Twitter's 'fail whale' artist follows up with 'IPO hippo'

If a hippo gobbling dollar signs isn’t the iconic image of the Twitter IPO, it should be.

YiYing Lu, whose “Lifting a Dreamer” later became the iconic Twitter “fail whale” image, has crafted a new piece of art to commemorate Twitter’s initial public offering. The “IPO Hippo,” the name that Wall Street Journal reporter Jeff Elder came up with, was released on Twitter Thursday morning.

Twitter’s IPO, of course, is going like the proverbial, well, IPO hippo, opening at over $45 per share. That’s more than double the $26 price that Twitter had set for each of the 70 million shares as of Wednesday night.

The “fail whale” has rarely been seen in the past few years, as Twitter has successfully worked to eliminate service outages. Lu also developed a “Success Loch Ness” image to celebrate Twitter’s succes at keeping the site up and stable, something that Twitter hand struggled with during the early days of the service.

Twitter Success Loch NessYiYing Lu
Success Loch Ness

According to Lu, the “fail whale” was originally an elephant, part of a series of images the artist had worked on over the course of about five years.

“Five years after creating the original ‘Lifting a Dreamer’ sketch, I was returning once again to Australia after my exchange study at Central Saint Martins in London, and I created an updated version of my ‘birds lifting an elephant’ image,” Lu writes in her history of the sketch.

“This was in early 2007. This time, instead of pencil and paper, I created a vector graphic with color and smaller size to send via email," Lu wrote. "And this time, instead of an elephant, it featured a whale–since I was living in New South *Whales*. Which as I recall seemed really clever at the time!”

So far, Twitter’s IPO looks like it’s going to mint more millionaires. MannaMoney from heaven, indeed.

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