moby dick google doodle

Today, the 161st anniversary of the first publishing of the famed literary classic Moby Dick, Google doodlers put forth a Doodle that put a contemporary look to the book’s characters.  It was definitely a fitting tribute to the great big white whale of literature.

It took several drafts to come up with the final Doddle for the Moby Dick anniversary.  The Google art team took inspiration from the approach of artist Alvin Lustig who is known for his bold yet subtle designs.  It was the creative use of white space interspersed with graphical elements that was to serve as a quiet focal point.

The first two designs, however, failed to depict the visual character the artists were going for.  The first one was too fierce, while the second one was not exactly a good depiction of Google.  And so, a third design was made, this time taking after Queequeg’s tattoo patterns and the maze that was to be symbolic of the search for Moby Dick.  It did not quite work either in accurately portraying what the book was all about.

The artists went back to the first idea of using whitespace contrast and eventually succeeded in developing a rather ingenious Doodle.  On the foreground is Captain Ahab and his crew asea on their whaleship and in search of the great whale. On the background, is Moby Dick rising above the wavy sea waters.  Google’s stylized lettering follows the upper curve of the whale’s body with the water spurting from Moby Dick’s head forming the “L.”

Moby Dick is a novel by American writer Herman Melville.  The book was published in 1851, captivating readers with stories of sailor Ishmael on board Captain Ahab’s whaleship.  Captain Ahab’s voyage, Ishmael later learned, was all about seeking vengeance and searching for Moby Dick whose earlier encounter with the Captain proved destructive.  Aside from wrecking the Captain’s boat, the white whale also bit off the Captain’s leg.