This new image has been created by the American artist Wayne Thiebaud, renowned for his paintings of everyday objects, and closely associated with the Pop art movement.
Today’s change of logo appears to confirm Google’s official birthday as 27 September. In the past the company has acknowledged its birthday on 7 September as well.
The domain name Google.com was officially registered on 15 September, 1997.
In a curious nod to the ever-evolving world of communications, "a Googler" also announced the birthday via micro-blogging site Twitter today with the message "Our thanks to Wayne Thiebaud for helping us celebrate our 12th bday with a lovely doodle!".