Glasgow 2014: Google marks start of Commonwealth Games

Google's latest search page artwork, known as the Google Doodle, marks the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

It was designed by Ciaran Murphy.

Originally from Stirling, the artist trained in animation in Dundee and has been based in Edinburgh for the last two years. Here, he explains how he came up with the illustration.

Google Doodle

Mr Murphy joins a select band of artists outside of the search engine's team of full-time of artists, illustrators and animators to be invited to design a Google Doodle.

The idea of marking cultural moments via the Google logo was born in 1998 when Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google's founders, placed a stick figure drawing behind the second 'o' in Google as a message to users that they were out of the office.

Later in the year, a turkey was added on Thanksgiving Day and two pumpkins were made out of the o's in October 1999.

Since 1998, there have been more than 2,000 doodles on its home pages around the world, honouring major anniversaries and the birthdays of famous people.

The latest design to go live marks the start of Glasgow 2014 and features wrestling, cycling and bowls.

Google Doodle

A keen swimmer in his youth, Mr Murphy regularly creates illustrations along a sporting theme.

The commission from Google came out of the blue.

He said: "One morning, I found that I had an email from Google. It was just a few lines saying 'hi' and was I interested in doing their Commonwealth Games Doodle.

"They had come across my work on the website scottishillustrators.com and my portfolio was one of about 30 different portfolios they had looked at."

Google Doodle

Google's remit was "quite loose", said Mr Murphy. He was given free rein to come up with an illustration that did not necessarily have to use letters, or the search engine's colours.

Google Doodle

Mr Murphy said: "People know what to expect when they go to the website, they know that it is Google, so I was able to imply the letters and logo in the shapes of the different characters."

Google Doodle

In the end, Google chose the first design Mr Murphy had come up with.

"It was also my favourite," he said. "There is a nice flow in the movement of the figures."

Mr Murphy, too late in getting round to applying for tickets for the games, said he would be content with watching television coverage of the swimming and gymnastics - and in playing a part in marking the event through his illustration.

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