Hangeul Day 2019 – Today’s animated Doodle, created by Seoul-based guest artists Yunho Lee and Kangin Kim of Studio Kimgarden to reflect a merging of Hangeul and English, celebrates Hangeul Proclamation Day in Korea. Locally known as Hangulnal, or 한글날, it is the world’s only national holiday that honors an alphabet.
Designed in the 1440s by a royal committee convened by King Sejong the Great, Hangeul would change Korean society in a big way. Koreans once used Chinese characters, and the writing system was so complicated that access to education was confined to society’s elite. Hangeul was designed to be easy to learn. Consonants are drawn to mimic the shape of the mouth when making a particular sound while vowels are based on combinations of three elements: a dot symbolizing the sun in the sky, a line symbolizing a human being, and a horizontal line symbolizing the earth.
As a result of these improvements, literacy rates increased throughout Korea. Despite some resistance—a 16th-century king actually banned Hangeul for a time to preserve the status of the elite class—the language grew in popularity. Today, Hangeul is Korea’s official written language, with a national holiday in its honor.
Many people celebrate Hangeul Day by visiting the museum of King Sejong which is located near Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul. A large golden statue of King Sejong stands there in honor of a leader remembered for his contributions to education for all.
Happy Hangeul Day!
Guest Artist Q&A with Studio Kimgarden
Today’s Doodle was created by Seoul-based guest artists Yunho Lee and Kangin Kim ofStudio Kimgarden. Below they share their thoughts on the making of the Doodle:
Q: Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: It’s interesting to express the face of “Google” that we use every day in two languages we use every day.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you were approached about the project?
A: There are many curves in the form of Hangul, but there are only straight lines in the word Google, which is written “구글” in Korean. And there are many curves in “Google” when written in English. So we wondered how the structure of “구글” and “Google” could look similar.
Q: Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: We collect various items related to typography (letter block, stencil template, metal type…). Among them, letter blocks were used as reference for this project. The blocks are usually very colorful, so we could put the colors of the Google logo on the block-shaped letters.
Q: What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: We hope that people will have fun playing with “Google”-shaped blocks written in two languages.
Early concepts of the Doodle
You can find more about Hangeul Day 2019 on the official Google Doodle Page