I had assumed Twitter was using designs it had paid for for its Fail page, but apparently not. Courtesy of John Wilson’s comment on my last blog about Twitter, a couple of hours ago, came news the famous whale is a stock shot from here.
Yiying Lu is the fantastic designer behind the image we all see, and love, so much. Frankly I think Twitter should use more of their work to give us some variety, and also give Yiying a lot more credit. How about a service sleeping owl?
With respect to celebrating downtime here is a link to the Fail Whale Fan Club (“Celebrating Twitter and our favorite error page cetacean“), funnily enough it seems it was started by someone I follow, Sean O’Steen. I love the fact Tom Limongello sent the Twitter team t-shirts!
He told them:
FailWhale is quickly becoming a brand, and that is a very good thing. Twitter has proven that it does a great job of bridging the online world to the physical world, in fact it’s better than any service I’ve ever used. I wore my FailWhale t-shirt at Internet Week in NYC and that simple test returned an immediately favorable response. I wanted to help the FailWhale succeed as a symbol, even though what it represents has not been completely defined (also a good thing, because you can define this to benefit Twitter’s image as a service that supports all of its users).
Perhaps one day we’ll be able to rename it the Scale Whale… but I am not going to hold my breath. Best of all- guess who is now on twitter… Yiying. Subscribed. I must admit I am thinking about Greenmonk logo possibilities… Certainly Yiying is now going to win a lot of work based on Twitter’s use of the image, which is GREAT, and proves the value of open content. There are so many great angles to this story. A community taking control of the brand, an artist creating a visual language that defines the way we talk about a service, the celebration of downtime that I mentioned earlier…
The Fail Whale is a classic social object. I wonder what Hugh MacLeod will make of it.
I think a lot of web people are going to start using Yiying’s art. I know its now on the agenda as an image source for a chinposin Friday. To Whit To Who.