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Google, Dilbert Team Up for a Logo Redesign

Those looking for a little humor in the normally starchy world of information technology (IT) need look no further than Google Inc. as Dilbert, an internationally-known cartoon office worker, appears this week on the home page of the search engine as part of a redesign quest.

Beginning Monday, Mountain View, Calif.'s Google features cast members Dilbert, The Boss and Alice of the Dilbert cartoon. The Boss asks this question of knowledge searchers: "We need a new logo by Friday. Any suggestions?"

Of all cartoon characters, why Dilbert?

For starters, the match is a pairing of leaders in their respective fields. According to recent data from Jupiter Media Metrix, Google Sites grew 54 percent to 34.2 million unique visitors in April 2002, no doubt spurred on by partnerships with AOL and plenty of others. Similarly, Dilbert is well known. The syndicated toon appears in 2,000 papers in 65 countries and 25 languages, and on the Web, which receives over 1.4 million unique visitors per month.

What's more, Google said the Dilbert appearance reflects its "unusual corporate culture, where nothing is taken seriously except for search." This ideology was highlighted by comments from Google Co-Founder and President of Technology Sergey Brin.

"Dilbert has had a large influence on Google's management style," said Brin. "I am planning to adopt a pointy hairdo."

Even Dilbert's creator, Scott Adams, got in on the hammy fun.

"This partnership exceeded my wildest dreams," said Adams. "I hoped I would get a free Google shirt, and I got three of them plus a mug."

The marriage seems perfect, as Adams himself knows something of the business world and IT. Adams holds a BA in economics from Hartwick College in N.Y., and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. He has worked stints as a bank teller, computer programmer, financial analyst, product manager and commercial lender.

The move is also consistent with Google's frequently changing logos. Since 1998, Google has altered its logo to commemorate holidays, events, and international celebrations, including the Burning Man festival, the Olympics, Bastille Day, and Piet Mondrian's birthday.

Apparently, a souvenir honoring Dilbert's work on Google's corporate identity will be available, as well. For this week only, fans may purchase a coffee mug featuring Dilbert, his coworkers and the Google logo they devised, by clicking on the Google logo or here.