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Behind the Scenes at Google's World Cup War Room

Jul 13 2014 - 7:12am

On a quiet street in San Francisco across from a park is an office called The War Room. Google's War Room to be specific. And while nothing too crazy goes down inside, there is an element of drama. You see, if you've happened across the World Cup trends page [1], you know that for every match, Google comes up with at least one design to illustrate what words and phrases people are searching for across the world.

On Tuesday, for instance, trends include that Brazil was feeling heartbroken [2] while Germany felt unstoppable. Partnering with design company RGA [3], the War Room team has the very important task of not only analyzing trends data, but also designing graphics, writing copy, and translating it all into 12 languages — fast. We were there for the shocking Brazil vs. Germany game [4] and wanted to give you a peek inside, too.

The War Room team starts by analyzing what the world is searching for and comparing two ideas. A few weeks ago, it was World Cup vs. NBA finals.

After brainstorming a few options, designers start sketching out the best idea.

Wilf Eddings is one of the illustrators. This is his digital canvas of every single design he's created so that he can use them at a moment's notice.

Of course, all this goes down in the middle of the matches. The team was just as surprised by the epic Brazil vs. Germany game [5] as you were.

Once the design and wording of a trend comparison has been finalized, it gets translated into various languages.

The walls are covered in past designs.

A team favorite is the "Leaping Legend" — aka when US goalie Tim Howard proved he had superhuman strength [6].

One of Wilf's designs began with two Argentinian horsemen but was edited down to show [7] only one. It was meant to portray that Argentinians are searching three times more for its match against The Netherlands than for its Independence Day, also on July 9.

Some of the team members have been working just about every day since June 3. In order to relieve stress, they draw for fun.

Cards with colorful designs are taped onto the side walls, too.

Everyone in the room felt bad for Brazil after Germany's unrelenting goals [8].

Hard proof that US soccer star Clint Dempsey (aka Demp-Z) got more searches than Jay Z.

Some of the best designs are turned into stickers.

Even though the game was a bust [9] for Brazil fans, the team found time for some laughs.

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