Last week we submitted 5 billboard designs to Robert Landau, author/photographer of the book “Rock ‘N’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip.” Robert deliberated over each of the 5 designs and has picked a winner and 2 runners up.  Here are Robert’s picks:

Billboard design for outdoor advertising is a singularly unique form of communication. Unlike a page in a magazine or on a website, successful billboard campaigns understand that the reader is passing by in an automobile with dozens of other things on his or her mind. The billboard has to be provocative, with one clear idea to be mentally processed in about six seconds, most likely on a subliminal level. Text must be kept to the barest minimum.

The best rock and roll billboards of the past that are collected in my book “Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip” (Angel City Press) accomplish this task, as do many of the finalists here. My choice for “best’ of the bunch goes to the design for Muffin. It makes  terrific use of the long horizontal shape, while best leveraging the asset of the large scale format (I’m imagining these all at 14 by 48 feet). The text is minimal. I instantly remember the name Muffin, and the grafitti-like rendering of a muffin overlaying the larger image creates a simple secondary reinforcement of the text while echoing in my mind with references to modern artists’ work. The color choices and combinations are clever and not often seen in outdoor advertising. All in all, a very good approach that makes me remember the name and want to know more about the artist.

1st Place – x-muffin-x Billboard – Design by FuriousGrace


First runner-up goes to [Red Flames Rising’s] “Theory of Red”. It is simple and provocative, and the color combination of red and black is always dramatic when used well. The placement of the text with the band’s name over the image might be difficult to absorb with one quick glance. In the long horizontal format, the composition would be more interesting with a slightly less centric approach. Still it is memorable and grabs my attention.

Red Flames Rising -“Theory of Red” Billboard – Design by TMTYTF


Second runner-up goes to Let’s Not and Say We Did, whose name I know because I read it in the notes and not on the billboard. Otherwise this would have been my choice for first runner-up. If those faces were universally known you could get away without the name of the band, like the Beatles did for their Abbey Road billboard. I like the design, the simple and minimal use of color and the pop-toonish rendering of the faces. The in-your-face attitude reads loud and clear, but the text is long, and there is no clear take-away for viewers with limited time.

2nd Runner Up – Let’s Not and Say We Did “The Japanese Euphemism Song” Billboard – Design by poppinfresh


Kudos to the other contestants, too, Just remember, when it comes to billboards, less is more. Think bigger art, less copy!

Robert Landau

March 2013

So congratulations to FuriousGrace on winning our Billboard Contest!  We’ll be depositing 2,500 pieces of Lucre into her Figment account and will place her billboard on the Figment home page for 1 month beginning Monday, April 1st.  And that’s no April Fool’s joke!

We’d also like to congratulate TMTYTF and poppinfresh on their designs.  We’ll depositing 1,500 and 1,000 pieces of Lucre in their accounts respectively.

Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry, and very special thanks to our judge Robert Landau for taking the time to lend his expertise and select our winner.  You can find out more about Robert’s new book and see what he’s up to by following him on:

Robert Landau on Facebook

Robert Landau on Twitter


Billboards & Figgies: Doh!

March 28th, 2013

In a bit of a scheduling snafu our not-so crack-this-time editorial staff has realized that we scheduled the announcement of the 2013 Figgies for the same day as the announcement of our winner in the “Rock ‘N’ Roll Billboard” contest.  Doh!  Needless to say, we’d rather space these out to allow for the winners to get their proper due, so we’ll be postponing the 2013 Figgie Awards announcement until next week.  Our apologies to those of you up for Figgie consideration, but we hope you understand, and can stand another few days of suspense.  Stay tuned for the announcement of our “Rock ‘N’ Roll Billboard” contest winner tomorrow!

Our crack Figment editorial staff has looked through all of the great billboard entries we received, and we’ve narrowed it down to these 5 finalists whose designs have been sent to our guest judge author/photographer Robert Landau.  Robert, as you may know, is an quite an expert on Rock ‘N’ Roll Billboards having just published his book “Rock ‘N’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip.” If you haven’t checked out his book we suggest you do!

Here are the finalists in no particular order:


Temple’s Children “Fine Line Between Sorrow and Betrayal” Billboard

Design by Tyman


Eccentric Arcade “Under Your Skin” Billboard

Design by frizbee


x-muffin-x Billboard

Design by FuriousGrace


Red Flames Rising “Theory of Red” Billboard

Design by TMTYTF


Let’s Not and Say We Did “Japanese Euphemism Song” Maxi-Single

Design by poppinfresh

So now it’s in Robert’s hands.  Check back to see who wins!

The 2013 Figgies!

March 13th, 2013

It’s that time of year again!  The time when you get to recognize those fake bands on Figment you think deserve to be awarded for their achievements in 2012.

The Figment Awards, or “Figgies” as we like to call them, are awards that are handed out once a year to those Figment bands and albums that garner the most votes from the Figment community.  They recognize excellence in fake band creation and design.

Our crack Figment editorial team have selected the fake bands, albums, singles, tag lines, new bands and tours of 2012 we thought deserved to be nominees, but we’ve also given you the opportunity to write-in a nominee.

While clearly these awards are all in good fun, we ask that you try to be as fair and impartial as possible when casting your votes. Try to vote for the band or album that you think best deserves the award.  If you honestly think your band or album deserves your vote that’s fine, but keep in mind that everyone else might not feel the same.

Also keep in mind that any Figgie Awards for Album, Single or New Band only apply to those releases or bands created in 2012, so if you write-in an album, single or new band that isn’t from 2012 they will be disqualified.  As for the tour Figgie, we will only recognize those tours that started in 2012. If you created a tour in 2012 but it didn’t begin until 2013 then it will not be considered for an award this year.

An email linking you to your official ballot will be sent out to all registered Figment players* on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 , so if you want to cast a vote, make sure you have a Figment account or create one now!  All ballots must be submitted by Wednesday, March 27, 2013, and we’ll reward every player that submits a ballot with 50 pieces of Lucre.

As we did last year, you’ll be asked to cast a vote on the following award categories:

Best Developed Band – this award recognizes the fake band that was the most complete in every facet of the game – bio (back story), artwork, album cover design, song titles, band news, marketing/promotion, collaborations with other players bands, and fan base development.  In short, we’re looking for you to cast a vote for the fake band that is 2010’s best and most complete fake band.  Last year’s winner was Let’s Not and Say We Did.

Best Tagline – this award recognizes the fake band with the best tagline.  Promotion is important in the fake music business, and with so many bands trying to capture people’s attention you have to find a way to cut through the clutter to get a fan’s attention.  We’re looking for you to cast a vote for the band that not only best summed up their band’s aesthetic in one line, but also created a memorable slogan that grabs your attention.  Here’s last year’s winner from The~Sexeh~Tacoz.

Best Band Name – this award recognizes the Figment fake band with the best name.  A name that captures not only your attention, but also a bit of the band’s aesthetic, while also being clever and original.   Last year’s winner certainly fit the bill!

Best Single – this award recognizes the best song title!  We know a lot of you are releasing singles these days, but we’re not looking for you to cast your vote on album covers, but instead simply on how great of a song title it is and whether or not it made you want to buy the album .  Yeah, we’ve included quite a few funny ones in the nominees we put forward, but we’re also looking for a song title that resonated with you, so if you have a favorite that appeared on a 2012 album that isn’t funny please write it in – and remember to include the group that created it!  Last year’s winner was the single “Artifice of the Orifice” by Vorpal Queen.

Best Tour/Festival – We’re looking for the best tour or festival, but there are a lot of factors that go into what makes a fake tour or festival seem real.  Obviously the name of the tour is the first thing that grabs your attention, but we’re looking for more than that.  We want you to consider the concept behind the tour or festival.  How original of an idea was it?  Do the bands involved fit with the overall concept, and how involved were they in the tour or festival?  How was the artwork for the tour?  Did the creator publish news, use the shout box or other online media (i.e. Twitter) to promote the tour before, during and after?  How well did they merchandise the tour?  All of these things should be factored in when you cast your vote for this Figgie.  Again, if you write in a nominee please keep in mind that the tour/festival you nominate had to have taken place in 2012, and not just created in 2012.  Last year’s winning tour/festival was “Up The Creek”.

Best New ArtistThe Best New Artist Figgie will be awarded to new bands that were created in 2012.  We’re looking for a new band that best exemplifies a great fake band – name, band description, logo, tagline, etc.  We’re also looking for a new band that’s built a strong fan base and released some great albums in the past year.  So think hard on this one, because you’re picking a band we expect to see great things from in the future, and if you’re writing in a new band make sure you only nominate one that was created in 2012 or it won’t be considered.  Case in point, last year’s inaugural winner of this Figgie was none other than x-muffin-x.

Album Cover of the Year – this award recognizes the best album cover design of the year.  We’re looking for you to vote for the cover that not only has the best design and visual impact, but also best communicates the album’s genre and content.  The cover design for Zandergriff Miggs album “Wabi Sabi Bang Bang” was last year’s winner.

Album of the Year – this award recognizes the album that is the best of the best.  We’re looking for you to take into account the cover design, the album description and the song titles when casting your vote.  In short, which album do you think was the best of 2012.  x-muffin-x’s “Tragic 8-Ball” took home last year’s award!

So those are the awards we’ll be asking you to vote on this year.  We hope you’ll take a moment to check out all of the bands nominated before filling out your ballot.  The last day to submit your ballot is March 27, 2013, so make sure you get your votes in before the end of the day on the 27th.  The winners will be announced here on the Figment News blog on Friday, March 29, 2013, and each of the winners will receive an icon for their winning band/album page as well as 1,000 pieces of lucre.

Check your email because we’re sending out the invite that will link you to your ballot later today.  We’re looking forward to seeing who you vote for!


*  Only Figment players who have NOT opted out of the Figment Email Newsletter will receive an official ballot.  If you have opted out of the Figment Email Newsletter and would still like to cast a ballot, please contact our Customer Service department to request a ballot by clicking on the feedback link on the bottom of any page on Figment.