Blog: Secrets from the Chef

The story of one illustration: 404 error page for Iconfinder

Denis KortunovAuthor: Denis Kortunov
13 July 2010

Every site has a 404 error page. Its purpose is to tell the user that he landed in the wrong place. It is unnecessary to scare the user by some alarming page, though the message should be clear to all. Some time ago we created a character for the icon search engine conveniently named Iconfinder, now it was the time to create an illustration for its 404 page.

We decided to emphasize on the story line succession and picked the one-eyed robot for the illustration. The idea was to depict the robot in some funny way to show that the robot is not in a great shape or something went wrong. The most sensitive visitors should exclaim: “OMG! The robot is sick! Poor kid!”

We have come up with various setups with the robot not feeling well and drew some sketches.

Robot cannot find an icon because he decided to get a snack in the midnight (which is very unhealthy BTW)

You wrote a search query but no response followed. Perhaps the robot was simply asleep.

The character slipped on a treacherous banana peel. (Do not step on a banana peel. It is extremely dangerous.)

The robot is tired and it needs a recharge (as an option – a power-stoned junkie-robot).

The Iconfinder has caught cold in the catacombs of its vault and now drinks tea with jam.

The robot is in the active search mode.

Something awful has happened (we don’t even want to think about it).

We showed all sketches to Martin LeBlanc, the author of Iconfinder and he picked the sketch with the robot affected by cold. All we had to do is to draw the final illustration. Prior to that, we thought a bit and decided that it should not be a colored picture but an outline drawing – do not forget that we are on an error page and a user should not be here in the first place. The final version of the illustration appeared like this:

And to fully exploit this opportunity, we want to show you the anniversary illustration for Iconfinder. Iconfinder has turned 3 years old and we want to extend our congratulations to its creators. Here is the picture in its full glory:

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