Your doodle could be viewed by millions

14th April 2006 at 01:00
It is the kind of exhibition space most artists dream of: seen by millions anywhere in the world. And it is available to school pupils.

Would-be da Vincis or Dalis are invited to compete to have their artwork displayed on millions of computer screens. The TES, together with Google, the internet search engine, are launching a competition for pupils to design a Google doodle, which will appear as the website's UK logo for a single day.

Google doodles are the designs that regularly appear around the basic Google logo on the search engine's website to commemorate religious festivals, public holidays and significant anniversaries. The drawings incorporate the logo into an illustration of the event itself. For example, an illustration for Hallowe'en uses a pumpkin in place of one of the Os in Google. For the anniversary of sculptor Michelangelo's birthday, the word was cut out of stone, and David, his most famous sculpture, placed where the L should be.

The usual Google doodles are seen by around 18 million UK users every day.

They are drawn by Dennis Hwang, a 28-year-old artist based at Google's headquarters in California.

"A lot of graphic designers would love to get this kind of exposure," Mr Hwang said. "But there's something fresh about how children approach visual ideas. And designing global logos is the same process as doodling for fun."

Each school can enter up to three doodles, illustrating the theme of My Britain. Teachers should register for the competition before May 31, and entries must be received by July 14.

Judith Judd, TES editor, said: "Young people often look at the world in a very original, imaginative way. This competition gives them a chance to share this vision with a wider audience."

Ten regional winners will be selected by a panel including Mr Hwang, Matt Buck, regular TES cartoonist, and Merlin John, a TES Online editor. These will all appear on a competition website, where the public will vote for the eventual winner.

Lorraine Arora, Google European vice-president, said: "In an age of computer games, we want to get children thinking about being creative. And they can learn how to use the internet as a research tool at the same time."

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