The first Google logo illustration, created for the Burning Man festival, began a seasonal tradition for the Web site.
It began when the bosses wanted to head out of Silicon Valley, and, along with thousands of others in the Black Rock Desert, set a 52-foot high wooden man on fire. So, when the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, left town for the annual Burning Man Festival, they asked their webmaster to edit their web site logo.
The updates have become a seasonal tradition, appearing on many holidays (Chinese New Year, St. Patrick's Day), on the birthdays of notable people (M.C. Escher, Monet, Albert Einstein) and on red-letter dates, such as the anniversary of the discovery of DNA and the Wright brothers first flight.
Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan speaks with the illustrator, Dennis Hwang, who is also Google's assistant webmaster.