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Google’s Doodles: Who’s Behind Them? 谷歌涂鸦的台前幕后

原文作者:刘剑

  谷歌主页的涂鸦时不时给我们日常的网络搜索带来一丝惊喜,这种游走于艺术、设计、娱乐与技术之间的表现形式该如何定义呢?本文中,我们就一起走进谷歌涂鸦的幕后创作团队,了解谷歌涂鸦背后的故事。
   the occasional artistic “doodles” that replace the google logo are seen by hundreds of millions of people. but who are the brains behind them?
   a playable les paul2) guitar, a pac-man3) game and a keyboard in celebration of robert moog4). these are just some of the many doodles that google has displayed on its home page.
   what started in 1998 as a stick figure5) drawing behind the letter “o” to show the team were out of the office, has now developed into intricate designs, games and artistic representations of famous figures and events.[论文网]
   there have been more than 1,000 doodles. they depict both the famous and the less well-known; they feature anniversaries and some more idiosyncratic6) tributes, and are increasingly becoming interactive and shareable.
   how else would hundreds of millions of people been reminded of amelia earhart7)’s 115th birthday or that gideon sundback was the inventor of the zip? on his 132nd birthday, google placed a giant zip down their home page.
   on every day of the 2012 olympics, a new sport-themed doodle in the form of a game has lived above the search bar. one day it was synchronised swimming8); another day users could practise shooting hoops9) against the clock.
   with every new doodle comes a raft of online news articles. the choice of doodle is always a noteworthy event, not least10) among bored office workers for whom the sketches offer a welcome splash of variety into their daily routine.
   whether one treats the doodles as art or design, they are among the most viewed examples in the world.
   despite the attention, there is little focus on the creators. watch the charlie chaplin doodle and you will get a glimpse, although in costume, of the team who call themselves “doodlers. ”
   the doodles are seen by hundreds of millions of people. some are put together in a few hours—others, like the freddie mercury11) tribute, take several months to complete. all are created by the handful of “doodlers” who sit in a small office in california.
   the team’s “creative lead,” ryan germick, says he doesn’t dwell on12) the idea of his work being viewed by such a mindboggling13) number of people.
   “human brains are not built to understand how hundreds of millions of people interpret something. for me it’s more about seeing if i can make my colleagues laugh, or learn a new technique. then i’ve done my job.

 “we just make sure we are representing art and technology in the best possible way.”
   he says they don’t categorise themselves as artists or designers.
  “we are the line between entertainment, arts, technology and graphic design. those lines are very blurry.”
   the team, he says, are try

ing to deliver a maximum amount of joy with the limited resources available. once designer dennis hwang was responsible for most of the doodles, but he has since moved on to other things. individuals on the team don’t usually take credit for their work.
   “it’s not about us as individuals. it’s about google as a culture,” says germick.
   most of those working on the technical side of the doodles do so under google’s 20% principle—where their day job is something else but a fifth of their time can be dedicated to a project.
   kris hom, a technical engineer who used to be one of the 20% and only recently joined the doodle team full time, says the pinnacle14) for him was when his mother shared her score from one of the olympic playable doodles.
   the doodles are a way to “humanise the home page,” says hom.
  the decision on what’s featured, says germick, is a “fairly democratic process” and is more about the element of surprise and finding a memory or person that’s “a good fit,” than celebrating common anniversaries. if they had to wait for earhart’s 150th birthday, for example, it would be a very long wait.
   suggestions from the public as well as ideas from google offices in other countries play a big role. a lot of work is done using digital drawing tools, but sometimes a doodle originates as a physical painting. doodler jennifer hom painted the gustav klimt15) birthday doodle using faux16) gold leaf and oil paint on canvas.
   “i wanted to pay homage to klimt with his most famous painting, the kiss. i hope that our humble doodle does his brilliant legacy some justice,” she wrote.
   “the point about art is that it is free of function,” says deyan sudjic, director of london’s design museum. “design—which used to be called commercial art—is tied down17) by a functional obligation.
   “andy warhol18) began as an illustrator and made himself into an artist. the drawings he did as an illustrator sell for a lot, but not as much as his art does.”
   but graphic designer si scott—whose work includes corporate clients but also features in exhibitions—believes that these days design, including the doodles, is the new modern art.

  jasmine montgomery, chief executive of a marketing company, disagrees.
  “once you are being paid to harness your creativity to branding or advertising, it’s not strictly art because it’s serving a commercial master and not a purely creative master.
   “the doodles are part of a well-designed customer experience. they are the equivalent of a hotel designing a nice lobby or a product coming in beautiful packaging,” she argues.
   it’s hard to get away from the underlying corporate purpose of the doodles. they help google play with its image—an image that occasionally comes under attack either because of privacy or accusations of tax avoidance.
   the quirkier facts behind the doodles create “water cooler conversat

ion19),” says branding consultant lisa downey merriam, of merriam associates.
   “the doodles are fun charming, playful and engaging; most of all they are relevant and sometimes even surprising—all this portrays some of the google’s personality.”
   and as long as the company retains its dominance, those sketches and scribbles20)—whether you see them as art, design, entertainment or hard-headed21) branding—will be a ubiquitous part of everyday browsing.
   谷歌主页的标志偶尔会被替换成一些艺术涂鸦,但这些被数以亿计的人看到的涂鸦是谁的杰作呢?
  可直接弹奏的莱斯·保罗电吉他、吃豆人游戏,还有纪念罗伯特·穆格的合成器键盘——这些只不过是谷歌在其主页展示过的众多涂鸦中的几个而已。Www.11665.cOM
  谷歌涂鸦始于1998年,创作团队一开始只是在字母“o”后面画了一个简单的人物线条画,用以表明他们“不在办公室”。而如今,谷歌涂鸦已经演化成复杂精妙的设计、游戏以及对著名人物和事件的艺术再现。
   谷歌目前已经推出逾千种涂鸦。这些涂鸦所描绘的人物和事件既有为大众所熟知的,也有不那么有名的;既表现重要人物和事件的纪念日,也表示一些别具一格的致敬。此外,这些涂鸦的互动性和分享性也在日益增强。
   除了通过谷歌涂鸦,还有什么方法能够让亿万大众记起阿梅莉亚·埃尔哈特诞辰115周年,或者提醒人们是伊德翁·松德贝克发明了拉链?在松德贝克诞辰132周年的当天,谷歌在其主页上放了一个巨大的拉链。
   2012年奥运会期间,谷歌搜索栏的上方每天都会以游戏的方式呈现一个新的体育主题的涂鸦:这一天呈现的是花样游泳,另一天用户则可以玩限时投篮。
  每一幅新涂鸦出现时,都会有大量的网络新闻文章伴随而来。涂鸦的选取一直是件值得关注的事情,对于无聊的办公室一族而言尤其如此,涂鸦给他们程式化的日常工作平添了几分惬意的多样色彩。
   无论人们将涂鸦视为艺术还是设计,它们都是拥有最多观众的作品之一。
  尽管这些涂鸦备受瞩目,人们对其创作者却关注甚少。仔细看看查理·卓别林的涂鸦短片,你就能瞄到一眼这个自称“涂鸦者”的创作团队——虽然他们穿着戏服。
  这些被亿万人观看的涂鸦有的只花费了数小时便完成,有的——比如向弗雷迪·默丘里致敬的涂鸦——则耗费了数月的时间。所有这些涂鸦都是出自几个“涂鸦者”之手,他们在加利福尼亚州的一个小办公室里进行创作。
   涂鸦团队的“创意领袖”瑞安·杰米克称,他并没有过多地思考自己的作品被如此众多的人观看这一点。
  “人类的大脑并不是用来理解亿万人是如何看待某件事物的。对我来说,更重要的是能不能让我的同事们开怀大笑,或者能不能学到一个新的技术。做到这两点,我就完成了我的任务。
   “我们只是尽量确保用最好的方式来体现艺术和技术。”
  他说他们既不把自己看做是艺术家,也不把自己看做是设计师。
  “我们是一群游走于娱乐、艺术、技术和图形设计之间的人。它们之间的界限非常模糊。”
  杰米克说,他们的团队试图做的是用有限的资源给人们带来最大的快乐。设计师丹尼斯·黄曾负责团队大部分的涂鸦创作,但是后来他做了其他工作。在这个团队中,涂鸦作品很少归功于某一个人。
   “涂鸦并非关乎我们个人,而是关乎谷歌的整体文化。”杰米克说。
  负责涂鸦技术部分的人员大多遵循谷歌的“20%原则”来工作——他们有其他的正式工作,但是他们可以拿出1/5的时间来做工作之外的项目。

  克里斯·霍姆是一名技术工程师,以前也是属于20%那一类,不过他不久前全职加入了涂鸦创作团队。他说自己最高兴的事就是母亲跟他分享玩奥运涂鸦互动游戏的得分。
  霍姆说涂鸦是“让主页人性化”的一种方式。
  涂鸦主题的选择是一个“非常民主的过程”,杰米克称,它更多的是考虑要有惊喜元素,寻找“适合”用来纪念的事或人,而不是庆祝通常的一些纪念日。如果他们非要等到埃尔哈特诞辰150周年,那可有得等了。
   公众的建议以及谷歌在其他国家的工作人员的想法在选择过程中扮演了重要的角色。大部分涂鸦作品都由数码制图工具来完成,但有时涂鸦的创作也从实体绘画开始。纪念古斯塔夫·克利姆特生日的涂鸦就是涂鸦者珍妮弗·霍姆在画布上用仿金箔和油画颜料绘制的。
   “我想用克利姆特最著名的作品《吻》向他致敬。我希望可以通过我们这个小小的涂鸦让更多的人了解他留下的伟大的艺术遗产。”她写道。
  伦敦设计博物馆馆长德扬·苏吉奇说:“艺术的要义在于它不具备功能性,而设计——过去常常被称作商业艺术——则为其功能性所累。
  “安迪·沃霍尔是画插画出身,后来通过努力成为了艺术家。他的插画作品价格不菲,但比不上他的艺术作品。”
  然而,图形设计师希·斯科特却认为如今包括涂鸦在内的设计都属于新型现代艺术——他的作品既有企业客户,也频频在艺廊展出。
  一家市场营销公司的首席执行官贾丝明·蒙哥马利则不以为然。
  “一旦有人花钱让你用创意为他们树立品牌形象或者打广告,那这就不算是严格意义上的艺术了,因为你的创意是服务于商业而非纯粹的创作。
  “这些涂鸦是精心设计的顾客体验的一部分。它们的存在如同酒店设计华美的大堂或产品带有精美的包装。”她说。
  要避开涂鸦背后的企业目的不谈其实很难。这些涂鸦可以帮助谷歌打理其形象——该形象因侵犯隐私或被指控逃税而不时受损。
  梅里亚姆公司的品牌顾问莉萨·唐尼·梅里亚姆称,谷歌涂鸦背后稀奇古怪的故事往往会成为人们在办公室休息时谈论的话题。
  “这些涂鸦十分有趣,非常吸引人,又具有互动性,让人有参与感。更重要的是,它们紧贴主题,有时还会给人意外的惊喜——这都体现了谷歌的某些个性。”
  无论你将这些涂涂画画看做艺术、设计、娱乐还是理性的营销手段,只要谷歌能保持它在搜索领域的领军位置,涂鸦就会在我们日常的网络搜索中无处不在。
  1. doodle [?du?d(?)l] n. 涂鸦
  2. les paul:莱斯·保罗(1915~2009),美国音乐家、发明家,被称为“电吉他之父”。
  3. pac-man:吃豆人游戏,最经典的街机游戏之一,游戏的目标是确保游戏中的主角幽灵吃掉藏在迷宫内所有的豆子,并

且不能被鬼魂抓到。
  4. robert moog:罗伯特·穆格(1934~2005),电子音乐的先锋,被称为“电子合成器(moog synthesizer)之父”。
  5. stick figure:人物线条画(头部为一圆圈,身体和四肢用单直线画出)
  6. idiosyncratic [??di??s???kr?t?k] adj. 特质的,特殊的
  7. amelia earhart:阿梅莉亚·埃尔哈特(1897~1937),美国著名的女飞行员和女权运动者。1937年,她尝试全球首次环球飞行时在飞越太平洋期间神秘失踪。
   8. synchronised swimming:花样游泳
  9. shoot hoops:打篮球
  10. not least:尤其;相当重要地
  11. freddie mercury:弗雷迪·默丘里(1946~1991),英国音乐家,皇后乐队(queen)主唱
  12. dwell on:(心里)老是想着,老是惦念着
  13. mindboggling [?ma?nd?b?ɡ(?)l??] adj. 令人难以想象的
  14. pinnacle [?p?n?k(?)l] n. 顶点,顶峰
  15. gustav klimt:古斯塔夫·克利姆特(1862~1918),奥地利知名象征主义画家
  16. faux [f??] adj. 假的,人造的
  17. tie down:限制,约束,牵制
  18. andy warhol:安迪·沃霍尔(1928~1987),美国艺术家、印刷家、电影拍摄者,是波普艺术的倡导者和领袖,也是对波普艺术影响最大的艺术家。
   19. water cooler conversation:办公室(休息时)饮水机旁的闲谈
  20. scribble [?skr?b(?)l] n. 潦草书写;胡写,乱画
  21. hard-headed:头脑冷静的
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