In the not-so-distant past I had the tremendous honor of catching up with Michael Lopez, Google’s Web Design Lead, by phone to ask him a few questions about designing the famous Google doodles. Michael is part of a small team of designers who are responsible for changing the Google logo into an exciting work of art on special occasions. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like working for Google, you’ll get a lot out of our conversation. Michael and his team spend their time brainstorming about upcoming doodles, oftentimes getting their ideas down by drawing or writing on a white board (I think people who regularly use white boards are just smarter… like me!) or even a scrap of paper. What you find below is a transcript of our phone conversation.
This interview was actually originally published on my now-defunt blog Freelance Review, but it was too good to go to waste so I’m resurrecting it here for you to enjoy. Looking back I have to say it was a bit disconcerting having a member of Google’s PR team listening in, but I think it turned out great in the end.
What’s your design background and how did you originally get started with design?
Well I was always an artist. When I was really little, as far as I can remember, I was drawing on my mother’s bedroom walls or making art out of my food, so I definitely have had a great interest in art and mostly started out wanting to be a gallery artist and then had an interest in graphic design and Web design as I got a lot older and that just turned into falling back to my roots with art and illustration. Becoming a doodler within Google was definitely a really exciting thing for me because I got to kind of mend both of those aspects of my artistic skill that I really loved which was being able to do graphic design as well as being able to do illustration as well. So those two things I think I’ve actually loved since I was younger. At Google I’ve found a way to do what I love.
How did you arrive at Google? Did you apply? Were you recruited? How did it happen?
Well it was kind of a fun story actually. A friend of mine was a designer here at Google and I came ...