Celebrating 46 Years with a Google Doodle

September 07, 2012

Star Trek debuted on September 8, 1966, and Google is celebrating the 46th anniversary of the show that started it all with a Star Trek-themed doodle that has taken over Google’s global homepages and will run through the end of the day on September 8. The interactive doodle features iconic Trek images and, after September 8, it will live on as part of Google’s gallery at www.google.com/doodles. StarTrek.com recently chatted with Google doodle main man Ryan Germick, who shed light on the Trek-themed doodle and would neither confirm nor deny the existence of Easter eggs embedded within the Trek doodle.

How big a Star Trek fan are you?

I have lots of love for Star Trek. Growing up, I used to watch TOS with my dad. The episodes were on in our house so much I came to think of crew of the Enterprise like family friends. Plus, working for Google in many ways is like helping bring the high-tech promises of Star Trek to life. I can use voice search to talk to my magical portable computer or translate a menu just by taking a picture. Spock would be proud.

How long have you been with Google and what other Google doodles have you worked on/overseen?

I’ve been a Googler since 2006. Working with an awesome team, I’ve illustrated, designed, animated, acted in, modeled for, and captained interactive doodles like Pac-Man, Les Paul, Charlie Chaplin, Bob Moog, and the recent playable sports doodles – not to mention more than 100 non-interactive doodles around the world.

How psyched were you when you heard you would be getting to do a Trek Google doodle?

Really psyched! But a little intimidated to get it right. You might have heard Trekkies are pretty hardcore.

Tell us about the Trek doodle. What we you aiming for? What were the challenges in basically telling a short visual story with the doodle?

Like with all Google doodles, we were aiming to put a smile on people’s faces for a few of seconds before they search. TOS is such awesome source material – the characters, the sets, the sounds, the stories – that the biggest challenge was deciding which details to include.

What elements of Star Trek did you feel had to be captured in order for the doodle to do Trek justice?

Star Trek is smart, entertaining, and has an unforgettable style – and it can also be really funny. We tried to stay true to all these qualities that have made generations love the show, while doubling down on the inherently silly nature of the crew gallivanting around as anthropomorphized Google letters.

Take us through the process of how the Trek doodle was done. Is it a team effort? How back and forth was there between Google and CBS?

It’s a big team effort. Myself and two other artists worked on this, as well as four engineers. And that doesn’t count folks who helped with sound effects, translations and other support. CBS was great letting us run with the concept. Very cool partners.

How pleased are you with the finished doodle?

I like it. And after playing with it for weeks, it still makes me laugh. So that’s a good sign.

Rumor is there's an Easter egg to be found in the Trek doodle. How much truth is there to that?

Ha-ha. Well, the entire doodle is basically an Easter egg. You’re not going to get any spoilers out of me, but one thing I will say: no red shirts were harmed in the making of this doodle. Well, maybe harmed a little, but it could’ve been worse!


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