Design the #ILLINOIS 404 page contest entries due today

Mon - 03.30.2015 - 10:00 PM

The #ILLINOIS 404 page design contest

The Basics

Enter to win the chance to design the new 404 error message page!

What is a 404 error message page?

A “404 Page Not Found” is the webpage that displays when a user follows a dead or broken link. The 404 page’s purpose is to notify the user that they’ve landed on the wrong page, and to help direct them to the right one by either using a search bar or going back to the homepage.

Why you should enter

  1. Looks awesome on a resume or design portfolio
  2. If you win, you have a choice between
    1. A framed, high-quality print of your killer design


  1. 404 packages of Ramen noodles. That’s right. FOUR HUNDRED AND FOUR packages.


  1. 404 inches of bubble wrap
  1. General fame and fortune. If we started paying for stuff using Ramen or bubble wrap as currency, that is.  

The Details

A winning #ILLINOIS 404 webpage design will include:

  • A placeholder for a search bar
  • An Illinois connection: prominent orange/blue, campus icons, traditions, innovations in a design that would appeal to students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
  • Keep it funny, but keep it clean. J
  • Accepted formats are images (.jpg or .png) or website files (html, css, and javascript only). If your submission consists of multiple files, please zip them up.
  • The winning design will live between the existing header and footer. You will have the full browser width (and whatever height you want) between these two elements.
  • We’ll definitely pay attention to designs that include an interactive component, like this: and this: and this: or this: or this:
  • One million extra points to anyone who can create a webpage featuring a campus squirrel holding hands with the Alma Mater sculpture as they run away from an explosion.

Entrants are limited to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign undergraduate and graduate students.

Entries must be received by 10 p.m. on Monday, March 30, 2015.



How to submit

  1. Create your design.
  2. Fill out the form here: or visit our 404 contest blog at If your design is interactive (animation, there’s a game component, etc.), you can also submit a url link for us to look at through the form instead of uploading files.
  3. Enter no later than 10 p.m. on Monday, March 30.
  4. Tell your friends! Share details about the contest on social media by following @Illinois_Alma on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.
  5. Check back on our blog because we’ll be showing off some of your great designs while we’re accepting entries!

The Fine Print

  1. Entrants must be undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  2. Entries must be received by 10:00 p.m. Monday, March 30, 2015.
  3. Artwork submissions must be made by completing a form and uploading images to
  4. The contest will run until March 30, 2015, after which a panel of judges will choose one winner. The creator of the winning design has the choice of receiving one framed print of the winning design, four hundred and four (404) packages of Ramen noodles or 404 inches of bubble wrap.
  5. The design cannot violate any copyright laws or existing trademarks.
  6. You can enter as many designs as you like.
  7. By submitting your design you give us exclusive rights, including copyright, to use your design (images and code) to use as a 404 webpage as well as for other promotional materials.
  8. By submitting a design for consideration, you declare that you are the sole creator of the design. If multiple people created the design, please list all creators when you submit.
  9. The length of time the winning 404 webpage is displayed on the website is up to the discretion of the judging panel which includes project managers, web developers and graphic designers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Public Affairs, Web Services and Creative Services. The judging panel has the discretion to choose no winners, one winner or several winners for the contest.


E-mail Public Affairs social media manager Meaghan Downs at if you have any additional questions.