If you were on Google last June 12 searching for who knows what, you may have noticed a few recognizable images on the website. It has been the Google tradition of changing the image of their logo to a “doodle” that commemorates a certain world event or personality. For June 12, it was, of course, the 119th Independence Day celebration of the Philippines.
Photo from Dan Matutina
The famous search engine has been featuring Independence Day Google Doodles since 2009, and this year the Doodle featured a “solemn and optimistic” image that perfectly encapsulated the Filipino fervor for the country.
Meet Dan Matutina, the artist behind this year’s Independence Day Google Doodle.
Photo from Dan Matutina
Dan is an award-winning graphic designer and illustrator who has already worked with countless international brands, including Google. He is also a founding partner at Plus63 Design Co., which is a studio that explores new ideas in design, branding, business strategies, and experimenting with various objects such as furniture pieces.
This year’s Google Doodle isn’t the first time for Dan to work with the brand. He has also done lots of designs and illustrations for Google, but this year’s Independence Day marked his first Doodle.
Dan’s style is described as “a combination of angular, graphic shapes layered with hand-painted textures”–and looking at his Google Doodle, that sounds about right.
Photo from Dan Matutina’s website
Talking about the Doodle itself, Dan says that he wanted to include Philippine elements in it–namely “the flag, its colors, the picture-perfect sunsets, and the islands.”
He also clarified that there really wasn’t any hidden meaning in the work he did.
In other Doodles, the text “GOOGLE” doesn’t have to be there. It can be represented by shapes and forms. So for the Independence Day doodle, I wanted the islands to form the gestalt of “GOOGLE” with the Philippine flag. So it’s just really combining all those things to try to make an impactful image. I hope I was successful in doing that.
Based on the amazing feedback from netizens, Dan was beyond successful.
Google describes the Doodle as “a colorful celebration of both the Philippine flag and the country’s unique island landscapes.”
With more than 7,000 islands that make up the country, there is no shortage of opportunities to watch the sun rise over the water. The sunrise imagery in the Doodle is meant to capture Filipinos’ optimism in the face of adversity.
We can just imagine the honor it must have been to be chosen as the one to illustrate what the Philippine Independence Day celebration meant to us Filipinos through a medium that could be seen by the whole world with just a click!
Dan says it was overwhelming, but while he has attained such an achievement, he also shares with us a dream project he’d like to work on: “Right now, my dream projects would be to work on more high-tech stuff like VR and AR. It’s a bit new so you can really introduce a lot of new ideas.”
We’re sure that this illustrator will thrive in whatever step he may take next. We also can’t wait for more of Dan’s work to be displayed internationally. Our hearts are bursting with Pinoy pride!
You can also check out more of Dan’s amazing illustrations and designs here.
What did you think of this year’s Independence Day Google Doodle? Share it with us!