THERE IS an art not only to creating Google’s home-page Doodles, but also to choosing the illustrator whose skills pair most perfectly with the assignment.
Today marks the 126th anniversary since the public opening of the Eiffel Tower, that iconic iron structure that has come to symbolize not just the from-the-ground construction of a revolution, but also the architecture of the heart.
But whom to tap to capture that certain aesthetic je ne sais quoi about the
most popular ticketed monument in the world? Google’s inspired freelance hires have ranged from Eleanor Davis to Michael Lipman, and Team Google Doodle leader Ryan Germick stays plugged in to the world of illustration, comic art and animation.
Fortunately for today’s salute to the Parisian landmark — opened in 1889 as the centerpiece for the World’s Fair, upon the centennial of the French Revolution — Google chose to reach out to artist Floriane Marchix.
Marchix has a gift with rendering depth and texture, and for conveying a sense of both the solidity of man-made structures and the looseness of Man.
And though you may not recognize Marchix’s style, you may well be familiar with Floriane’s flair if you’re a fan of beautiful animation.
As a visual development artist, Marchix ramped up the resume in 2011 by working on the lushly animated “The Rabbi’s Cat (Le chat du rabbin),” the film based on Joann Sfar’s comic that won the Cesar Award (France’s national film honor) for Best Animated Picture.
From there, Marchix vaulted into working for DreamWorks Animation on last year’s Annie Award-nominated “Penguins of Madagascar,” as both visual development artist and conceptual designer, and is aboard the studio’s visual development team for a pair of sequels: 2017’s “The Croods 2” and 2018’s latest Shrek spinoff, “Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves.”
Survey some of Marchix’s work on “Penguins of Madagascar,” and you can detect some of the trademark touches that grace today’s Doodle. Marchix knows how to guide your eye with inviting looping lines that run counter to mountainous mass — a dance of contrasts that engages the eye. And whether depicting marine life or the human form, the French artist has a visual whimsy enhanced by an eye-popping palette.
After seeing Marchix’s portfolio, it’s easy to spot that style in the Doodle that pays tribute to the masterwork of civil engineer Gustave Eiffel, that “magician of iron.”
“The first principle of architectural beauty,” Eiffel himself said, “is that the essential lines of a construction be determined by a perfect appropriateness to its use.”
Today, Floriane Marchix has engineered an illustration that delivers a looping “G-o-o-g-l-e” utility while achieving a pleasing beauty worthy of the City of Light.