Google doodles as multimodal storytelling

Keywords: logo, Google Doodle, digital design, digital multimodality, edutainment, infotainment, multimodal communication, visual design, storytelling, semiotic landscape


This article highlights increasing multimodality of online communication, in particular, multimodal alteration of Google logo known as Google Doodle. Doodles are interesting in terms of multimodal communication, semiotic landscape, encoding and decoding information, meaning-making, visual storytelling and visual communication in the globalized world, which remains multilingual, multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic and prone to conflicts. Despite the problems of aberrant decoding Umberto Eco described, visual communication proves to be the economical and effective means of informing the global audience. Google Doodles progressed from simple pictorial elements added to the Google verbal logo to intricate images with complicated multi-tier historical and cultural background, animated, interactive, hyper-linked, AI-based, video doodles, puzzles and even diverse games. Doodles followed and mirrored ICT and visual design evolution, developed in parallel with digital design and digital multimodality. Google used the chance to implement and demonstrate digital design potential in modern communication. Google Doodles became bright examples of infotainment, edutainment and gamification as every doodle was to inform, to educate, to astonish, to trigger WOW effect while celebrating some remarkable personality or event. Every Doodle is the result of thorough research into the issue, of sophisticated visual and digital design, of unique imaginativeness and high creativeness of the world best mind what makes it possible to squeeze an elaborate story into a picture or a short video. This study suggests that Google Doodles tend to become unique samples of multimodal storytelling, highly complicated semiotically and cognitively. Doodlers make great fun for many people, they send them googling to track down amazing stories, to discover intriguing details, and broaden knowledge horizon. Support of Doodle 4 Google competition among kids promotes multiliteracy and digital culture what is crucial to keep young generations future-proof.


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How to Cite
Belova, A. (2021). Google doodles as multimodal storytelling. Cognition, Communication, Discourse, (23), 13-29.