About the competition

What is the “Doodle 4 Google” competition?

Doodle 4 Google is a competition open to students between the ages of 6-17yrs from South African schools to create their own Google doodle. This year’s theme is: “South Africa of My Dreams"

Why is Google doing this competition?

Doodles are meant to surprise and delight people when they visit the Google homepage. Who better to surprise and delight than talented and creative young artists! Google would not exist today if it weren’t for creativity, passion, and imagination, so we love to celebrate and promote these values in our younger users.

Is this the first time you’ve done Doodle 4 Google?

We’ve hosted a Doodle 4 Google competition in 2010 as part of a global campaign around the Soccer World Cup. The contest is run in many other countries throughout the year as well.

Why did you choose the theme “South Africa of My Dreams”?

This year we celebrate 20 Years of Freedom. At Google, we believe the most ambitious ideas and untethered creativity of young people can help make the world a better place. Doodle 4 Google is meant to inspire students to think and dream big. We'd love to see Doodles inspired by the youth's hopes and dreams for their country.

How can I submit a doodle

When you are ready to submit your entries, you should complete the online entry form or the printed entry form. Only entries submitted on this form will be accepted. Submissions can be made either by post or online at www.google.co.za/doodle4google. All entries need to be received no later than 22 October 2014. Postal entries must be sent to Doodle 4 Google, P.O Box 11882, Silver Lakes, 0054, South Africa.

Entry information

Who is allowed to submit artwork on behalf of the student?

We welcome submissions from parents, teachers, and after school programs. Teacher and after school programs are welcome to submit doodles on behalf of their students as long as the entry form is signed by the student’s parent or guardian. Note that the R100,000 technology grant will go to the winning student’s school regardless of the submission channel. All entrants must be enrolled in a South African based school and between the ages of 6 - 17yrs.

Is there a limit to how many doodles a school, after school program or parent can submit?

There is no limit to how many doodles each school, after school program or parent can submit. However, we only accept one original doodle per student.

What happens if two doodles are submitted from the same student?

We can only accept one doodle per student. Our judging platform will verify that each doodle submitted is in fact a unique entry. If we receive two entries from the same student, we will accept the doodle that was received first. Any other entries from the same student will be disqualified. We ask that all parents check in with their child’s school before submitting to avoid duplicative efforts.

Do you accept group submissions?

Unfortunately not. Each Doodle should be submitted by one student.

Do students have to be South African citizens to participate?

Yes, at the time of submitting the doodle, the student must be a South African citizen or a permanent South African legal resident (e.g. must be able to show proof of legal permanent residence), be enrolled in a South African based school and be living in South Africa. He or she must also obtain their parents’ or legal guardians’ prior permission to compete in the contest via a signed entry form.

How long do I have to submit my student’s doodle?

The contest launched on July 22nd, 2014. Doodle submissions – signed by a parent or guardian – are due on October 22, 2014.

Do I have to use plain white paper to print out the entry form and draw the Doodle?

While white paper is best, you can utilize other light-colored papers. Papers with light patterns are ok too – just be sure your Doodle is clear and the pattern doesn’t interfere. You can also use a thicker paper stock if you like, but it must be paper, not cardboard or foam board.

Can I just Doodle on and submit a blank 8.5x11 sheet of paper?

Unfortunately, no. The doodle must be a completed on the official entry form. We have moved to this method of submissions in order to increase legibility when we scan the doodle for judging purposes.

Can I tape my Doodle to the entry form?

Yes. If you draw the Doodle on another sheet of paper, you can tape it to the official entry form. Just be sure that the tape is clear, that the Doodle fits above the description and that the information on the bottom of the entry form is visible.

Is preregistration required?

Nope! All that is needed is a completed entry form signed by the child’s parent or guardian and the doodle.

I’d like to use Photoshop for my entry. Is that ok?

Yes, you can use Photoshop. Create your doodle in a new document 1894 pixels high by 2960 pixels wide at 300 dpi. When you are finished, simply open the official entry form in Photoshop to use it as the background layer for a new document and paste your digital doodle in as a second layer. If necessary, move and resize your doodle to fit inside the doodle box. Don’t change the size of the document from the original official form size, and you should be able to print it, and fill the few fields on that page by hand. Hand written entries will be accepted.

FOR TEACHERS: If you’d like to have your class participate using Photoshop, you can create a document with the background pasted in for your students to use as their canvas.

What materials are acceptable to be used on the doodle?

Eligible Doodles must be two-dimensional and scannable. This includes any artistic material that will remain flat on the page. This could include: paint, pencils, crayons, markers, chalk, pastels, charcoal, or cray-pas. Computer-generated images are also accepted. This means that any materials that may cause the image to be three-dimensional will not be accepted. This may include, but is not limited to, materials such as puff paint, stickers, pipe cleaners, macaroni, sequins, glitter, beads, tissue paper, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, and pom-poms.

When I print out the entry form, the Google logo is barely visible. Is that normal?

Yes, we did that on purpose so that you are free with your design. If you wish to show the letters more prominently in your design, feel free to track the letters' marks and make them more visible. If you wish to show less of the logo, draw your design on a blank piece of paper and tape it onto the official entry form. Just be sure that the Doodle fits in the space above the description and that the information on the bottom is clear and visible. You can see the different ways that our Doodlers use the Google logo in their Doodles on the Doodle Gallery.

Judging & Selection Process

How's the contest judged?

Students’ doodles are judged by a combination of Google employees and a panel of Guest Judges. Submissions are divided into four age groups (6 - 8yrs, 9 - 11yrs, 12 - 14yrs and 15 - 17yrs) for judging. The judges narrow the total submissions pool down to 100 Semi - Finalists across age groups. From these Semi - Finalists the panel selects 20 Age Group Finalists. We then invite the public to vote online for their favorites. The public vote helps determine the top doodle from each age group; these artists will be named the Age Group Winner. The National Winner is then selected by Google executives from among the Age Group Winners and announced at an event held in Johannesburg on November 29th, 2014.

What criteria will be used to select the winning doodle?

To narrow the entries down to the top 20 Age Group Finalists, eligible doodles are judged by Google employees and our Guest Judges against the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit: based on grade group and artistic skill
  • Creativity: based on the representation of the theme and use of the Google logo
  • Theme communication: how well the theme is expressed
  • Appropriateness of the supporting statement.

Who are the guest judges?

Each year, we have a panel of Guest Judges to help us judge Doodle 4 Google. We're excited to announce our 2014 dream team of Guest Judges who are inspiring leaders in their fields: Sport, Art, Literature, Technology & Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the Entertainment Industry. Judges for the competition include DJ Fresh, Spud author John van De Ruit, Springbok Rugby star Pat Lambie; Survivor champ Graham Jenneker, music diva Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Spud Superstar Sven Ruygrok, Founder & CEO of 2oceansvibe Media Seth Rotherham and our very own Doodler, Ryan Germick.

Is the public involved in the voting process?

Yes. The public will be invited to vote online from November 12th, 2014 06:00 am Central African Time (CAT) to November 26th, 2014 18:00 p.m. Central African Time (CAT). They will be asked to select their favorite doodles, one from each age group.

What are the different age groups?

  • Ages 6-8yrs
  • Ages 9-11yrs
  • Ages 12-14yrs
  • Ages 15-17yrs