Google doodle took five artists six months to create

Before most of us were even thinking about Christmas, a team at Google was working on the unique doodle that appeared on the search engine's front page for just over two days from December 23.

Google chief doodler - that's his actual title - Micheal Lopez spoke to the Wall Street Journal about the extraordinary amount of work that went into this year's holiday doodle. In previous years, Google's festive logo has been a single image, but in 2010 Mr Lopez, who took on his role about 18 months ago, wanted to ''end the year with a bang''.

Work by Mr Lopez and his team of four artists began around six months ago, with the doodle's 17 section divided up among the team - Mr Lopez took personal responsibility for six.

The result was the Google logo, displayed via interactive holiday portraits from around the globe. Yet the logo millions of Google users saw in recent days was not how Mr Lopez had envisioned it - his plan was to unveil the logo in sections over three days. But when company executives and other Googlers saw the doodle in its final stages, a decision was made to post the entire creation online in one go. The timing of the logo was also contentious, with some questioning whether it would slip under the radar if posted on Christmas Day.

''I thought, 'Is my mom going to be available to play this on Christmas Day?' The answer is, no, she'll be making me food!'' Mr Lopez said. So the decision was made to post the doodle on December 23 and have it run for two and a half days.

Google estimates that more than 900 logo doodles have been created since 1998, 270 of them this year.

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