’s Charlie Chaplin logo had a silent film that played to celebrate the actor’s 122nd birthday. You can watch that here.

Earth Day

Yet another animated logo in April was Google’s Earth Day Logo, where hovering your mouse over the image made various animals appear, as you can still see here.

Royal Wedding

A last notable logo from April was Google’s Royal Wedding Logo. It had no interactivity, but perhaps that was because there was enough excitement going on with the event itself.

Indeed, Google deliberately kept even the Google letters themselves low-key, so as not to draw attention away from the couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton.

World’s Fair

Interactivity returned in May with Google’s World’s Fair logo, to celebrate the 160th birthday of the event. Animations were hidden throughout and reveals as you zoomed in with a virtual looking glass, as you can do here.

Mr Men & Little Miss

In May, to celebrate the 76h birthday of author / illustrator Roger Hargreaves, Google ran 16 different logos in rotation that featured characters from his Mr Men and Little Miss books. That’s Mr Bump, above. See them all in our post from the time, All The “Mr Men & Little Miss” Google logos.

Martha Graham

In May, the animated Google Martha Graham logo celebrated the 117th birthday of the dance artist. You can view the dancing still here.

Richard Scarry

Google’s Richard Scarry logo in June celebrated the 92nd birthday of the popular children’s illustrator and author with a non-interactive logo that was fun all the same.

Les Paul

Google’s Les Paul logo in June celebrated the founder of the electric guitar’s 96th birthday by letting anyone strum their own tune and save the recording for playback to others.

There’s no way official way to measure how “popular” a Google doodle is, but judging the immense positive reaction online, this was certainly one of the most popular for 2011 if not ever.

Within two days, over 40 million songs were recorded, Google notes on its page about the doodle, where you can still play the virtual guitar today.

Lunar Eclipse

The Google Lunar Eclipse logo logo played a video illustrating how it would look, for those unable to see it. You can play the video here.

Alexander Calder

In July, the Alexander Calder Google Mobile Logo for the mobile artist’s 113th birthday allowed for the logo to move as you’d expect a mobile to. Give it a spin here.

Lucille Ball

In August, the Google “I Love Lucy” logo celebrated the 100th birthday of comedian Lucille Ball with a logo that played clips from classic “I Love Lucy” episodes. Tune in for yourself here.

Freddie Mercury

In September, the Google Freddie Mercury logo ran a touching and fun animated video where the lead singer from Queen sang “Don’t Stop Me Now.” He’s still singing it in the logo here.

Jim Henson

In September, the Google Jim Henson logo celebrated what would have been the Muppets creator’s 75th birthday with an interactive logo allowing you to control some muppets yourself. You can play with them still here.

Art Clokey

In October, the Google Gumby logo celebrated the 90th birthday of Gumby creator Art Clokey, allowing people to click on the clay balls in the logo to transform them into Gumby characters. Click away yourself here.


To end October, the Google Halloween Logo went real life, where 6,000 pounds of pumpkins were carved to produce a video that played in the doodle, ending in a glowing logo. You can see the video here.


In November, the Google Thanksgiving logo was both interactive and, for the first time, sharable. You could decorate your turkey in various ways by clicking on the logo, which could then be shared through Google’s Google+ social network. You can still make your own turkeys here and generate a sharable link.

Mark Twain

The widest Google logo I’ve ever seen celebrated the 176th birthday of author Mark Twain, with a scene from Twain’s The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer.

I broke the logo up and matched it to scene in my previous post, Google’s Mark Twain Birthday Logo Features Tom Sawyer Getting Out Of Painting That Fence. It worked as a nice illustration.

Happy Holidays

Last week, Google celebrated Christmas with an interactive logo that started with an all white background. As you pushed buttons, the Google letters turned into Christmas lights on a dark background and then Jingle Bells played.

Alas, Google’s archive of the logo doesn’t have the interactive version available. It did have problems for many people shortly after it went live. But our past post, Google’s 2011 Happy Holidays Logo: Dancing Christmas Lights & Jingle Bells, shows how it all works including a video of the logo in action.

For the holiday season, Google also made it so a search for “let it snow” on Google made it snow across your browser (and this still works). Also, searches on Google for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa bring up special decorations.

The Unofficial Minecraft Logo

I’ll end with a special Google logo which proved popular on Google+ when I shared it. My 12-year-old son Declan (hi, Declan!) made it yesterday in the popular Minecraft game.

Don’t know Minecraft? See the post I wrote about it on my personal blog, Move Over Angry Birds, It’s The Minecraft Coming Out Party. Maybe it’ll get an official Google logo in future years.

Happy New Year’s to everyone, from all of us here at Marketing Land!

More About Google Doodles

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Features & Analysis | Google: Logos & Doodles | Top News


About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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