Hi all,

I have started the CSS conversion of the new design, since it's gotten a lot of positive feedback this time. I'm aiming to launch the site very soon!

Meanwhile, I need some ideas for the new site's 404/Captcha/Error page images. Examples from other SE sites:

Cooking site's 404:

alt text

Gaming site's CAPTCHA

alt text (Normally for Captcha, we do a "robot" theme.)

Photography site's 404

alt text

The idea is to have these images somewhat light hearted, and reflect the theme of the site. For the new Programmers site, I will make the images hand-drawn marker style. I need your help with coming up with ideas. You can either describe a concept, or link to an existing image that has the concept you have in mind. I'll recreate it hand drawn style.

  • I said before - go with the Lego recreations every time!
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 17:59
  • Isn't the Lego one Web Apps 404 page?
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 18:01
  • @ChrisF it is. Sometimes I use the same ones where I see fit.
    – Jin
    Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 18:05
  • How do we check the 500 error pages? ;)
    – Josh K
    Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 5:50

11 Answers 11


Maybe a coffee cup tumbled. Maybe over a keyboard.

Maybe a flow chart what the user should do to get an actual page.

Maybe both!

  • 4
    +1, I like the flow chart idea.
    – Josh K
    Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 20:28
  • 17
    I like the flow chart. Perhaps a ridiculously complex or logically impossible one.
    – glenatron
    Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 21:45
  • 1
    A spilled cup of coffee on a keyboard with 404 sketched out on the desk.
    – rjzii
    Commented Dec 16, 2010 at 20:47
  • both are good ideas
    – Ross
    Commented Dec 28, 2010 at 2:42

alt text

This one should be a fairly obvious Office Space reference

alt text

Somewhat related to Office Space (i.e. the printer) but the 00 error could be expanded for a 404 perhaps?

  • PC LOAD LETTER nails it!
    – Macneil
    Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 5:22
  • -1 for me, I think Office Space is very US/Western World-centric, be good to have something a little more universal. Commented Dec 20, 2010 at 11:39
  • +1 from me. to cancel out your -1. which is very western-phobic
    – Ross
    Commented Dec 28, 2010 at 2:40

A picture of a programmer sitting at their desk, typing away blithely, not realizing a cat unplugged the computer and the monitor is blank.


How about a silver bullet? (Something that might be sought here and not found.)


An empty box of waffles might be a cool 404, but I don't know if everyone would get it.

Additionally, I think most gems here should be well out of copyright.


How about showing a computer in an office cubicle with the wording "there is no programmer" or "waiting for programmer to come back [from coffee session etc.]..." on the screen?

The computer/monitor can be an old school bulky one.

  • 2
    additional idea: "404 - Programmer not found."
    – Gan
    Commented Dec 20, 2010 at 8:48

How about something resembling Stack Overflow's Search Results page when nothing's been found:


(assuming no one's posted a question with that word in it).

Replace "somethingnotfound" with a phrase suitable for a Programmer's search.


how about a screen showing cryptic compiler error output (e.g. error #404 designated resource identifier not found in web cache), with a motion-blurred hammer descending upon it?


404: An empty coffee pot. Example found on Google Images:

the horror! (source)


The current dog picture seems good.

alt text


I like the flow chart idea in another answer.

Since a whiteboard fits pretty well with the idea that "something used to be here, but isn't anymore", you could go with the flow chart drawn on top of something half-erased - some sample code or bullet point list or maybe even multiple layers, like you see on most whiteboards around the office.

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