COME Malaysia Day this year, the Google Malaysia homepage will feature the design of one of the country’s students as the “Google doodle” of the day.
The Doodle 4 Google (D4G) competition, which will take place in Malaysia for the first time this year, is open to students aged between seven and 17.
The winner will have his or her design featured on Sept 16.
Google Doodles are the fun, surprising and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate specific events such as holidays and anniversaries or to celebrate the lives of famous people.
These are usually created by the organisation’s staff of “doodlers” (designers) but Goggle has made an exception this year just as it had in previous instances.
Google Malaysia country manager Sajith Sivanandan said that the competition aimed to “stimulate and nurture children’s natural abilities”.
“Malaysia is a very creative country and the students in this age group grew up online,” said Sajith, adding that the competition should have been done in Malaysia a “long time back”.
This year’s competition in Malaysia is in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014 and is themed “Malaysia to me is ....”
The “doodles” submitted by students should reflect this theme.
The company said that it hoped students from rural areas would participate.
It will also collaborate with Teach For Malaysia to conduct roadshows all over Malaysia especially in areas outside the Klang Valley.
During the launch of the competition earlier this week, Sajith listed the criteria on what made a “great doodle”.
“Make sure your design complements the shape of the letters in the Google logo, but don’t let that restrict your creativity,” he said.
He added that students shouldn’t over-complicate their design and that they should think about how the colours they use would look on the white background.
“Experiment with different media to see which one works best for your design.
“You can create your doodle on your personal computer, tablet, smartphone or just sketch it out,” he said.
There are two main traits, that the judges will look out for — imagination and creativity,” said Sajith.
“Think outside the box, then tear up that box and think again,” he said.
There are four age categories: 7-9, 10-12, 13-15 and 16-17.
The closing date for the competition is July 15, after which Google Malaysia staff will shortlist 50 entries for each category.
Judges will pick the best five out of these and post them online. Malaysians will then get to vote for their favourite in each category. After one more round of judging by Google staff based in the United States, the overall winner will be chosen.
“The winner joins a circle of doodlers who have had their design featured on Google. ” said Sajith.
Students who want to take part in the competitions should visit google.com.my/doodle4google for more information.