Meet the People Who Doodle Your Google

If I had known growing up that there was such a job title as Chief Doodler, all my aspirations would have pointed that direction. Michael Lopez is the man in charge of Google's logo doodles. And this is his team.

The doodle tradition has been around since the very earliest days of the company, according to this terrific San Fransisco Chronicle profile. Back then, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin used clip art—turning the logo's second "o" into a stick figure—to indicate that they were out of office. Specifically, at Burning Man.

The process of selecting and drawing doodles wasn't formalized until 2003, according to original lead doodler Dennis Hwang:

"Larry and Sergey had done some of these themselves," Hwang said of the first doodles. "And they used freelance artists. The doodles didn't have any consistency, and they covered mainly the big U.S. holidays. So when I joined, we started a slightly more formal process and looked at how to have more fun with it."

Today, Lopez leads a four-person doodle team in Google's effort to make the homepage a place that celebrates, memorializes, plays Pac-Man—anything at all, really, that the imagination allows.

It's a motley crew, as creative and lean as the doodles they create. And they're more than overdue for their own closeup. [SF Gate; Image credit: Lea Suzuki - The Chronicle]