Design Foundations

Design Foundations: Fail Whale

In today’s design challenge we were instructed to come up with an original version of Twitter’s famous Fail Whale error screen.

Twitter’s famous failwhale error screen. Credit: Twitter

Before we started brainstorming, groups were assigned a tone to use in our message. We were given “edgy” as our tone.


When we were brainstorming we considered different scenarios that could be considered “edgy”. For me, I thought that “edgy” could mean something like someone is in a very dire situation such as being tied up. So we thought about the idea of a character tied up in a trap that someone like Perry the Platypus would find themselves. We decided to use the cliche of the hero tied up being lowered into a pit of sharks but instead of a hero it is the engineers that are tied up (though one could say they are heroes).

Creating the Piece

After brainstorming I fired up Affinity Photo on my Mac and we started working. My group mates gave me ideas for a good color scheme while I found license free images online on to use for the shark and the person tied up. To our surprise we ended up finishing a little early since we were able to quickly find the images online without too many issues.

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