22 Feb 2011

Fail Whale Pale Ale

Personal Work, Process / Tutorial, Shirts For Sale 2 Comments

Twitterers and beer aficionados, the day has come! Starting at midnight, my newest design “Fail Whale Pale Ale” is just $10 at Teefuy.com but only for 24 hours! For those who prefer a softer shirt, or who miss it at TeeFury, it will be available through my own shop, hand-screened on American Apparel shirts.

After so many people enjoyed the scratchboard look of my LOST “Polar Beer” shirt, I’ve been looking for another good subject for a new faux beer label created in that same style. I thought the Twitter ‘Fail Whale’ would be a perfect match for a more realistic, nautically themed illustration, and hope that you enjoy it!

In addition to the shirts that are available at TeeFury and in my own shop, I’ve also created a vector version of the design, and had it printed on both pint glasses and can koozies. And today only, in celebration of being printed again at TeeFury, you can use code “FailWhale15” for 15% off your total order in my shop!

Once again, in conjunction with the TeeFury print, I’m running a giveaway for some “Fail Whale Pale Ale” goodies with an opportunity to win through Facebook, Twitter and for the first time, Tumblr.

Here’s how to enter:

Facebook:“Like” my Facebook page, and leave a comment on the “Fail Whale” post, or share a link on your own Facebook page

Twitter: Follow me on Twitter, and post this message: “Twitterers and beer lovers! Win ‘Fail Whale Pale Ale’ goodies from today’s artist at teefury.com! Just follow @ianleino and RT this msg.”

Tumblr: Follow me on Tumblr and repost my “Fail Whale” post

At least one winner from each will win a free “Fail Whale” pint glass, and 4 more will receive a “Fail Whale” can koozie for a total of at least 15 winners!

And for anyone who is interested in the creative process for this design, here’s a little insight into how I created it.

This was my initial concept sketch that I used as a basis for the full design.

Based on the preliminary sketch and photo references, I created a more realistic, though still stylized whale illustration.

I created the rope outline and type elements in Illustrator

Then combined those elements with my pencil sketch to create the final sketch that I would then transfer to scratchboard.

I start by scratching in the full layout for positioning, then slowly adding in details, building up to the lightest areas.

More scratchboard work, finishing the whale and birds

Final scratchboard illustration, including the waves, text and rope

Digitized, then colored in Photoshop, based on the colors used in the official Twitter "Fail Whale"

So there it is: 15-20 hours of work condensed into about 20 seconds. Thanks for taking the time to check it out!

2 Responses to “Fail Whale Pale Ale”

  1. Veikko Sariola says:


    Can you share a highres copy of the work so we homebrewers can brew some and actually print in on the labels?

    - Veikko

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