We’ve been thrilled with the level of creativity and design prowess we’ve seen on Figment over the past year.  In short, all of our players have upped their game, and we’ve enjoyed seeing the results!  So as we kick off our 3rd Annual Figment Album Cover Design contest we’re excited to see what our players will come up with for this year’s contest!

For those of you who are visiting Figment for the first time or just recently became a player, our Album Cover Design Contest is arguably the biggest contest we hold all year here on Figment.  It’s a competition to see who can design the best album cover for their fake band.  Whether you have mad design chops or just a great imagination and a clear concept, you’ve got a chance to win, and winning has it’s perks.

We’re proud to have Adobe, the leader in digital media creation and editing products, team with us for the 3rd straight year to supply our winner with Photoshop CS5 Extended.   In addition, we’ll outfit the winner with a brand spanking new Figment t-shirt as well as 1,000 pieces of lucre.

We’re also excited to announce our judge for this year’s contest.  In the past we’ve asked album cover designers to judge the contest, but this year we decided to take a slightly different tack and enlist a musician.  After all, who do album cover designers ultimately have to please?  The band, right?  So we went out and got one of our favorite musicians, Tad Kubler, to be the guest judge.  Tad is the lead guitarist for indie rock band The Hold Steady, and has had a hand in the design and layout of several of the band’s releases.  In addition, he is a talented photographer, who has snapped pictures for his band and many others.  Tad will be lending his expertise as a musician, photographer, and designer, to pick a winner and 2 runners up.

So how does the contest work?  Quite simply, we’re looking for the best original album cover design.  Sure, technical design skill is a plus, but we’re ultimately looking for an album cover that grabs our attention.  Last year the winner was javdoc for the album cover he designed for his band Zeroth’s single “Crytonomicon”.   William Schaff, last year’s judge, explained his choice this way:

Imagine that you and I are were hitting the yard sales on a bright Saturday morning. Our goal that day is to purchase an album that we know nothing about. The band’s genre isn’t what is affecting our choice, because we don’t know the band. What they sound like doesn’t matter because we’re looking to meet something new. So we’re going strictly on what strikes our visual fancy. Now you and I may have disagreement on what those criteria are, but lucky me! I get to be the fellow who says what gets chosen. If I was at a yard sale and had only these ten records to chose from, Zeroth would catch me the most, because it is unclear what exactly is going on. I see numbers, I see letters that don’t make sense to me. Yes, the word “Zeroth” is at the bottom, but it is pales in comparison to everything else going on. It has me curious! I am assuming it may be some sort of detailed, electronic music (which I am able to enjoy at times) but I am not sure. That uncertainty has me wanting to check it out. Neat!

So how will the judging work?  The initial round of judging will be done by the Figment staff who will pick the Top 10 covers that they think merit being considered by Tad Kubler.  Tad will then pick a winner and 2 runners up from that Top 10.

As we mentioned above, the winner will receive a copy of the premier 3D graphic design software on the market, Photoshop CS5-Extended courtesy of Adobe, a prize worth $1,000 alone!  But it doesn’t end there, because we’ll match it with 1,000 pieces of Lucre to spend on Figment, and a brand spanking new Figment t-shirt.

The runners up will each receive 750 and 500 pieces of lucre respectively, and we may have a few other prizes to throw into the mix soon enough, so we’ll keep you posted!

So now that you know what’s at stake, what do you need to do to enter?  Here are the basic rules of the contest:

1. You must be a registered Figment user to participate.  If you don’t currently have a Figment account please click here to create one.  This contest is open to Figment users worldwide.

2.  Create a fake band on Figment and release an album (EP or singles are also eligible) with cover art.  The band and album must be fake, and not artwork for a real band.  You may also release an album by an existing fake band that you created on Figment.  To be considered, any album entry must contain song titles. Even though they won’t be the focus of our judging, any album that is released without any song titles will be disqualified. Once you have released an album you want to submit as an entry please post the band, album name, and the URL to the album’s page on Figment as a comment to this post, so that we and other users can check it out.  If you don’t post that information as a comment to this post your entry will not be considered eligible.

3.  Any artwork used in the creation of your album cover should either be original or at least one you have the permission of the copyright owner to use.  If you do use someone else’s work you need to make it your own by adding text, altering it through manipulation or doing something else that makes it your own.  Any album designs that are judged as being a copy of an existing work will be disqualified.  We will also disqualify any album cover that is offensive in nature – sexist, racist or hate-based.

4.  You may enter as many album covers as you like.  If you would like to enter an album cover you have already released on Figment, please note that you may only enter album covers created since January 1, 2011.  Any album covers entered that were released before Jan. 1, 2011 will not eligible.

4.  The contest will run from Monday, April 4, 2011 until Friday, June 3, 2011.  All submissions must be posted by no later than 11:59 pm ET on Friday, June 3, 2011.

5.  By no later than, Friday, June 10, 2011 Figment will select the Top 10 album covers and send them to Tad Kubler for his review.  Tad will judge the Top 10 covers and select a winner and two runners up.  The winner and runners up will be announced on Friday, June 17, 2011.

As we stated earlier, this is one of the biggest contests we run on Figment and we’re thrilled to have Tad Kubler on-board to be the ultimate judge.  So really pull out all the stops and try to create an album cover design that you think captures your fake band’s aesthetic.  We look forward to your submissions.

If you’d like to read the full contest rules you can access them at:  http://figment.cc/content/pdf/2011_Album_Cover_Design_Contest_Rules.pdf

82 Responses to “Tad Kubler To Judge 2011 Album Cover Design Contest!”

  1. theHoseman Says:

    “Heard In Montreux” by Massey Ferguson’s Stampeding Heard


  2. theHoseman Says:

    “Wabi Sabi Bang Bang” by Zandergriff Miggs & the Parliament of Owls


  3. theHoseman Says:

    “Shattered Circuits” by Van Q


  4. theHoseman Says:

    “Revolutionary Leap” by Zandergriff Miggs & the Parliament of Owls


  5. javdoc Says:

    ‘Metamorphexistence’ by Voynix:


  6. Childofalma Says:

    “White Widow” by Whispers to the Fallen:


  7. DarkImmortal Says:

    “Return” by The Dark Immortal


  8. javdoc Says:

    ‘Flip’ by Kaliclysm:


  9. Childofalma Says:

    “Prayer For Oxygen [Single]” by The Forgotten Falling:


  10. TMTYTF Says:

    Black Angel by Gravestompers


  11. frizbee Says:

    “Hemingway’s Lemonade” by Coxswain Insignia


  12. TMTYTF Says:

    “Wicked Wasteland (Single)” by Stonekrank


  13. Chris Says:

    “Lust for the Chaste” by Obliterati


  14. TMTYTF Says:

    Midnight Cheerleader Rebels


  15. TMTYTF Says:

    “The Next Victim” by Devil’s Playground


  16. javdoc Says:

    ‘Radiant’ by Crashing Institute:


  17. TMTYTF Says:

    “Serenity” by Shane Osiris


  18. poppinfresh Says:

    “Out of the Picture” by Let’s Not and Say We Did


  19. poppinfresh Says:

    “Wilde Dreams” by Let’s Not and Say We Did


  20. poppinfresh Says:

    “Tin Man” by Let’s Not and Say We Did


  21. Childofalma Says:

    “Siren” by The Forgotten Falling


  22. javdoc Says:

    “Iris” [Single] by Zeroth:


  23. javdoc Says:

    Would just like to note, there is some fantastic work in here – really stunning stuff, and very varied. I don’t envy Tad having to pick a winner out of all this. Or, even the Figment staff having to narrow it down to 10. Good luck guys!

    And nice work by everyone who’s submitted.

  24. TMTYTF Says:

    “Cursed” by Sleeping Through The Apocalypse


  25. TMTYTF Says:

    “Requiem” by Stonekrank


  26. theHoseman Says:

    “Interstellar Love Triangle” by Manifold Spaceport


  27. theHoseman Says:

    “Wow & Flutter” by Stalker Channing


  28. theHoseman Says:

    “Up the Creek [12″ single]” by Zandergriff Miggs & the Parliament of Owls


  29. theHoseman Says:

    “Arthur Nouveau” by Van Q


  30. theHoseman Says:

    “[self titled]” by the Professor & Mary Ann


  31. Childofalma Says:

    I agree with Javdoc. May the best man/woman win…

  32. Eric Says:

    Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry. The deadline for entries passed at midnight ET on Friday night, so please no more entries.

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